Museum of Fashion and Applied Arts

The Fashion Museum

Born in 1999 within the Provincial Museums of Gorizia, the Museum of Fashion and Applied Arts represents one of the very few Italian museum institutions organically dedicated to the history of textiles and costume.
The exhibition itinerary, which winds through the Dornberg, Tasso and Formentini houses, opens with a section dedicated to the production, processing and weaving of silk, an activity which in the Gorizia area, part of the Habsburg Empire until 1918, was of great importance, above all in the eighteenth century, thanks to the impulse given by the emperors Maria Theresa and Joseph II. Simple and excellent quality silk fabrics were made, such as taffetas and gros de Tours, but also small works and splendid damasks. The story of this page of history is entrusted to textile samples and machinery, among which a monumental circular silk twisting machine dating back to the mid-18th century stands out.

On the occasion of the museum's twentieth anniversary, a new layout was inaugurated with a selection of collections based on three common threads: stripes, checks and flowers. Three patterns that cross the history of costume, changing connotation and meaning even radically.

Between the 18th and 20th centuries, they were beloved decorative motifs that colored the clothes (and accessories!) of men, women and children with varying degrees of (in)formality. The fashion sketches and multiform objects bear witness to this. We start with fabric samples (silk, of course) and move on to dresses, jewels, lace, hats, embroidered handkerchiefs, little bags, parasols. An interactive multimedia installation allows the visitor to try their hand at textile design, creating the most varied combinations to their liking.

The central part of the exhibition displays clothes with striped and checked fabrics, ranging from the 18th to the early 1900s. Among the most spectacular, the women's dresses of the mid-1800s, intended to be worn with wide crinolines. Another multimedia installation takes the visitor on a journey through the history of costume, through domestic interiors, gardens and theatres.

The last part of the itinerary is a sequence of situations inspired by the theme of the flower. They range from eighteenth-century men's clothing, more flowery than a herbarium, to the parasol of the 1920s. Among the women's dresses, those designed by Maria Monaci Gallenga stand out, with flowers inspired by Renaissance fabrics, but a parade of twentieth-century dresses makes it clear how popular the floral theme was throughout the century. The path ends with a rain of flowers that creates an atmosphere of pure poetry.

The museum is managed by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region through ERPAC - the regional body for cultural heritage.


Timetable and tickets


Borgo Castello, 13
34170 Gorizia


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