Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology
“The difference between style and fashion is quality.” ~ Giorgio Armani
When I was told about the Met exhibit this year, I had reservations, but like last year where I was presently surprised, I decided to reserve judgement until I had the chance to see the exhibit.
The Met Gala is always the first to give a glimpse of what the exhibit is. And while in years past some of the stars have epically failed (ahem Punk Rock Exhibit gala anyone?) this year had stars channeling their inner celestial edge in fashion.
Cut outs seemed to be a continued trend, while the well placed appliqué see through dresses seemed to have been put to sleep, at least by Beyoncé and Kim K (amen!) Many celebs wore long silhouetted gowns giving a sophisticated air to what is usually a crazy night.
Having seen what the stars wore, I had images of it being very ah la current, avant garde and yes sic-fi.
Apparently my Latin is rusty, because it wasn’t about Mad Max’s Charlize Theron or dresses dripping with screens or something just as technologically insanely crazy, but Haute Couture at its finest and an in-depth look differentiating handmade and machine made. Thus Manus x Machina which literally translated means “Hand and Machine.”
The exhibit favored many French designers from Dior to Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy (Fun fact: My dream is to own vintage Givenchy…Not asking for to much.) As well as a couple designers who had their own exhibits in the last few years like Alexander McQueen and Charles James.
The exhibit displayed simple, yet exquisitely handcrafted pieces, some be suitable for public wear while others might be works of art, belong on the catwalk and no where else.
While there were pieces where I had to wonder whether the designer had been on a mushroom cloud high. Their was no denying the exquisite detailing of even the craziest pieces. The intricate designs of many of the hand made pieces showcasing that through it all fashion is first and foremost an extension of art.
These designers are creating masterpieces that may not be hung on walls or frame doors, but that people wear. They are designed down to the tiniest details. While sewing has been commercialized with the added help of sewing machines and production lines, designers still take pride of every aspect of craftsmanship regardless of the how.
From pleats to lace, to draping on mannequins to the finished work, the exhibit detailed every aspect of creating couture clothing.
Filled with the haunting music, that has been a part of most of the fashion exhibits at the Met, as well as quotes and details on different techniques as well as delving into the mind of the designer, it was as informative as it was stylish.
The exhibit goes until August 14.