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Paris is often regarded as the world fashion capital and it's quite naturally that the town also hosts a museum dedicated to fashion and fashion history. The Galliera museum has reopened in September 2013, after a full refurbishment of its galleries.
The Palais Galliera presents exclusively temporary exhibitions. There are no permanent collections exhibited, due to the fragility of the collection pieces that does not permit exposition to light over a long period of time. The museum possesses a huge collection of clothes and fashion.
The museum possesses different departments and collections, one is the world's leading collections of 18th-century dresses. With some 1,600 items, it embraces men's, women's and children's garments dating from the late 17th century to the year 1800.
Another section is devoted to the 19th century. With 5,300 items it recounts the history of fashion among France's upper classes from the Napoleon years to around 1906. For the women, the evolution of fashion in the 19th century is largely a matter of successive changes in the feminine silhouette.
The museum also contains a department of fashion from the beginning of the 20th century to the appearance of Christian Dior's New Look in 1947. In this department, haute couture is well represented with 7,000 labelled items from some 30 different makers: Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel, Grès, Carven, Fath and Balmain in the 1950s were the forerunners of Yves Saint Laurent, Courrèges, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin or more recently John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Martin Margiela.
Fashion is also what is sometimes hidden with a collection of some 2,500 items of lingerie, underwear and corsetry. Finally accessories and photographies complete the collection. All this pieces serve for the temporary exhibitions that run through the year.