Fashion Museums

Make room in your travel diary for a discovery journey on the history and founding of some of the biggest fashion brands in the world. It is just so much more fun to wear a little black Chanel jacket having seen where it had all started from.

Cristobal Balenciaga Museum

6 Aldamar Parkea, Getaria, Spain

A very definitive and complete look into the works of Cristobal Balenciaga, the King of Couturiers, whose name forms the basis of the Balenciaga brand today. The collection consists of approximately 1200 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. It undoubtedly takes pride of place among the most important fashion collections in the international scene today. The Balenciaga Museum is housed in a newly built annex to Palacio Aldamar. This majestic villa, on a hilltop overlooking Getaria, was the residence of the Marquis and Marquesa of Casa Torres, grandparents to Queen Fabiola of Belgium and mentors to Balenciaga during the early days of his career.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

Via dei Tornabuoni, Florence, Italy

The museum opened in 1995 to bring to life the work of Ferragamo and the integral role he played in the history of shoe design and fashion. Exhibits include photographs, patents, sketches, books, magazines, casts and models of shoes during Salvatore s lifetime. The permanent collection is exhibited on a rotational basis so at any given time of the year, you may discover something new you have not seen before. At the moment, the museum is hosting the Amazing Shoemaker exhibition which focuses on shoes in fairy tales and legends. The museum is located on Palazzo Spini Feroni, a medieval palace built by the banker to Pope Boniface VIII in 1289. Proceeds from ticket sales are used to finance scholarship for young footwear designers every year.

Coco Chanel’ s Apartment

1 Rue Cambon, Paris, France.

(By Appointment via Chanel only)

Stepping into the apartment, the first thing that hits you is the unmistakable smell of Chanel No.5. Coco herself had religiously sprayed her favourite perfume all over the apartment when she was alive and the tradition had been kept strong by the custodians of the space now. The apartment has been kept exactly as it was since the last day the maestro had stepped foot there, and visitors are kept to the minimum with visits being strictly monitored. There are little clues and hints from the apartment that carries through into the signature works of Chanel, like the quilted suede couch reminiscent of the iconic 2.55 bag. The apartment is a lavish representation of Coco s taste in interior design and ultimately, in life. Be sure to snap a photo at the famous staircase where the early shows of Chanel were first presented.

Textile and Fabric Museum Paris

107 Rue De Rivoli, Paris, France

The collection contains some 16, 000 costumes, 35,000 fashion accessories, and 30,000 pieces of textile. There are a total of over 81,000 works which trace the history of costume from the Regency period to the present-day. These collections are regularly enriched by generous gifts made by private donors, designers or manufacturers. They rival the largest collections in the world and apart from its historical pieces, the museum also has collections of the work of great designers such as Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Raoul Dufy, and Sonia Delaunay.

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