Together with 21 fellow enthusiastic museums and private archives, the Centraal Museum began developing a European fashion database in March 2012: Europeana Fashion. The initial results of this alliance can be found at In addition to garments, you will find drawings, fashion photos, catalogues, websites and blogs.

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Fashion is increasingly appreciated as an integral part of our culture. Current fashion reflects a society on both a personal and a social level, while at the same time fashion design is a part of the art spectrum. Since the beginning of the 20th century, European museums have been collecting garments and accessories for these reasons, so that we can now draw on an extensive international collection of fashion-related heritage. Europeana Fashion brings the growing number of collections together online and makes them accessible to the international public.

Europeana Fashion and the Centraal Museum

In the fashion and costume collection, 18th-century silk robes with a floral pattern occupy a place alongside conceptual fashion by Iris van Herpen and Viktor & Rolf. Costumes have been a part of the collection since the early years. The dynamic collection policy began in 1921. The costume curator wrote letters to noble families to ask whether there were any 'old clothing in the attic'. Thanks to the efforts on her part as well as her successors, virtually every silhouette in the history of costume from 1750 onwards is represented in the collection. In the late 1990s, the collection policy was amended to focus more on conceptual and international fashion that preferably pushes the boundaries of the discipline. This is exemplified by recent acquisitions of designs by Craig Green and Bart Hess.

In 2014, the Centraal Museum's fashion and costume collection featured more than 10,000 objects, which were made accessible in a European context via Europeana Fashion. The database contains more than fashion designs. Images of fashion exhibitions, brochures and fashion catalogues are also included in Europeana Fashion.

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