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5 Must-See Haute Couture Museums

Next to shopping, a fashionista’s favourite thing to do has to be travelling because with new sights come new #OOTD inspirations, right?

But knowing your roots is important, and fashion is no exception. As such, we’ve gathered a list of to-visit haute couture museums dedicated to top-notch designers.

1. Balenciaga Museum, Spain

Photo: frlarq.com

The Balenciaga Museum pays tribute to none other than Spanish couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga.

A work of art itself, the museum’s showcases includes Belgian Queen Fabiola’s wedding dress and Balenciaga’s private collection.

Photo: New York Times

Each woman has a style and that style must be respected even before following the imperatives dictated by fashion trends.”

As a child, Cristóbal worked with his mother, a seamstress, and learnt his craft from her. Some of the most famous silhouettes are the sack dress and the baby doll dress. The sack dress in particular, with its drastic departure from the then typical hour-glass silhouette, shook the fashion industry with its debut.

Visitor’s tip: Visitors can sign up for a paid tour of the city centre while exploring the museum!

2. Musee Christian Dior Museum and Garden, France

Childhood home to none other than Christian Dior himself, the Musee Christian Dior Museum and Garden is located in Granville, France.

Christian is said to have had a great love for architecture, with many of his designs highlighting the female silhouette. Christians’ pieces were favoured by many of the rich and powerful, where his clientele included the wives of Nazi officers during the Second World War.

Photo: lily-hope.com

The mansion features not only Dior’s exquisite creations, but also the works of other designers such as Yves Saint Laurent.

Photo: tourisme-coutances.fr

The Garden of Fragrances found within the museum premise is a beautiful outdoor space that has also inspired many of Dior’s famous scents.

Visitor’s tip: Perfume workshops are available for those who are keen to discover the development of Dior’s scents.

3. Ferragamo Museo, Italy

Photo: fragrantica.com

Housed in the basement of Palazzo Spini Feroni, the Ferragamo Museo is dedicated to Salvatore Ferragamo.

Photo: megansmoda

A collection of photographs, patents and of course, shoes fashioned by the couturier can be found within the magnificent space.

Elegance and comfort are not incompatible, and whoever maintains the contrary simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Ferragamo first designed his first pair of shoes when he was just nine years old. This resulted in his passion for fashion, where Ferragamo later went on to invent the wedge and cage heel.

2012 Marilyn Monroe Exhibit
Photo: oliviapalermo.com

Ferragamo’s clientele included a range of starlets such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. In short, the museum’s dazzling display of shoes is nothing less than amazing.

Visitor’s tip: For the true-blue fashionistas, do note that the Gucci Museo is just a short walk away – so pace yourselves!

4. Gucci Museo, Italy

Photo: Vogue

A three-story space that pays homage to Guccio Gucci, the Gucci Museo is housed within Palazzo della Mercanzia. Inspired by horse racing, Guccio had modelled the hardware for his leather goods to resemble horse stirrups.

Photo: turismo.intoscana.it

The museum displays the house’s designs in a thematic fashion, starting with Gucci’s travel collection.

Photo: fashiontrendsdaily.com

Despite its extensive showcase, the museum has regrettably little coverage on Guccio. That aside, the space did cover the evolution of the Gucci brand extensively.

Visitor’s tip: In need of a break from Florence’s captivating sights? Stop for a cappuccino at Gucci’s café located just beside the museum’s entrance!

5. Yves Saint Laurent, France

A big year for Yves Saint Laurent, 2017 will mark the opening of not one but two museums dedicated to his work.

The French designer first worked for Christian Dior and following Dior’s death, took over as art director when he was just 21 years-old.

Le Smoking
Photo: WhoWhatWear

Christian later established his own label with his partner, Pierre Bergé. He also introduced Le Smoking, the iconic tuxedo suit that has been worn by the most fashionable of women.

One of the exhibitions in Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent
Photo: condenast.co.uk

Located in the former Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, the Parisan museum features the couturier’s former studio.

Photo: worldarchitecture.org

Together, the two museums will showcase 5,000 designer pieces. This includes original couture sketches, design prototypes and Yves Saint Laurent’s retail book collection.

Our visitor’s tip: Happen to be visiting Marrakech? Take a short stroll down to Jardin Majorelle, a garden-turned-museum!

Like how style magazines are the bible of the fashion world, haute couture museums are its churches. Every one should know their history, fashionistas included.

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