Living in New York City, I have the great fortune to have access to so much great art and fashion exhibits. I will do my bestto go to every fashion exhibit I can to share photos with you all and give my thoughts.
Featured dress in the show. Chanel Wedding Dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld. The train is hand drawn, then the design is digitized, machine fabricated, and then hand beaded.
The first one I attended this year is the new Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute show, Manus X Machina curated by Andrew Bolton. This show if you were able to attend the China Through the Looking Glass show is a lot smaller in scale, but not smaller in impact. The entire show is based off of the book, the Encyclopedie, ou Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers (Encyclopedia, or systematic dictionary of the sciences, arts, and crafts), and broken down into sections. Each section highlights the following: floral, feathers, beading, embroidery, pleating, leather work, lace and a section devoted to handmade tailoring.
The show, covering two stories, is Fashion Design Basics 101 for anyone who wants to compare old and new techniques. After walking through the show I really wished there was a Rent the Museum Exhibit site like Rent the Runway. If there are any savvy tech minded fashion people out there, I’m looking at you!
One of the fascinating aspects of the show is they paired classic pieces with contemporary works. They also comparison to pret-a-porter (ready to wear) and masison de coutre (couture house) in the show. To me this emphasized that the quality of a garment is not contingent on if it is hand made or not. There were dresses made by hand next to 3D printed works. One fascinating dress was made out of Magnetized rubber!
I happened to have gotten a tour of the MET’s Watson Library three days before the opening and the word in the museum was the show was still not finished. However many hours of working to finish in time paid off. The show has stunning work in it (just ignore some spelling errors and the vinyl letters that don’t stick to the canvas downstairs).
Please enjoy a small photo tour of pictures I took below!
These four designs are from the floral section. I would wear all of these.
These are from the feather section. The bird on is all silicone. There were dresses made entirely out of cut straws as well. Mind Blown.
Dresses from the leather section. The White ones are lazer cut and the black one is all folded flowers using origami technique!
3D Printed dresses from throughout the show. The designer, Iris Van Herpen, is a visionary in my opinion.
Pleated Dresses. That circle, it becomes the dress to the right.
Chanel Suits. I died.
Ever wonder how a dress gets designed and put together? Wonder no more! These forms showed us half finished designs that let us peek into the process.
1940’s dress with 2000’s machine dress. A video plays above it showing you how the dress basically breaths in and out.
The far left dress is a Chanel 1940/50 hand made dress. I would wear this in a hear beat. This is from the beading section. The beading work on every dress was flawless.
This was the oldest dress there from the late 1800’s. It is in the lace section. The hand made lace was just beautiful. It made me wonder what it looked like brand new.
From the lace section. I LOVED this outfits use of lace, feather, and beading to create contouring.
1920’s lace dress. I want one in every color please.
Contemporary lace dresses. Alexander McQueen’s dress on the left caught my eye right away. I always love his work, even if I could never wear it.
This is in the flower section as well. Even though I would never wear this skirt, this sweater I would so rock in a heartbeat! I enjoyed the scientific breakdown like a text book. The dress behind it, 1950’s stunner!
Also in the flower section. This dress is made entirely out of metal. In order to get into it, you open up the back and step in, and then are locked in. It has wheels on the bottom to be able to move around. No thank you, but interesting modern take on a seethe dress.
Another pair from the floral section. These are Prada dresses and I want them both complete with the broaches. I’m a sucker for Prada.