MANUS x MACHINA
Fashion in an Age of Technology
The MET’s exhibition, Manus x Machina, explored the role of technology in fashion from the 20th-century to the present and highlighted more than 170 pieces of haute couture and avant-garde ready to wear.
It attracted a total of 753,000 visitors, putting it in 7th place among the museum’s most visited exhibitions. The show also became the second most visited Costume Institute exhibition, surpassing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which had 661,509 visitors.
Couture Meets Technology
The museum’s website explained the nature of the exhibit as well as the significance best:
“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 industrialization and mass production.”
The Fine Details
The exhibit focused on elements such as: embroidery, featherwork, pleating, lace and leather.
As you walked through each room, it seemed that traditional hand techniques were highlighted but were overshadowed by impressive and innovative technologies such as 3-D printing, computer modeling, laser cutting and ultrasonic welding.
It was extraordinary to see fashion and technology come together in such a fantastical way creating an exhibit that was so different and inspiring.
With the help of technology giant, Apple, gowns were showcased with whimsical backdrops, at various different angles and there were even 3-D printed dresses!
Amidst all of these beautiful works of art and technologically advanced creations, one gown was the exhibit’s shining star.
A 2014 haute couture wedding dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with a 20-foot train occupied the central cocoon, with details of its embroidery projected onto the domed ceiling.
Without moving an inch, the dress seemed to sparkle all on its own.
It was breathtaking – magical – amazing!
The Future of Fashion
To an outsider not familiar with the inner workings of the fashion industry, this exhibit provided a wealth of information and gave an in-depth view at techniques, tools and the brilliance of what can be done when thinking outside the box.
To a student of fashion and a lover of everything this industry and this world encompass, the exhibit was fantastic.
By showing the inner workings of an industry that is often overlooked and not taken as seriously as it should, I bet you didn’t know it is a $1.2 trillion global industry… Manus x Machina started a conversation.
The industry is key to global economy. And the possibilities for the future are endless.
Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology
Metropolitan Museum of Art
May 5 – September 5, 2016