Belgium & The Netherlands

Museum of Costume and Lace (Musée du Costume et da la dentelle)

Brussels, Belgium

Since it first came into being, the museum has built up a particularly rich and varied collection, including costumes, old and contemporary lace, embroidery and original accessories which are displayed alternately during annual exhibitions. Alongside the major exhibitions, the Costume and Lace Museum also makes room for contemporary textile creation. Since 2004, the museum has hosted temporary exhibitions presenting the work of both textile arts students and established artists.


Hasselt’s Fashion Museum (Modemuseum Hasselt)

Hasselt,  Belgium

The collection of the Modemuseum Hasselt counts just about 17,000 items ranging from clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories to undergarments. The collection policy is aimed at acquiring and conserving historical pieces of clothing as well as items from contemporary designers and keep them in the most optimal conditions.



Antwerp, Belgium

The fashion museum of Antwerp collects, conserves, studies and exhibits Belgian fashion. The museum is specifically focusing on Belgian contemporary fashion designers, such as Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, and A.F. Vandevorst. The historical foundation of its archive came from the former Textile and Costume Museum and it has been augmented by an ever-expanding collection of pieces by contemporary Antwerp designers from the 1980s to the present day.


In the summer of 2012 Antwerp Tourism & Congress launched the website and matching application Fashion in Antwerp. The project was realised with the support of Flanders Tourism in close collaboration with the MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen, and the cooperation of museums, archives, photographers, fashion designers and fashion professionals.


The Netherlands Textile Museum (Nederlands Textilemuseum)

Tilburg, Netherlands

Divided into four collections, ‘textile techniques’ consists of raw materials, tools, semi-finished products, pieces of equipment and machines. In the ‘industrial culture’ collection, objects have been collected from the Dutch textile industry from 1860 to the present day. Tea towels, tablecloths, floor coverings, upholstery fabrics and curtains all belong to the ‘textile design’ collection. The visual ‘arts collection’ contains artworks by Dutch artists in which textiles or flexible materials are used.  There is also a library and a Textile Lab for new research and development projects.


Note: There are many more museums in The Netherlands (such as the Rijksmuseum and the Gemeentemuseum Den Hague, among others) with fashion and textile collections, and may even showcase these items in exhibitions, but sadly they do not mention the departments on their websites (even if they have digital collections online!) We hope they will add information about these special collections soon, so that potential visitors and researchers can learn more about them and how they contribute to the global study and appreciation of fashion and textiles.