Think your personal collection is a little lacking? Then be sure to accessorise your next vacation with a detour through these iconic fashion museums.
Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
If you consider yourself a next-gen Carrie Bradshaw, you’re certain to find a kindred spirit in Sonja Bata – arguably North America’s most dedicated footwear fanatic. Her collection – which numbers a whopping 13,000 – is displayed on rotation within an award-winning five storey architectural structure in downtown Toronto, and emphasises the cultural, societal and environmental significance of shoes throughout history. Think chestnut crushing clogs and torturous contraptions used in Chinese foot binding, as well as enough 20th century celeb shoes to keep you drooling for hours.
Tassen Museum Hendrikie (Museum of Bags & Purses), Amsterdam
With a collection of over 5000 bags, purses, suitcases and pouches – the largest of its kind in the world – Hendrikje and Heinz Ivo are serious players in the arm candy game. Their collection is tucked behind the walls of a charming canal house in Amsterdam’s UNESCO world heritage ring, where visitors are taken on a Western time-warp from the late Middle Ages right through to the present day. Among the masterpieces are Margaret Thatcher’s iconic carry-all, and a Versace piece worn by Madonna. You can also shop handbags, have high tea or get married in one of the various period rooms #weddinggoals.
Victoria & Albert, London
Picking just one from all the fashion museums isn’t easy, particularly in Europe, but for a snapshot of fashion throughout the ages, you can’t look past the V&A. The art and design powerhouse of over 2.3 million objects has a fashion collection touted as the largest and most comprehensive in the world. It dabbles in rare historical gowns from the 17th and 18th century, 1930s eveningwear, 1960s daywear and post-war couture, as well as costume, armoury, medieval jewellery – look, if you can wear it, the V&A probably has it. Be sure to wear comfy shoes as meandering through this lofty temple of couture will require a substantial time and energy commitment.