There aren’t a whole lot of museums that focus on fashion or textiles out west of the Mississippi. If you know of any that I’m missing, please let me know!
Los Angeles, CA
The museum is located on the ground floor of the Los Angeles campus of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and houses a collection of over 12,000 costumes, accessories and textiles from the 18th century through the present day, including film and theater costume. The FIDM Museum also houses the early Hollywood Costume Collection on loan from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation. It presents the annual Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition at the galleries.
San Francisco, CA
The Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Department of Textile Arts contains more than 13,000 textiles and costumes from traditions around the world. A remarkable range of techniques are represented, including loom-woven textiles, non-woven fabrics such as bark cloth, felt and knitting, and objects embellished with beading and embroidery. Highlights from the collection include extraordinary Turkmen carpets, rare 12th- through 15th-century Central Asian and North Indian silks, the most important group of Anatolian kilims outside Turkey, European tapestries, exquisite ecclesiastical textiles and contemporary Bay Area fiber art. Since the 1930s the de Young has been known for its 20th-century couture, particularly from the post-World War II era, with outstanding pieces by Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Madame Grés, Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel.
San Jose, CA
The permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is comprised of 850 textiles, including historic quilts, contemporary art quilts, and textile-based art forms, as well as costumes and garments from world cultures. Formed in 1977, the Museum’s collection has gained distinction for its’ unique art and material culture collection both locally and nationally. An indexed library of reference books and related periodicals, available to researchers by appointment, also supports the permanent collection.
University of North Texas, Denton, TX
With a collection of over 15,000 objects, The Texas Fashion Collection is dedicated to preserving and documenting historically significant fashion, as an educational resource for students, researchers and the general public. The TFC collects 19th and 20th century couture, high fashion, and principal ready-to-wear designs by American and international designers who have designs under their own name or in conjunction with the fashion industry. You can see some items from their collection in UNT’s Digital Library.
University of Hawai’i, Hawai’i
The Historic Costume Museum, housed in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, is one of the largest collections of garments, textiles, and related artifacts in an American university. The Historic Costume Museum is a valuable asset for instruction, research, and outreach programs. It consists of the following four sub-collections: Asian, Hawaiian, Ethnic and Western. The Asian sub-collection is the largest holding among academic institutions in the United States with clothing and textile items dating as early as the late 18th century from South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia. The Hawai’ian sub-collection, with 1300 items, is the only existing collection of its kind in the United States. It documents the impact of numerous immigrant groups to Hawai’i and illustrates the adaptation of costume to Hawai’ian lifestyles.