Costume Society Ambassadors, Costume Society  |  July 23, 2015

10 Fashion and Textile Museum Instagrams You Should Be Following

Once upon a time, the only way to experience an exhibition was to get your shoes on and physically walk through the museum doors. This meant that if you missed it… well then you missed it!

Nowadays, these traditional institutions are evolving by engaging with social media, a critical move for staying relevant in the digital age. At the Costume Society, we are fully aware of the difference social media makes to an organisation and how it can open up local resources to a global audience. Just because you can’t get to a museum doesn’t mean you have to miss out!

So here are a few recommendations of Instagram accounts that I follow, and you should too!

1. The Bowes Museum
A hidden gem as far as museums are concerned, the Bowes houses a spectacular fashion and textile collection which they regularly share.

2. Fox Historic Costume
You really get a sense that you’re discovering pieces alongside Drexel University as they post select items from their 12,000-piece teaching collection. A diverse mix of historic and global garments, complete pieces and up-close details.

3. MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp
The ModeMuseum of Antwerp’s account provides in-depth looks at their running collections. Ideal for those who love contemporary fashion but can’t make the trip to Belgium.

4. The Metropolitan Museum
The account posts an eclectic mix of painting, sculpture and fashion. Currently they’re sharing tasters of upcoming exhibition “China: Through The Looking Glass” (and I look forward to seeing more!)

5. Modemuze Nederlands
This fascinating platform visits the many, mainly unseen, fashion collections in Dutch museums and posts them alongside contemporary high-fashion as an online inspiration resource.

6. The Courtauld Institute of Art
Run by current students and lecturers of the history of dress and textiles, this account shares pieces from the Institute’s collection whilst analysing and exploring the meanings behind dress.

7. Costume Museum of Canada
For textile enthusiasts, I highly recommend this account! The posts highlight remarkable details and embellishments rather than full garments.

8. Fashion and Textile Museum
Posting from their own collection as well as sourcing other images, this Instagram is intended to work alongside their current exhibitions. Also, a great promoter of upcoming exhibitions at other museums.

9. Fashion Institute of Technology special collections
Unbelievable fashion illustrations, fabric swatches and rare prints; this highly specialised archive acts as a significant resource for understanding fashion design.

10. The V&A
The world's greatest museum of art and design. Inspiring. Beautiful. Free” as the account descriptor reads. Follow for exhibition tasters, prompts for debate and inspired design from the largest museum of decorative arts and design.

Sarah-Mary Geissler, Costume Society Ambassador 2015

  • Ruffles on a 1963 dress from @costumemuseumca 5 April 2015
  • Lucile Ltd. Illustration circa 1920s from @fitspecialcollections 23 April 2015
  • Antique non-Western shoes from @fox_historic_costume 14 April 2015
  • Students visiting the Amsterdam Museum from @modemuze.nl 3 March 2015
  • Dries Van Noten gold sleeve detail from @momuantwerp 23 April 2015