Manus X Machina…

Manus X Machina
Manus X Machina

Let the holiday weekend begin.

We were up and out early to beat the anticipated crowds at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

At 9:55am the MET line, packed with tourists, overran the stately stairs and snaked down Fifth Avenue.

We are New Yorkers and took the entrance less traveled. We were inside within 60 seconds.

The destination was the Costume Institute’s 2016 exhibit, Manus X Machina…Fashion In An Age Of Technology.

The exhibition explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.

With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century when the sewing machine was invented and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production.

In the past I have swooned over the Costume Institute’s shows including, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, China: Through The Looking Glass, Charles James: Beyond Fashion and Punk: Chaos To Couture.

The Met Ball was so dreary this year that I assumed that Manus X Machina would be uninspired and pedestrian.

Au Contraire.

Manus X Machina is visually spectacular,  featuring overarching scrims that frame the clothing, mood lighting and pervasive medieval music.

Chanel Wedding Dress
Chanel Wedding Dress

The immediate focus of the exhibit is a 2014 haute couture wedding dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with a 20-foot train. The details of its embroidery are projected onto the domed ceiling.

Scuba Knit Chanel Wedding Dress
Scuba Knit Chanel Wedding Dress

The scuba knit ensemble stands as a superlative example of the confluence between the handmade and the machine-made.

Hand Painted Gold Train
Hand Painted Gold Train

The pattern on the train was hand-painted with gold metallic pigment, machine-printed with rhinestones and hand-embroidered with pearls and gemstones.

Come on along and Take The Tour:

House of Dior 1952
House of Dior 1952
Prada 2016-17
Prada 2016-17
Prada
Prada

IMG_5727

IMG_5731

Saint Laurent wedding Dress 1999
Saint Laurent Wedding Dress 1999
Chanel Ensemble 2010
Chanel Ensemble 2010

IMG_5741

Chanel Coat
Chanel Wedding Ensemble 2005-6

Each flower on the Chanel coat takes up to 90 minutes to complete.

Louis Vuitton Dress 2012
Louis Vuitton & Prada Dresses
Gareth Pugh Dress 2015-16
Gareth Pugh Dress 2015-16

This is a machine-sewn white silk-wool gazar,  an overlay of white mesh hand-embroidered with clear plastic drinking straws.

Alexander McQueen Ensemble 2015-16
(Left) Dior Evening Dress 2015-16 (Right) Alexander McQueen Ensemble 2015-16
Iris van Herpen Dress 2013-14
Iris van Herpen Dress 2013-14

The dress has hand-stitched strips of laser cut nude silicone feathers with hand-applied silicone coated gull skulls with synthetic pearls and glass eyes.

Givenchy Evening Dress 1996-7.
Givenchy Evening Dress 1996-7
Saint Laurent Sardine Dress 1983
Saint Laurent Sardine Dress 1983
Halston Evening Dress 1970
Halston Evening Dress 1970
(Right) McQueen Dress 2012
(Right) McQueen Dress 2012

The McQueen dress is hand-embroidered with red-orange glass beads, freshwater pearls, pieces of coral and dyed shells.

Dior L'Elephant Blanc Evening Dress 1958
Dior L’Elephant Blanc Evening Dress 1958

For his debut collection for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent presented an exaggerated lampshade silhouette with five layers of tulle.

Iris van Herpen Dress 2012
Iris van Herpen Dress 2012

3-D printed dark orange epoxy dress.

ThreeAsFour Bahia Dress 2014 The dress is machine-sewn white nylon powder mesh, hand-embroidered with 3-D printed ivory resin and nylon.
ThreeAsFour Bahia Dress 2014

The dress is machine-sewn white nylon powder mesh, hand-embroidered with 3-D printed ivory resin and nylon.

 

Chanel Suits 1963-68
Chanel Suits 1963-68
Miyake Flying Saucer Dress 1994
Miyake Flying Saucer Dress 1994

Head to the MET and revel in the best of haute couture and ready-to-wear.

Metropolitan Museum of ArtManus X Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology 1000 Fifth Avenue New York City. Open Monday-Thursday and Sunday 10am-5:30pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-9pm.

 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*