The most beautiful fashion museums to visit in cities of art
24 October 2022
1. Fashion museums in Italy: starting in Milan
The journey begins in Milan, Italy's fashion capital, and more specifically in Palazzo Morando, which hosts the Museo Costume Moda Immagine.
Open since January 2010, alongside a permanent collection of structures that narrate the historical-urban evolution of the city of Milan, it illustrates the textile heritage of the civic collections with periodic exhibitions.
Milan also houses the Armani Silos exhibition spaces that retrace the history of Giorgio Armani, a true icon of Made in Italy.
2. Costumes, brands and history: the museums of fashion and costume in Florence
Florence is also home to numerous events related to the world of fashion; just think of Pitti Uomo. But it also offers a rich choice of themed museums.
Start with the Museo della Moda e del Costume (Fashion and Costume Museum), which is part of the Uffizi Galleries.
It is located in the Palazzina della Meridiana, adjacent to the south wing of Palazzo Pitti. It was founded in 1983 and is the first Italian state museum dedicated to the history of fashion. It includes clothes and accessories from the 18th century to the present day.
Also not to be missed are the Gucci Museum overlooking Piazza della Signoria, which tells the story of the Florentine maison, and the Ferragamo Museum, open since 1995 in the splendid mediaeval Spini Feroni palace, the firm's historic headquarters.
At Palazzo Davanzati, on the other hand, you can admire an amazing exhibition of lace.
3. Fashion museum in Rome
In the capital, fashion enthusiasts should not miss a stop at the Boncompagni Ludovisi Museum.
Housed in the small villa of the same name, it is dedicated to the decorative arts but also to Italian costume and fashion, particularly that of the 19th and 20th centuries.
4. Venice and its surroundings: textiles, costume and footwear
A must-see is the Fortuny Museum located in the magnificent Palazzo Pesaro, built at the beginning of the 16th century. Among the many exhibits, ranging from painting to photography to textiles, there is a room dedicated to fashion that includes special pieces made by Mariano Fortuny in the early 1900s, inspired by classical Greek art.
In the Lagoon, there are two other places not to be missed: the first is the Textile and Costume Museum in Palazzo Mocenigo, which reconstructs the life (and clothes) of the Venetian aristocracy in the 1700s and also includes six rooms dedicated to perfume.
The second is the Shoe Museum at Villa Foscarini Rossi. It is located in Stra, between Venice and Padua. Not too far away geographically, but of an entirely different style, is the Museum of Shoes and Sports Footwear in Montebelluna, near Treviso.
5. Fashion on the shores of Lake Como
No fashion enthusiast should miss the district where most Italian fabrics are created. In the Como area, history intertwines with the contemporary languages of art: an unmissable stop is the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, which conducts artistic, cultural and technological research into textile production.
The Museo Studio del Tessuto houses over 3300 textile exhibits that tell the story of textiles from the 3rd to the 20th century.
6. On the fashion trail in Naples
We end our tour at the Fashion Museum in Naples, which is located in the Mondragone Foundation and is dedicated to Elena Aldobrandini, a 17th-century noblewoman who founded the institution.
Here, the permanent collections include historical clothes, modern collections and accessories, and trace the history of fashion from 1700 to the present day.
The history of fashion and Italy are inextricably linked, and these museums represent the highest expression of this, with their timeless charm.