Next to shopping, a fashion girl’s favorite thing to do is to travel. Landing in a totally new country or city is as exhilarating as when you get a new pair of shoes or a bag.
Traveling not only sates our longing to wander and to layer in style (in places where the temperature drops) but also gives us memorable experience and, along with it, inspiration and newfound knowledge. Personally, I try to visit museums whenever I go to a new country—whether it's to get to know their culture better or just to check out contemporary art. So if you're a true-blue fashion girl, why not include fashion museums as part of the itinerary?
Below, a couple of places to check out:
1. Christian Dior Museum and Garden in Granville, France
Imagine visiting the childhood home of the courtier. Wouldn’t that send you into fits of excitement? This charming museum features his designs along with the brand’s most notable designers like Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, and Marc Bohan.
2. Ferragamo Museo in Florence, Italy
The museum is housed in the 13th-century Palazzo Spini Feroni. It is the home of the Ferragamo workshop since 1938, which features a variety of Salvatore Ferragamo’s designs like stilettos and ballet flats that were partciularly designed for Marilyn Monroe (a fan of the 4-inch pump!), Greta Garbo, and Audrey Hepburn. It's a must to visit this place if you're a shoe lover and a fan of Ferragamo! Quick tip: Visit Gucci Museo if you’re in Florence anyway. You will not regret it!
3. Museum at FIT in New York, USA
One of New York’s fashion havens can be found in the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology—a home for pieces designed by Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and more. Bonus points for visiting would be its free admission, and you can even do people-watching since the visitors are usually as fashionable as the mannequins being displayed.
4. Costume Institute at the MET in New York, USA
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses more than 35,000 costumes and accessories. Every year, the museum stages a special exhibit that is usually visited by people from the city and all over the world (the Alexander McQueen retrospective in 2011 was the most visited), so be sure to schedule your trip around this time. Bonus: Sarah Jessica Parker narrates the audio guide for “Costume: The Art of Dress,” so be sure to visit that, too!
5. Museo de la Moda in Santiago, Chile
Over the years, the museum has acquired a wide selection of pieces featuring centuries worth of memorabilia from different continents. Originally, they focused solely on clothes from the 1950s and ‘60s—a sight that you wouldn't want to miss! Be sure to view Marilyn Monroe’s red dress and John Lennon’s military jacket!
6. Musee Galliera in Paris, France
Musee Galleria is a museum for fashion and its history. It was previously known as the Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris (whew!). Since 1977, the museum was dedicated to featuring French fashion design from the 18th century up to the present date—it displays costumes, a collection of undergarments, accessories, and even graphic arts and photography. Interested in learning more about French fashion and its roots? This is definitely the place to visit!
7. Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England
Victoria & Albert Museum, more commonly known as V&A, is the largest museum dedicated to art and design, so you can be sure to find something that will strike your fancy. They have a collection of clothes, (painful!) shoes, and hats (this museum is indeed in Britain) spanning 400 years including the wedding suit of James II of England.
8. Mode Museum (MoMu) in Antwerp, Belgium
The MoMu museum was originally opened to feature the tremendous work of the Antwerp Six—Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Ann Demeulemeester, Ivan Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee. Now, the museum also includes the works of current designers.
9. Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, Spain
A big fan of Balenciaga? Then you must visit Spain! The museum that can be found in the hometown of Cristobal Balenciaga is now home to his iconic designs that spanned six decades. Ahh!
10. Simone Handbag Museum in Seoul, South Korea
Believe it or not, this museum is shaped like a purse! The Simone is known to create bags for contemporary brands like Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs, but their museum covers an extensive period. It features different bag designs dating back to the 15th century. Wow!
11. Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Tokyo, Japan
One of the country’s best fashion museums houses traditional kimonos, Western-style Japanese clothing, European dresses, and various artifacts from Southeast Asian countries. They hold four exhibits a year to feature the Japanese culture through clothing. Additional fact: The museum is part of Bunka Fashion College known to have produced the country’s most influential designers, two of which are Yoji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada.
So, tell us! Which one are you most excited to visit?