A Religious Experience…

MuseumWe all travel for different reasons – some like to sample new foods, experience new cultures, or try something new like bungee jumping or scuba diving. And then there are fashion lovers, who travel to shop, to find inspiration to learn and discover new ideas, new designs.

If you fall into this category, then this guide is for you. It’s for those of you that can’t walk past a shop without stopping to step in to hunt out new treasures; for those of you that dream about textiles, dresses, shoes and hand bags. And whatever your taste, these museums are the ultimate fashion-trip.

5. The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada

For the most serious of all serious shoe-lovers, this is a dream come true. With around 10,000 pairs of beautiful shoes, the Bata Shoe Museum is a joyous celebration of design on the largest scale possible. The collection has shoes from all seven continents and is broken down into sub-categories, such as “wedding shoes” and “Native American footwear”. Oh and by the way, they also have a pair of Napoleon’s socks – and no, I don’t mean Napoleon Dynamite.

www.batashoemuseum.ca

4. The Fashion and Textile Museum in London, England

Created by the outrageous English designer, Zandra Rhodes, this fashion and textile museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of contemporary fashion, fabric and accessories. The range has pieces from as far back as 1947 and features items from designers such as Christian Dior and Vivienne Westwood. With strong ties to the education organisations, this is a place that will inspire a new breed of designers for many years to come. Make sure you are one of them!

www.ftmlondon.org

3. Musée Galliera in Paris, France

The words “fashion” and “Paris” have become synonymous with the very best of world’s designers. The Musée Galliera displays a staggering collection of some 70,000 fashion items; more than you can shake a dress-hanger at. It’s simply the world’s biggest authority on fashion.

www.paris.fr/loisirs/musees-expos/musee-galliera/p5854

2. The Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, Spain

This is the first museum dedicated to the Basque “designer’s designer” and celebrates the work of Cristobel Balenciaga, who made a huge impression on the world of female fashion in the mid-twentieth century. On show are 70 pieces of clothing and 20 of his accessories, all of which are owned by private collectors and friends of the designer. Although Basque, Critobel’s career really took off in Paris where his was equalled only by the likes of Christian Dior. The exhibition is a unique and inspiring collection – a must for any fashion lover travelling in Spain.

www.cristobalbalenciagamuseoa.com

1. The Gucci Museum in Florence, Italy

Yes, a Gucci museum in the heart of Florence – need I say more? More a religious right of passage than a tourist attraction, this super stylish and modern space displays a huge selection of beautiful dresses, luggage and other classic Gucci products. They also house contemporary art galleries and provide something truly unique for the modern-day fashionista. Simply unmissable.

www.guccimuseo.com

Sara Coppola, blogger at www.miinto.co.uk

Image: Flickr Commons