The Garment Museum is an institution that was created in 2004, although its collections have been shown in other museums since 1925, principally in the Regional and Historic Garment Museum. In 2004, almost eighty years after the creation of that Museum, the current Garment Museum was created to bring together the collections that were scattered throughout other museums.
The Garment Museum contains a wide variety of historic and contemporary collections. It preserves rare but important pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries, including a woman’s vest from the end of the 16th century. The collection from the 18th century includes excellent examples of men’s suits, such as the extensive and lovely collection of jackets and waistcoats, as well as the collection of women’s riding jackets and authentic garments from the majismo movement. The 19th century has a more limited representation in terms of the number of objects, but the various styles of the period are represented. The museum also houses a significant collection of garments from the most important designers of the 20th century.
The building that houses the Garment Museum was built from 1971 to 1973, and was inaugurated in 1975 as the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art. Architect Jaime López de Asiain, who received the National Prize for Architecture in 1969, designed it. The building was conceived as a museum from its very inception, and is perfectly suited for this with its multi-use rooms, its ease of circulation, and the cleanliness and flexibility of its design.