There are a number of articles highlighting the world’s “top” fashion museums, but they are usually written by journalists or laymen, not by fashion historians. This website is meant to be a resource for museums all over the world with important fashion & textile collections – whether they are the biggest, or have a small but interesting collection; if they have extensive historical collections or focus on one particular type of item or designer or region; if they are about contemporary fashion or historical textile production. They’re all here! The field of fashion studies is growing exponentially, and along with that the educational programs and study centers who house, conserve, and study these objects of practicality and art, these bizarre and beautiful creations that help to make us human.
A few notes:
- Text and photographs about individual museums and their exhibitions are pulled directly from their websites whenever possible to accurately reflect current size and content of collections. If any information is out-dated or incorrect, please contact us.
- Most of the museums mentioned have websites in English (and that’s the link used if they do), but if not, you can always view them in Google Chrome, which has automatic language translations.
- I’ve tried to link to a museum’s own page about their collection of fashion/costume /armor/etc., or their pages on specific exhibitions or garments (which are sometimes tricky to find). When these were unavailable (particularly for the smaller museums), I tried to pick a link for the most credible source for that particular subject (usually a garment of importance to fashion historians), along with the basic museum website.
- There are a number of museums with fashion & textile collections that unfortunately don’t share them very well on their websites. You can see the Criteria For Listing a Museum, or visit Suggested Guidelines for Museums. I hope to encourage more museums to promote their collections, which are becoming more and more valuable in this growing field.
This website was created by Chloe Chapin, an assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
You can see more of her projects here.
This website was created in part thanks to support from the Fulbright Program, the
American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.