This year Met Gala exhibition Manus × Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology promotes the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion. Embroidery, pleating, and lacework was paired with machine made techniques such as laser cutting, thermo shaping, and circular knitting showcasing the differences between the two but also how the old and new can intersect to create something beautiful.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute spring 2016 exhibition will be on view May 5 – August 14, 2016.
Manus × Machina (“Hand × Machine”) features fashion that traces the evolution of design from the founding of the haute couture through the onset of industrialization and mass production to the present day, when technological advancements, such as 3-D printing, laser cutting, and computer-generated weaving and patterns, are used in creating high fashion. Showcasing 90 ensembles, ranging from handcrafted haute couture by designers such as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Christian Dior to the spectacular 3-D-printed creations of Alexander McQueen and Iris van Herpen—all photographed by Nicholas Alan Cope—this expansive book is an exploration of traditional artistry and a projection about the future of fashion.
A limited edition of 600, available only at The Met, comes in a hand- numbered, laser cut, high-density polyethylene box containing a specially bound volume and an exclusive color print showing 600 images of ensembles featured in the publication.
Featuring interviews with Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Hussein Chalayan, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (Valentino), Nicolas Ghesquière (Louis Vuitton), Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough (Proenza Schouler), Iris van Herpen, Christopher Kane, Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Miuccia Prada, and Gareth Pugh.
Andrew Bolton is Curator in Charge in The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.