Manus x Machina – Fashion In The Age Of Technology 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit highlights the dichotomy between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) in the process of haute couture and prét-à-porter in the twenty-first century. Both disciplines have regularly embraced each other’s practices (handcrafted details from haute couture and mechanized methods of prét-à-porter) without downgrading the importance of either.  This exhibition shows their mutual revelance  in solving design problems and enhancing design practices which will advance the future of fashion. Even though neither will fully usurp the other’s technique, it was interesting to see how these contrary disciplines was utilized to create these amazing garments. 

Over the next three posts there will be some of our favorite pieces to give you a glimpse of this marvelous collection. But if you can go to see the exhibit please do, more than worth the visit.  

Featured image is from the House of Chanel – Wedding Ensemble with 20 feet train, Autumn/Winter 2014-15, haute couture. Made from scuba knit and silk satin. It is hand molded, machine sewn and hand finished. There are embroidered buttons, rhinestones that were hand painted with gold metallic pigment, pearls and gemstones were hand embroidered onto garment.  

Front of Chanel Wedding Ensemble
Wedding Ensemble train detail
Both Dior-A/W 1949-50 haute couture; hand-applique on tulle
Alexander McQueen-S/S 2012 prét-à-porter: machine sewn with hand embroidery. Givenchy- 1963 haute couture: hand sewn lace with hand embroidery.
Gareth Pugh-A/W 2015-16 prét-à-porter: Dress machine sewn silk-wool over mesh with hand embroidered clear plastic drinking straws.
Drinking straw detail.
Iris van Herpen-Autumn 2012 haute couture: Dress 3D printed and hand-sprayed with a technical transparent resin.
Iris van Herpen-A/W 3011/12 prét-à-porter: 3D printed dress.
Threeasfour Interdimensional Dress-S/S 2016 prét-à-porter: machine sewn neoprene and mesh with 3D printed hand applique.
Iris van Herpen- S/S 2010 haute couture: 3D printed
Iris van Herpen-S/S 2015 prét-à-porter: machine sewn, laser cut bonded patent leather
Issey Miyake-Rhythm Pleats S/S 1990 prét-à-porter: machine garment pleating (flat)
Rhytmn Pleats (worn)
Pierre Cardin-1968 haute couture: machine sewn heated molded. Commes des Garçons-A/W 2015-16 prét-à-porter: machine sewn and heat molded.
Noa Raviv- 2014 prét-à-porter: 3D printed with hand sewn tulle, laser cut, machine sewn skirt.
Issey Miyake-A/W 2010 Heat pressed and heat stamped with gold metallic foil. Flat to extended.

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