Manus x Machina: Met Museum – 2016

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

 Manus x Machina: Met Museum - 2016

Photos: © Helen Oppenheim. Collage by

The Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 Exhibition Focuses on the Hand and the Machine in fashion. Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology. On view from May 5 through August 14, the exhibition explores how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.” Recently the distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the hand/machine dichotomy,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

Featured, over 170 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, dating from the early 1900s to the present. The First Floor is for embroidery, featherwork, artificial flowers. The Ground Floor examines pleating, lacework, leatherwork. Toile, tailoring, dressmaking are on the ground floor gallery. On both floors, traditional hand techniques are shown alongside innovative technologies such as 3-D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, ultrasonic welding. Big name designers are represented, and some new names. Here are just a few of the photos soon to appear big on my website, with more details of the stunning fashions. Top Row, Left to Right: Lace looks by Dutch born Iris van Herpen, a name to watch, dresses from her Spring 2015 and 2016 collections, machine sewn, laser cut leather and van Herpen’s dark orange epoxy by Materialise, hand-sanded, hand-sprayed, Autumn 2012 … Mary McFadden’s machine-sewn and “Marii” machine-pleated green polyester charmeuse, hand-applied gold metallic passementerie dress, 1986 … Issey Miyake,”Pleats Please” machine-sewn polyester weave, machine-garment pleated in paper, 1993, (re-created in 2016) … Bottom Row: 1920 Evening Dress, Callot Soeurs, hand and machine-sewn black silk chiffon with antique ivory lace inserts, gold passemenetrie … Paul Poiret’s 1919 haute couture coat, machine-sewn black wool rep with white fur collar, hand-appliquéd with white kidskin cutwork … Alexander McQueen ensembles, 2012-13, laser-cut white pony skin, black leather, machine sewn and hand finished with Mongolian wool … Thierry Mugler 1990-91 “Neon Dans La Nuit” suit, black silk velvet, machine sewn, hand-embroidered with fluorescent stripes … Andrew Bolton, my very favorite curator, even if he is wearing Thom Browne above the ankle pants with no socks and didn’t have any hair or faces on the mannequins.  To see the album with 39 photos, just up on the website, click HERE