London and Paris, in particular, have several great places where you can learn more about the history of fashion and get a glimpse of pieces by Europe’s top contemporary designers at the same time. Here are my five favourites, which includes one in Spain, for you to check out.
1. Museo del Traje, Marid. (see top photo) It may be slightly off the beaten track in Madrid’s university district, but Museo del Traje is well worth the journey. This collection contains 160,000 costumes and accessories dating back to the 16th century, as well as work by modern day designers like Dior and Versace.
One of the museum’s great strengths is how it uses paintings to show how fashion has changed through the years and the explanations of why.
Some of the highlights are actual clothes worn by Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, as well as contemporary costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent.
The museum regularly holds fascinating temporary exhibitions – including the largest retrospective on Vivienne Westwood – and live fashion shows bringing clothing into the 21st century.
This experience is enriched by regular exhibitions from contemporary French design houses like Dior, Chanel and Sonyia Rykiel.
You’ll also find frequently changing exhibitions of textile and jewelry design, and a comprehensive educational programme.
The museum, which was set up by eccentric fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, gets just as much tourist attention for the outrageous colour scheme on the outside!
Stay in a Europe timeshare rental where you can vacation in luxury while enjoying the high fashion of these unique museums.
Guest Author: When Matt isn't globetrotting around Europe, you’ll find him in the U.K. blogging for Miinto where you can find fashion clothing and inspiration.