Fashion / Textiles / Costume Library Collection

Fashion / Textiles

The Fashion and Textiles Collection is the product of purchases and bestowals received since the Münchner Stadtmuseum first opened its doors in 1888. It comprises apparel and accessories of every type – ranging from everyday clothing through to haute couture from the start of the 18th century to the present day. The collection now encompasses some 60,000 items.

The Textiles section contains handmade items such as embroidery, along with home textiles and needlework samplers. The garments are divided into three categories: womenswear, menswear and children's clothes. The fashion collection spans the full breadth: haute couture, tailored pieces, ready-to-wear items, boutique fashions, artistic dress, and homemade attire. The collection items are also classified by "occasion," e.g. homewear, everyday fashions, evening- and formalwear, weddings, leisure, traditional events, carnivals, and times of hardship.

Past exhibitions of the Fashion and Textiles Collection – which was previously known as the Fashion Museum – have covered topics such as the evolution of specific garments (e.g. headwear, wedding dresses, children's clothing) during the past two centuries, the fashions of specific periods (e.g. wartime and postwar, the Roaring Twenties, and the 1950s) and individual accessory types as in the "2000 Hats" exhibit from the start of the millennium. Individual couturiers are also featured, with displays dedicated to the work of Werner Wunderlich, Antonio Lopez, Cristobal Balenciaga and others. Several exhibitions have also examined the relationship between fashion and art.

The collection sets out to recreate the changing styles through history by presenting the diverse gowns and garments in context with the fashionable accessories of their day. In this way, the fashions bring the various eras to life and even highlight the prevailing social conditions and distinctions. Fashion is, after all, a continuous mirror of cultural history. Partnerships with fashion schools and the designers of tomorrow – as in the exhibitions "Fashion Unlaced – Changing Silhouettes" (2010) and "Flirty Fans – All About Coded Communication " (2011) – vividly illustrate the shifting attitudes towards clothing through the ages.

sfas