Resulting from the fusion of the collections belonging to the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs (UCAD) and the Union Française des Arts du Costume (UFAC), the Musée de la Mode et du Textile is the heir to a tradition forged by the dynamics of private initiative.
From its opening in 1905, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has major collections of textiles which are continually enriched with silks, embroidery, printed cotton, costumes, lace, tapestries…
In 1948, UFAC was founded on the initiative of the costume historian François Boucher with the idea of setting up a costume museum. Under the impetus of its curator Yvonne Deslandres, UFAC soon became one of the largest collections on the world.
In 1981, an agreement was reached between UCAD and UFAC which, while remaining separate entities with their own identities, joined forces to create the Musée des Arts de la Mode which was opened to the public five years later, in 1986, in the Pavilion de Marsan in the Louvre.
Its exhibition galleries, redeployed in January 1997 over two levels in the Rohan wing, now cover 1,500 square meters and are the part of the Musée de la Mode et du Textile that is visible to the public.
Its collections now contain some 16,000 costumes, 35,000 fashion accessories, 30,000 pieces of textile. A total of over 81,000 works which trace the history of costume from the Regency period to the present-day and innovations in textiles since the 7th century. These collections are regularly enriched by generous gifts made by private donors, designers or manufacturers. They rival with the largest collections in the world, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
Apart from its historical pieces, the Musée de la Mode et du Textile also has collections of the work of great designers such as Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Christian Dior in the fashion field, and for textiles, Raoul Dufy, Sonia Delaunay or the embroiderer Rébé, to name just a few.
Its long-standing interest in innovation continues with its collection of new forms derived from contemporary design.
The works in our collections are too fragile to be put on permanent display, so they are presented as temporary exhibitions.