Maurice Leloir was a historian and costume collector and he
founded the Société de l'Histoire du Costume in 1907 and on the condition that the city
authorities opened a Museum of Costume he agreed to donate his collection of around 2,000
garments and accessories to the City of Paris in
The Hôtel Carnavalet initially housed the
collection before the Musée du Costume de la Ville de Paris was opened on Rue de
Sévigné in the November of 1956, but with the collection growing and space being in
short supply, exhibitions were held at the Musée
d'Art Moderne. Eventually the museum was transferred to its current home in the
Palais Galliera and when it was modernised in 1997 it adopted its current name, the Musée
Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.
The Musée Galliera is situated in the Trocadéro area in the 16th arrondissement of Paris
and is only open at certain times of the year, as it only holds temporary exhibitions of
costume and fashion because many of the items are too delicate to be on display
There are now over 100,000 items of clothing within the collection and this number is
still growing! Every time you go to see an exhibition at this incredible place, you
will get to see the fashion from a completely different time period from the lavish 18th
century costumes and the great couture works, to designers of fans, hats, parasols, canes
and much, much more.
All the clothes are conserved in the museum's storehouses and the collection has been
supplemented over the years by items acquired by the City of Paris or through generous
individuals, couture houses and stylists.
There are three centuries of clothing that the museum organises into different temporary
collections and there are normally two or three exhibitions every year and each one has
its own specific theme. Included within the collection, the museum can provide you
with a look at the French clothes from the 18th century onwards, and it has everything
from the extravagant and rare to the simple or practical and these clothes offer an
insight into the creative genius of the fashion designers of the time.
The Musée Galliera is surrounded by a beautiful and extensive garden that was restored to
its 19th century style in 2005 and is only a short walk from the prestigious couture
houses of Paris and even today the museum maintains close links with French industry and
And lets face it, you cannot imagine Paris without fashion and you will find all of the
biggest names in fashion in Paris, especially down the prestigious Avenue Montaigne and
with the passion, glitz and glamour through the fashion shows, this museum is another way
of paying a real tribute to the fashion industry and the way it has evolved over the
So if you are interested in fashion and you get a chance whilst on holiday in France, then a visit to the Musée Galliera,
Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris is definitely well worth the time you would spend
They do provide guided tours upon request for groups and individuals and even tours for
schools and universities or you can just go along and wander through looking at the
exhibits yourself and the information is provided in French and English.
When there is an exhibition, the museum is open from 10am to 6pm on a Tuesday through to a
Sunday, yet is closed on a Monday and on national holidays, so it is advisable to check on
when the museum is open, before turning up and getting disappointed.
Address & Contact Details:
The Musée Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris
10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie
Telephone: 1 56 52 86 03