The world of fashion – Brussels Museum of Costume and Lace

If you are crazy about fashion, enjoy creating your own clothes as a hobby or it is your professional occupation, or providing you are just interested in the history of the development of various commodities, you will definitely find Brussels Museum of Costume and Lace a curious place. This museum was built in 1977 and is dedicated to lace and fabric in the first place since these materials used to be produced by Belgium in great amounts. Today, you have a fantastic chance to see a temporary collection of costumes and clothes which was collected by the museum during the time as well as check frequently changing temporary exhibitions.

The permanent collection of Museum of Costume and Lace

During the decades of the existence of the museum, its workers have managed to collect over 10 000 items, such as accessories, clothes and lace material. A part of these items was donated, whereas a number of exhibits the museum purchased itself. The oldest pieces of clothes and accessories available in Brussels Museum of Costume and Lace are coming from the 16th century.

Although the museum has its permanent exhibition including the items from this major collection, they are displayed in portions. The sets of clothes and accessories are being rotated which is required for the maintenance of an appropriate condition of the materials used in these items. Conservation of textile materials requires meeting strict standards concerning the humidity, light and temperature. As a result, the costumes and clothes should not be displayed without a break.

A large part of the permanent collection is clothes and accessories made with the use of lace. Brussels had been one of the major world centres of lace production till the 19th century. Showcasing this precious material, especially focusing on the tradition of its production in Belgium, was the major goal of the museum when it was created. Note, that this is still the only Belgian museum offering an exhibition of lace to its visitors. Today, the collection of Brussels Museum of Costume and Lace is far more extended. The items included into the permanent collection create the timeline of the changes and development of the fashion Europe starting from the 18th century. Due to this fact, the museum actually received a new name of Fashion & Lace Museum.

Temporary exhibitions at Museum of Costume and Lace

Each year, Fashion & Lace Museum organises a great variety of temporary exhibitions all of which are related to fashion and clothes design. For instance, for the time being, one of such exhibitions is Masculinities dedicated to the fashion of male clothes. In point of a fact, Belgium is a home of some of the most prominent and world-known designers of men’s clothes, shoes and accessories. Still, the majority of museums preferred focusing on the female fashion and Masculinities became the first exhibition of men’s clothes. Masculinities covers a long timeline of the development of men’s clothes starting from the fashion trends of the end of 18th century up to the modern design of 2020.

Other temporary exhibitions which were displayed at Museum of Costume and Lace were Beautiful Lace and Carine Gilson, Back Side – Fashion From Behind, LOL by La Cambre Mode, Reflection by Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Just Married, a story of marriage and Crinolines & cie, the bourgeoisie on display (1850-1890).

Fashion lessons at Museum of Costume and Lace

What is even more exiting about Fashion & Lace Museum is that this place organises fashion lessons dedicated to various topics. These lessons are possible due to the partnership of the museum with MAD Brussels and Modesign Academy.

The lessons are held in the form of conferences which are open to public and are especially encouraging the participation of students. Yet, you should be aware of the fact the number of places is limited.

Some of the previous lessons at the museum were Sublimating through difference, Lace, a highly contemporary material, The world of the catwalk and its little secrets, Conversation with Carine Gilson, Back side, Too much! Too big! Five centuries of prejudice and others.

Tickets to the museum and its location

Brussels Museum of Costume and Lace is one of the tourist attractions included on the list of the locations available to the owners of Brussels Card without any additional payment. Thus, if you decide to purchase the card, you will be able to visit this amazing museum without a need to purchase any tickets.

Even if you decide not to purchase Brussels Card, you will still find the price of the tickets to this museum quite affordable. Yet, you should be aware of the differences in price for different exhibitions. In addition to it, families with children can make free visits to the museum on every first Sunday of a month with the exception of the first of November of 2020. A free entrance is also offered by the museum on Saint Nicholas Day.

Costume and Lace Museum is located on Rue de la Violette, 12.