This huge monolith, squatting at the side of Plaça de les Glòries has housed the collections from the former museums of clothing, decorative arts and ceramics since it opened in December 2013. The Textile and Clothing Museum collection provides a chronological tour of fashion, from a man’s Coptic tunic from a seventh century tomb through to Karl Lagerfeld’s creations. There are many curiosities, such as an 18th-century bridal gown in black figured silk and the world’s largest collection of kidskin gloves, but the real highlight is the fashion collection.
The Museum of Decorative Arts’ collection is informative and fun, and looks at the different styles informing the design of artefacts in Europe since the Middle Ages. A second section is devoted to postwar Catalan design of objects as diverse as urinals and man-sized inflatable pens. The collections from the erstwhile Ceramics Museum are equally fascinating, showing how 13th century Moorish ceramic techniques were developed after the Reconquista with the addition of colours (especially blue and yellow) in centres such as Manises, in Valencia, and Barcelona. There is also a section on 20th-century ceramics, including many by Miró and Picasso.