The Fashion Collection of the Wien Museum is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Europe, holding more than 20,000 items. The main part of the collection consists of ladies’ wear of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, dominated by evening and ball gowns and formal outfits. The collection is continually enlarged in order to demonstrate the continuous development of costume history through original examples.
It includes clothing for ladies, gentlemen, children and sportswear together with the fashionable accessories such as fans, handbags, gloves, hats, scarves, umbrellas, walking-sticks, stockings, handkerchiefs and costume jewellery.
And long-forgotten items also form part of the inventory, for instance button hooks, glove-stretchers, finger-tip formers, abdominal belts, corsets, chapeau claque (spring-folding top hat), ice-skate blades, smelling bottles, pages (dress clips), fireplace or handscreen fans, and “Strumpfzauber” –“miracle stockings” - leg-tanning tincture to copy stockings).
Fragile ladies’ lingerie from the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century and the twenties are also part of the show, cross-strap shoes from the Biedermeier era and creations by the Viennese fashion designers W.F. Adlmüller, Gertrude Höchsmann and Adele List. Embroidered, knitted and crocheted patterns, buttons and textile patterns complete the selection.
The Wien Museum Fashion Collection was founded after the Second World War by Professor Alfred Kunz, the first director of the Modeschule der Stadt Wien. In 1954 the holdings of the municiple collections and Professor Kunz’s private collection were combined to form the Fashion Collection of the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien (today Wien Museum).
A constantly augmented library also belongs to the Fashion Collection, with more than 12,000 volumes on fashion, art and cultural history. These are supplemented by photographs, fashion magazines from 1786 until the present day, and around 3,000 copper engravings of fashions from the second half of the nineteenth century.
The Fashion Collection is not open to the public!
Library: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm