The museum has nearly 30,000 objects representing historical, contemporary, and ethnographic dress, uniforms, jewelry, accessories and textiles. The historical dress collection houses rare but significant pieces of men’s and women’s dress from the 16th and 17th century, including jewelry, shoes and accessories. The traditional folk dress costumes come from all over Spain, and the contemporary clothing department includes Spanish designers from Balenciaga to Pedro Rodriguez, Lino, Rosina, Natalio, and Elio Pertegaz Berhanyer.
The Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa collection consists of approximately 1,600 pieces and is not only the most extensive collection of Balenciaga creations in the world, but also the most representative both in terms of quality and the time span covered. Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa was born in Getaria in 1895, and was well known across Spain before opening his Paris couture house in 1937, which closed in 1968. He was respected throughout the fashion world for both his knowledge of technique and construction, and his often spare, sculptural creations were considered masterworks of haute couture in the 1950s and 1960s.
The clothing collection includes items from the 16th century to the present. The textile collection includes Coptic textiles, Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance, as well as embroidery, lace, and prints. Also of note is the jewelry collection, primarily of Spanish production. The museum closed in 2013 for renovations, and should open again in December of 2014.
Museo de las Alhajas en la Vía de la Plata (Museum of Jewellery in the Silver Way)
La Bañeza (León) – Spain
The Museum of Jewellery in the Silver Way, opened in 2011, has a collection of more than 3,000 items of 19th century Spanish traditional costumes and 16th-18th century jewelery from the Silver Way and the province of Leon. This museum contains perhaps the best collection of traditional civil jewellery in Spain, an art almost lost because almost all the pieces that constituted it have disappeared over the centuries. Highlights include large silver necklaces called ‘collaradas,’ jewelerly made of Asturian jet, and Manila shawls with little heads made of ivory or nacre. The permanent exhibition consist of seven rooms that show traditional costumes of Childhood, Youth, Adults, and Jewellery.
Located in the Monteiro-Mor Palace, the museum has a collection of 33,000 items, which includes mainly masculine and feminine costumes from the 18th and 19th centuries, including civil, domestic, and international dress, along with accessories and textile production equipment. A unique component is the collection of dolls and their respective costumes. The permanent exhibition focuses on Portuguese fashion.
Furniture and small objects reflect the major designers and movements from 1937 to the end of the twentieth century.
Clothing, footwear and accessories (along with furniture and small objects) shape the history of fashion from 1937 to the end of the twentieth century, introducing the main authors and major changes of silhouette. Based on the collection of Francisco Capelo Collection, designers included are: Alessandro Mendini, Alexander Mc Queen, Balenciaga, Courrèges, Charlotte Perriand, Campana Brothers, George Nelson, Gio Ponti, Jean Royère, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Joe Colombo, Le Corbusier, Marc Newson, Paco Rabanne, Ron Arad, and Viviene Westwood.