Paris is the capital of fashion. And however pretentious it sounds, it’s true! The city of prêt-à-porter, Haute Couture, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier or Louis Vuitton. The list is long.
So it’s only natural that some of Paris’ museums and galleries dedicate their spaces to the art of clothing.
And let’s be honest, there is nothing more exciting than diving into the worlds of the greatest of fashion minds, isn’t there?!
For this reason, I would love to share with you the most important fashion museums you should visit next time you’re in Paris!
The trick is to check their current schedules since they don’t always have a running exhibition. But having a choice of seven, I’m sure you’ll find one that suits your needs!
Also, at the end of the article, I prepared a programme sheet with all current fashion exhibitions in Paris. And I will change it monthly. So make sure to come back!
Yves Saint Laurent Museum
This is more than just a fashion museum. It’s an institution and more precisely the prolongation of the emblematic YSL house.
Pierre Bergé – the longtime business and life partner of Laurent, decided to create a place where the designer and his closest entourage could retain all their archives. For this reason, he opened the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Fondation.
The museum is occupying the same space where the grand couturier was working. And maybe it will sound silly, but you can still feel his spirit.
Whether it’s the bling of the embroideries, the richness of the fabrics or the replica of his actual office – his soul is all over the place.
I love getting there whenever I need a glimpse of inspiration because the beauty of YSL creations is irreplaceable.
Address: 5 Avenue Marceau, 75116 Paris
Openings: Tuesday – Thursday 11:00 – 18:00
Fridays 11:00 – 21:00
Galerie Azzedine Alaïa
A small yet impressive art gallery in the very heart of the colourful Marais district. The French/Tunisian couturier opened it initially for his friends.
He wanted to offer a free space where different types of art would mingle up – photography, sculpture, paintings, and fashion, of course.
After his passing away in 2018, the gallery transformed into a fashion museum and celebration of the greatness of Azzedine Alaïa.
With each exhibition (changing approximately every six months), we’re witnessing the unrevealed archives of this fashion master.
I highly recommend getting there at the opening hour as there is a chance you’ll be alone in the beautiful world of Alaïa! It worked for me every time.
Address: 18 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
Openings: daily from 11:00 – 19:00
Galliera Museum or as it is called now the City of Paris Fashion Museum showed its first fashion-related exhibition in 1985 and since was showcasing rather industrial art.
Only in the course of the new millennium, it shaped to be a space wholly devoted to the art of clothes, accessories and its rich history.
It already hosted retrospections of the likes of Madame Grès, Azzedine Alaïa, Jeanne Lanvin, Balenciaga, Martin Margiela.
The museum is closed since 2018 but is reopening in the second half of 2020, and rather with style, because the one of Coco Chanel!
Looking forward to it!
Address: 10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75016, Paris
MAD – Musée des Arts Décoratifs
As the name indicates, this museum is dedicating its space to widely understood decorative arts. It includes design, illustration, advertising, and the queen of all arts – fashion.
It often captures fashion from the historical and technical aspects such as textiles, production processes and its social position in different centuries.
As a consequence, visit the MAD if you love furniture, ceramics, accessories and generally the world of creativity.
When it comes to fashion, on the other hand, it welcomed exhibitions of such masters as Marc Jacobs x Louis Vuitton or Margiela x Hermès.
I think these names speak for themselves, don’t they?
Address: 07 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Openings: Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 – 18:00 (late closing hours on Thursdays)
Closed on Mondays
La Galerie Louis Vuitton
And if I told you that you could visit LV’s Art Deco house, his green garden, never-seen-before corners of his original atelier? For free? I think any fashion lover who loves digging in the soil of history would agree that it’s one of a kind opportunity.
But the brand is giving it to us on a golden plate. It’s enough to sign up in advance for one of their guided tours!
I won’t reveal much, but from the first hand, you’ll learn about the birth of the brand, its first designs, clients, legends, and struggles.
Then, you’ll walk through the emblematic Vuitton’s house, get to know his family stories and probably will never look at the LV logo in the same way!
Book a free tour: La Galerie Louis Vuitton
From now and then the Bourdelle Museum surprises us with an extraordinary fashion exhibition, next to which you can’t pass by blindly.
Balenciaga and his love for black in 2017 and the Backside of Fashion in 2019. Both have paved in strongly in the minds of all Parisians.
And even though Bourdelle is not practically a fashion museum, I needed to add it to my list because it plays a crucial role in bringing to light fashion reminiscence.
So please keep in mind this name and double-check now and then if they are not cooking up something fashionably delicious!
Address: 18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris
Openings: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
Closed on Mondays
Cité de la Mode et du Design
Look at it as the city of fashion and design! A city where art plays the core part, there are no expression limits.
A huge and industrial place that is an art gallery, restaurant, coffee place, concert scene, and discussion panel all at the same time. Where education, fun and pleasure play equal roles. And where fashion is an important discussion tool.
And even though I would hope they’d organise fashion exhibitions more often, there is always something interesting on their schedule!
Address: 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
Openings: All week from 10:00 – 00:00