Over time, the textiles and fashion collection has developed into one of the museum’s most comprehensive collections. From Coptic fabrics to Brussels lace, from oriental silks to pieces by contemporary artists: the collection comprises stunning examples from textile art, most notably Italian, German and French silks from the 13th to the 18th century, early Rhineland prints from the 14th century, important examples of Cologne-Rhineland and Italian border edging from the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as outstanding oriental carpets and occidental tapestries.
The collection of historical fashion includes dresses from the second half of the 18th century and examples from the period between 1830 and 1930: costumes from the Empire, Biedermeier and Historicism periods, as well as magnificent Art Déco robes. Twentieth century fashion is represented with excellent pieces by renowned fashion designers such as Christian Dior, Karl Lagerfeld, Issey Miyake, Yves Saint Laurent and Jil Sander.
For reasons of conservation, the textiles and fashion collection can currently only be shown in special exhibitions.