Permanent collection

The City of Brussels Fashion & Lace Museum has over 20,000 items of clothing, lace and accessories from the 16th century to the present day. It presents its collections in rotation, through annual exhibitions.


The museum’s collections are made up of private donations or purchases.


Strict standards must be maintained in order to conserve textiles. These standards regulate the heat, light and humidity of the rooms in which the outfits are exhibited. Therefore, the collections cannot permanently be on display.


The Fashion & Lace Museum is the only Belgian museum that exhibits Brussels lace. Until the 19th century, this fabric made the Brussels famous across the globe.


In 1977, the city founded a museum in order to showcase lace in its proper context : Museum for Costume and Lace. Since then, the collections have continued to grow. They offer a panorama of western European civil fashion from the 18th century to the present day.


In October 2017, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Museum for Costume and lace became the Fashion & Lace Museum, a new name to strengthen the dialogue between fashion and history.


Since June 2020, the museum has been putting the items from its collections showcased in past exhibitions online. These pieces are added to the inventory of movable heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region and can be seen here.

Collection overview


Since 2016, the museum has applied a dynamic new policy which has seen it concentrate on contemporary, Brussels and Belgian fashion. This approach is reflected in the programme  and in its acquisition policy.

Concerning acquisition policy, the Fashion & Lace Museum is based on four pillars:

  • Lace: the museum places particular emphasis on Brussels lace.
  • Belgian fashion: the museum focuses on local fashion trends, especially in Brussels and Wallonia (historic outfits, fashion houses, ready-to-wear brands, independent designers, etc.)
  • The international history of outfits, haute couture and contemporary fashion.
  • The outfits of known or unknown Brussels personalities.

The museum’s collection has been established through:

  • private donations;
  • purchases at auctions.

Acquisitions are made from private individuals or directly from creators.


Scientific use

Would you like to obtain one or more photos of an item from the museum’s collections?

Your request should be sent via e-mail to

Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

Press & journalists

For press reproduction requests, please consult the press area.