If you still haven’t seen Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, mark your calendars! The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fascinating fashion exhibit is closing on September 5th.
On display are over 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present. The stellar show provides great insight into the techniques and technologies that have shaped haute couture and ready-to-wear through the years.
Manus x Machina Fashion Exhibit: Inspiration
One of the inspirations for the exhibit was a 2014 haute couture wedding dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. The striking gown occupies a central cocoon, with the beautiful details of the embroidered train projected onto the domed ceiling. And the patterns it reveals are stunning.
The creation of the train itself, which took 450 hours, perfectly represents the marriage between the handmade and the machine-made. To begin with, the pattern was initially sketched by hand. It was then manipulated on a computer to create the appearance of a pixelated, baroque pattern. Next, the fabric was hand-painted with gold metallic pigment. After that, rhinestones were heat-transferred onto the fabric using a machine. Finally, the train was hand-embroidered with pearls and gemstones.
Manus x Machina Fashion Exhibit: DNA decoded
The show highlights the evolution of many manufacturing techniques and processes. The first floor explores how embroidery and feather work has changed with each new technological advance. The lower level examines pleating, lace work and leather work as well as tailoring and dressmaking.
More importantly, the exhibit smartly provides detailed overviews of every garment featured. By analyzing the DNA of each piece, the show is able to break down assumptions (and biases) regarding handmade versus machine-made. Indeed, it closely considers the role of each in the creative process and does an admirable job of reconciling the two.
Additionally, by deconstructing each piece, visitors are able to see how designers can successfully use technology to enhance their ideas and realize their visions. Further, they can see how the same garment may have relied upon both hand stitching and laser cutting, two techniques that might have previously appeared to be in conflict. However, as the exhibit shows us, neither handmade nor machine-made is superior to the other. Rather, they are complementary and always have been.
What’s New: Products
While we were inspired by and excited about the Met exhibit, we’re equally thrilled about these new products that just hit our shelves!
Rowenta Compact Steam Station – Seamlessly press everything from suits to drapes with this ingenious and convenient steam station!
Tas Merah Multi Set Bag – This amazing new set bag from Tas Merah ensures you’ll have whatever tools you need within arms reach!
Butter London Trend Nail Lacquer – You’re bound to fall head over heels for this pigmented, high gloss and chip resistant lacquer!