Where crafting know-how is preserved
The Naples Fashion Museum is managed by the Mondragone Foundation, named after its founder Elena Aldobrandini, Duchess of Mondragone. It is located in a beautiful late Baroque building, alongside the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and beautiful gardens.
The Duchess founded the “Ritiro per Matrone Vergini e Oblate” retreat there in 1655, to house women of the fallen nobility who did not want to take vows – the only fate for women without financial assets. The Royal Institute of Mondragone set up in the building after the Unification of Italy, becoming a girls’ boarding school to educate orphans, as well as nobles. Since 2003, it has housed the Elena Aldobrandini Textile and Fashion Museum.
The exhibition recounts the history of fashion from the 18th century to the present day, boasting a rich collection of clothes and accessories, including bags, hats, gloves, shoes, parasols, fans and feathers.
The collection also features textile works, including trimmings, lace inlays, samplers and bobbin lacework that display local craftsmanship and leaders of the Made in Italy label. Through clothing, you can explore the history of women’s emancipation. Today, the Foundation is also involved in promoting and protecting historic craft skills.