Where can I see old-fashioned fashion?
February 7, 2015 5:40 PM   Subscribe

I love historic clothing/fashion. Where are the museums with largest antique clothing collections on display?
posted by ReluctantViking to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

The Met has one of the largest Costume Collections. It's fantastic! The Chicago History Museum has the second largest collection. Also fantastic!
posted by Arbac at 5:51 PM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Do shoes count?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:51 PM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Fashion museum in Bath, England.
posted by brujita at 6:09 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

The very underrated Phoenix Art Museum has a constantly rotating fashion exhibit of 4,500 pieces.
posted by Alexandra Michelle at 6:17 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you visit NYC to hit the Met, you might also want to stop by The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
posted by fings at 6:26 PM on February 7, 2015

Slight tangent: A very cool artist to watch for exhibitions of is Isabelle de Borchgrave. She creates magnificent historically accurate historical costumes out of paper. It can be very hard to tell they aren't fabric. I once spent a whole day looking at her work at the Victoria and Albert Museum (in addition to their other costume pieces). Best day ever.
posted by cecic at 6:38 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Kyoto Costume Institute has 12,000 items--not as big as some of the above, but definitely on my to-do list.
posted by wintersweet at 6:42 PM on February 7, 2015

Madrid has the Museo del Traje. It's been around a decade since I visited it, but it looks like they have a virtual tour if you want to get a feel for the collection.
posted by that girl at 7:54 PM on February 7, 2015

The Netherlands Open Air Museum in Arnhem has a large collection of traditional Dutch costumes. The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague has three fashion collections: Dutch Fashion Designers, Foreign Fashion Designers, and FASHION ❤ ART. You might be interested in the Museum of Costume and Lace in Brussels and the Netherlands Textile Museum in Tilburg.
posted by neushoorn at 1:10 AM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding the museum in Bath. It doesn't have the hugest collection but what it has done with it is amazing. There is one section which combines displays of clothes from different periods with demonstrations of how the collection is stored - for example, drawers and drawers of lace collars. The last time I was there they had an exhibition of sportswear through the decades - both the actual stuff and sportswear-inspired fashion. And every year they acquire one piece which symbolises the fashion of that year - from Ossie Clark in 1969, the famous split-to-the-belly-button green Versace dress worn by J.Lo for 2000, a Kate Moss for Topshop dress in 2008.
posted by ontheradio at 5:04 AM on February 9, 2015

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