10 Best Museums for Fashion Lovers in London

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As everyone knows, London is one of the great fashion capitals of the world. Not only is it a great place for studying fashion at one of the prestigious art schools, shopping for everything from vintage to high-end designer clothing, and spotting some unique street style, it also boasts some of the world’s best museums, many of which have permanent exhibits and departments dedicated to fashion.

If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, a fashion student or budding fashion designer, or you just appreciate fashion as an art form, spend an afternoon in one of these London museums and prepare to be inspired.

 

1. Fashion and Textile Museum

The only museum in the UK dedicated to fashion is a great place to start. Founded in Bermondsey by Zandra Rhodes, the museum exists to provide inspiration and training for those working in the fashion industry, as well as showcasing current trends in fashion and textile design. As well as the regularly updated exhibitions, the museum hosts talks from industry leaders, workshops, and courses for beginners to intermediate level.

83 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XF

Open 11am – 6pm Tuesday to Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 11am – 8pm Thursday, and 11am – 5pm Sunday. Closed on Mondays.

Tickets: £9.90 adults / £8.80 concessions / £7 students / Children under 12 go free

ftmlondon.org

 

2. Victoria & Albert Museum

The V&A museum is a world-famous destination for art lovers and hosts a permanent collection of over 4.5 million art and design objects. It’s an amazing resource for tracing fashion trends through history, with exhibits and artefacts dating back as far as 5,000 years. The V&A holds a textiles and fashion collection from all over the world and hosts curated fashion collections.

Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

Open 10am – 5.45pm Monday to Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and 10am – 10pm Friday.

Admission is free. Some exhibits have an additional charge.

vam.ac.uk

 

3. Fashion Space Gallery

Fashion Space Gallery is the London College of Fashion’s exhibition space and hosts contemporary fashion, design, and art exhibitions and events from some of the world’s most exciting and innovative creators. As well as the regularly changing schedule of exhibitions and events, the gallery hosts exhibitions tours, talks, and runs a residency programme to support designers working in fashion and related fields.

20 John Prince’s St, Marylebone, London W1G 0BJ

Open 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday, 12 – 4pm Saturday, and closed on Sunday.

Admission is free.

fashionspacegallery.com

 

4. Museum of London

The Museum of London hosts a number of collections relating to London including a dress and textiles collection of clothing made, sold, and worn in London from the 16th century to the present day. As well as garments made by London-based couture houses, ready-to-wear designers and manufacturers, and tailors, the collection also includes costumes, manufactured textiles, banners, dolls, and fashion plates.

150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN

Open daily 10am – 6pm

Admission is free.

museumoflondon.org.uk

 

5. Somerset House

Somerset House on the Strand is a 16th Century Neoclassical building that was originally built as a royal residency and is now a centre for contemporary arts in London. It hosts regular fashion shows and exhibitions and is home to the British Fashion Council, among other creative residents.

Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Open daily 8am – 11pm

Admission is free but some exhibitions have additional charges.

somersethouse.org.uk

 

6. Design Museum

The Design Museum in Kensington hosts exhibits, talks, workshops, and events relating to all types of design including architecture, graphic design, and fashion. As well as the temporary exhibitions, the museum hosts a Designers in Residence programme and works with schools and colleges to further design education

224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG

Open daily 10am – 6pm

Admission is free but each exhibition has its own ticket price.

designmuseum.org

 

7. The Barbican Centre

The Barbican is an arts and learning centre that hosts a wide variety of exhibitions, performances, films, talks, and workshops relating to visual arts, fashion, theatre, dance, and cinema.

Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS

Open 9am – 11pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am – 8pm Sunday.

Each event has a different ticket price. Some exhibitions and events are free.

barbican.org.uk

 

8. The Photographer’s Gallery

The UK’s first public gallery dedicated to photography regularly hosts exhibitions of fashion photography, as well as talks and educational activities to promote photography and its impact on culture and society.

16-18 Ramillies St, Soho, London W1F 7LW

Open 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am – 6pm Sunday

Free admission before 12pm every day. Exhibition day pass £4 (£2.50 concessions)

thephotographersgallery.org.uk

 

9. National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery houses a permanent collection of portraits of important and famous figures in British history from the 16th century to the present day, making it a valuable research for tracing trends in fashion and clothing through history.

St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE

Open 10am – 6pm Monday to Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday, and 10am – 9pm Thursday.

Admission is free.

npg.org.uk

 

10. Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery is one of London’s premiere galleries for contemporary art and focuses on presenting the work of unseen young artists, or international artists who are largely unknown in the UK. The gallery regularly hosts fashion exhibitions and events such as London Fashion Weekend.

Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY

Open daily 10am – 6pm

Admission is free.

 

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