Tuesday, May 3, 2016


This just in form the press preview at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Monday morning:

The beautiful and thought provoking show,, MANUS X MACHINA; Fashion in the Age of Technology reveals how technology and craft go hand-in-hand to make a powerful combination. "I am humbled by the innovations of the past but I am also humbled by the future of technology," said Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer,  Apple, a sponsor. "Both the automated and handcrafted process require similar amounts of thoughtfulness and expertise. There are instances where technology is optimized, but ultimately it's the amount of care put into the craftsmanship, whether it's a machine-made or handmade that transforms ordinary materials into something extraordinary."
     The exhibition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, Spring 2016 exhibition, presented in the Museum's Robert Lehman Wing, is a breathtaking presentation worthy of close examination.  It explores how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. I was stunned by the magical world of the haute couture ateliers and equally marveled at the futuristic machine-inspired fashions.
     The space houses a series of case studies in which haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles are decoded to reveal their hand/machine DNA. Image above: A 2014 haute couture wedding dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with a 20-foot train occupies a central cocoon-like area with details of its embroidery projected onto the domed ceiling. Not to be missed.!!!
      The exhibition is structured around the traditional metiers of te haute couture. It's like getting a sneak insider's view of the haute couture workshops. The first floor unfolds in a series of alcoves, examining the petites mains workshops of the extraordinary embroidery, featherwork and artificial flowers.   

     I was taken aback by the marvel of the featherweight and wondered how many birds has been sacrificed for this kind of adornment and how many may have become extinct by this fashion Image right: Relief came when I saw this Yves Saint Laurent evening dress constructed of hundreds of clear cellophane drinking straws, ingeniously layered; another marvel of the couture.
      The ground floor space is arranged as an enfilade, examining pleating, lacework and leatherwork. A room dedicated to toiles and ateliers of tailoring and dressmaking---the traditional division of a maison de couture---anchors the ground floor gallery.
     Then traditional techniques are discussed alongside innovative techniques such as 3-D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating laser cutting and
ultrasonic welding. 
     Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute said, "Traditionally the distinction between haute couture and pret-a-porter (ready-to-wear) was based on the handmade and the machine-made, but recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of each other."  
WHY IS MAXUS X MACHINA IMPORTANT? Bolton concludes: "Manus x

Machina challenges the conventions of the hand/machine dichotomy and proposes a new paradigm germane to our age of technology>" 
    Ta Ta darlings!!! Manus x Machina will resonate with visitors where machine and hand made morphs into something extraordinary.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.
Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on the link to the Blog that resonates with your interest on fashion, visionary men, extraordinary women and poetry.

No comments:

Post a Comment