March 20, 2014

Avallon France and the Hidden Museum of Costume in Burgundy

I spent about five weeks in Burgundy France in the summer of 2012 staying with lovely family friends who took the worlds best care of me! It was one of the best experiences traveling I have ever had, my wonderful hostess Martine took me to all the little old towns and points of intrest around the region. As a history lover I was in heaven, obviously, and one day she took my to Avallon. This medieval town is still surrounded by its ancient ramparts, and is wonderful to visit on its own, but is elevated to a must visit sight for its miraculous costume museum! On an ancient street there is a archway into a courtyard, leading into a stone house full of treasures beyond description!

Inside is the craziest costume museum you will ever stumble upon! Run by adorable little old french women who will give you a tour and turn the lights in each jam packet room as you wander the labyrinth that is this museum! Each room of this inexplicably luxurious french mansion is positively oozing with antiques, paintings, porcelain, lace, furniture you name it! There is simply a mind-boggling amount of stuff in each room and that is just the setting for an amazing collection of historic dress. The rooms are populated with antique mannequins, from the 50's mostly, all clad in the most beautiful historic garments! The exhibit is changed over every year by the women who run the museum and it is just crazy to think they have even more amazing costumes in storage!

My camera struggled in the dim lighting to capture good images of this place's glory!

also in this crazy mansion? an entire chapel! complete with an 1890's wedding set up! what?!
This necklace, give it to meeee! amazing

the details!
One of my two favorite dresses I saw at the museum, deep green velvet with lace and soutache galore
my other favorite, black net with white glass beads and velvet accents, gorgeous!

Visiting this museum was easily one of the most fascinating experiences I have ever had. The woman who was giving us a tour was doing so in french so my friend was translating for me and we wandered through tiny halls with paintings and drawings stacked from floor to ceiling like an old world pinterest board of hogwartzian glory. The museum was entirely dark as the guide lead us to each room she turned on the lights to reveal each over-stuffed room of antiques and costume. The rooms themselves were of interest alone, each paneled or painted in styled ranging from the late baroque to the late 18th century. The whole experience was more akin to time travel within an antiques warehouse than visiting any normal museum. What a crazy, crazy place! Too amazing to really be described, it seemed so innocuous from the outside, the opulence within was such a shock!

the drive back to the house was equally magical!


  1. Oh wow. I was hyperventilating just looking at the pictures.

  2. Oh my word, this is truly one of those amazing slices of history that it would all but take a team of wild horses to drag me away from. I would love (underline that a thousand times) to visit there myself one day.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I just wish I knew french so I could have asked questions and found out more, definitely a dream treasure trove, they had 1950's Dior in one room too!

  3. Thank you Bianca for this page which pays a magnificent tribute to this museum and to the 2 old women owning the fabulous place. Et merci aussi pour les gentils mots me concernant. Ce fut aussi un grand plaisir pour moi de t'avoir ici, de pouvoir parler anglais et de revisiter les alentours grâce à toi. You'll be always welcome at home when you want. Avec toute mon amitié. Martine

  4. Thank You Martine! It was so kind of you to have me to stay and take me around everywhere! It was certainly one of the best summers of my life, I miss you and Pierre and I hope you are well!


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