Top Fashion Museums

Style—both historical and modern—goes on display within these chic collections.

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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The Costume Institute, New York

There is a reason why Vogue’s Anna Wintour is a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With a collection of more than 35,000 costumes and accessories from five continents and seven centuries, the Costume Institute is the crème de la crème of fashion museums. (It acquired the Brooklyn Museum’s costume collection in 2009, which made its cache even more comprehensive.) Because the textiles are extremely sensitive, there are no permanent exhibits. The department curates temporary exhibitions each year instead: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” just closed; next spring’s installment will pay homage to punk fashion. But you can still admire “Gems of European Lace, ca. 1600–1920” (through January 13, 2013), which is one of the world’s preeminent lace collections. 1000 Fifth Ave.; 212-535-7710; metmuseum.org.