The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Spring 2016 exhibition, Manux X Machina: Fashion in The Age of Technology, which was presented in the Robert Lehman wing museum, reveals how designers are harmonizing the hand-made and the machine-made in the creation of an haute couture and a high end ready-to-wear.
The exhibition was made by apple and in extra support from Conde Nast.
Praised as the most popular exhibition of the year, Manux X Machina exceeded all the expectations.
Dresses of this exhibition were all crafted from machinery since the 1050’s. Andrew Bolton, the curator at the custom institute, stated that he was astounded to know that Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic Mondrian dress from his 1965 couture collection was hugely made by machine. In addition, the Vilmiron dress, designed by Christian Dior and which was part of the house’s 1952 haute couture collection, was also machine-made, but with hand-made finishing touches that included white silk organza and embroidered with artificial flowers.
Celebrating the exhibition opening, The Met Gala took place on Monday, May2, 2016. The evening’s co-chair persons were: Idris Elba, Jonathan Eve, Taylor Swift and Anna Wintour. The honorary chair persons were Nicola Ghesquieri, Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada. This event is the main annual funding source of the Costume Institute for exhibitions, acquisitions, publications and capital improvements.
Manux X Machina features more than 170 examples of haute couture and high end ready-to-wear, from the early 1900 till the present time.
The exhibition is made up of two floors. The first floor gallery explores embroidery, feather work and artificial flowers. However, the ground floor gallery inspects pleating lacework and leatherwork.
The exhibition aims to address the establishment of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the invention of the sewing machine took place, and the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) has emerged at the beginning of industrialization and mass production. It keeps a track on the ongoing split up, in which the hand and machine are presented as discrepant tools in the process of creation.