The Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode, Calais

Many people taking the ferry to Calais overlook one of this port city’s most fascinating sites – the museum of lace and fashion that opened in the Saint-Pierre (Calais Sud) district in 2009. 

 
Combining a striking wave-like contemporary façade (embellished with a real lace pattern) with a historic setting in a 19th-century lace factory, this unique France museum displays 10,000 lace pieces, from haute couture garments to lingerie. 
 
Visitors can also see costumes, fashion objects, tools and industrial machinery including five working looms (with explanations provided by a former lacemaker), and around 15,000 sample books and 10,000 fashion magazines. And in a nod to the English smugglers who brought the first lace-making machines to Calais, the Cité can be reached by the Majest’in canal boat.
 
A true symbol of French luxury and craftsmanship and once Calais’ most highly sought-after product, lace continues to be machine-produced in Calais and the surrounding region, with almost 80% of it exported to 140 countries around the globe, to be used mainly for wedding dresses and lingerie. And lace’s popularity among the wealthy and even royalty continues – Kate Middleton and Amal Alamuddin (Mrs George Clooney) both wore Dentelle de Caudry for their weddings. 
 
The Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode
135 Quai du Commerce
F-62100 Calais
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 00 42 30