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Met Gala 2016 Part II/II: MANUS x MACHINA: Fashion in an Age of Technology

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“The show is unusually thoughtful — a stately, gorgeous tutorial… exceptional …ravishing exhibition.”—New York Times

“…might even make a viewer gasp in delight, declaring, ‘Ah, what a glorious exhibition!'”—Observer

“…so much to glean from the stunning and ornate pieces…not to be missed.”—Fashionista


Exhibition Overview

The Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition, presented in the Museum’s Robert Lehman Wing, explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.

With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and question the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.

The Robert Lehman Wing galleries on the Museum’s first floor and ground level present a series of case studies to unravel the hand/machine conundrum. At the center is an installation of toiles and prototypes presented as garments in the making or “monuments to ideas.” Emanating from this presentation are a series of rooms based on traditional métiers of the haute couture, including embroidery, featherwork, artificial flowers, pleating, lacework, and leatherwork, which are presented alongside versions that incorporate innovative processes, such as 3D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, and ultrasonic welding. A room dedicated to the ateliers of tailoring and dressmaking reflects the traditional division of a maison de couture.

#ManusxMachina

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Wedding ensemble (back view), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913)
Wedding ensemble (back view), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture
Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (French, 1883–1971) Suit, 1963–68 haute couture French Wool, silk, metal The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e) Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883–1971)
Suit, 1963–68 haute couture
French
Wool, silk, metal
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e)
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Ensemble, autumn/winter 2015–16 haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913)
Ensemble, autumn/winter 2015–16 haute couture
Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Yves Saint Laurent (French, 1936–2008) Evening dress, autumn/winter 1969–70 haute couture French Silk, bird-of-paradise feathers The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, 1983 (1983.619.1a, b) Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Yves Saint Laurent (French, 1936–2008)
Evening dress, autumn/winter 1969–70 haute couture
French
Silk, bird-of-paradise feathers
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, 1983 (1983.619.1a, b)
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984) Dress, autumn/winter 2013–14 haute couture Dutch Silicone, cotton The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.14) Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984)
Dress, autumn/winter 2013–14 haute couture
Dutch
Silicone, cotton
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.14)
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984) Ensemble, spring/summer 2010 haute couture Dutch Polyamide, acrylic, leather The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.16a, b) Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984)
Ensemble, spring/summer 2010 haute couture
Dutch
Polyamide, acrylic, leather
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.16a, b)
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Raf Simons (Belgian, born 1968) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947) Ensemble, spring/summer 2015 haute couture Courtesy of Christian Dior Haute Couture Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Raf Simons (Belgian, born 1968) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
Ensemble, spring/summer 2015 haute couture
Courtesy of Christian Dior Haute Couture
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Issey Miyake (Japanese, born 1938) for Miyake Design Studio (Japanese, founded 1970) "Flying Saucer" dress, spring/summer 1994 Courtesy of The Miyake Issey Foundation Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Issey Miyake (Japanese, born 1938) for Miyake Design Studio (Japanese, founded 1970)
“Flying Saucer” dress, spring/summer 1994
Courtesy of The Miyake Issey Foundation
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957) "Vilmiron" dress, spring/summer 1952 haute couture French Silk, nylon The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1955 (C.I.55.76.20a–g) Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957)
“Vilmiron” dress, spring/summer 1952 haute couture
French
Silk, nylon
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1955 (C.I.55.76.20a–g)
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Christopher Kane (British, born 1982) Dress, spring/summer 2014 Courtesy of Christopher Kane Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Christopher Kane (British, born 1982)
Dress, spring/summer 2014
Courtesy of Christopher Kane
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Hussein Chalayan (British, born Cyprus, 1970) "Kaikoku" floating dress, autumn/winter 2011–12 Courtesy of Swarovski Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Hussein Chalayan (British, born Cyprus, 1970)
“Kaikoku” floating dress, autumn/winter 2011–12
Courtesy of Swarovski
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Nicolas Ghesquière (French, born 1971) for House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Dress, spring/summer 2003 Courtesy of Balenciaga Archives, Paris Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Nicolas Ghesquière (French, born 1971) for House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Dress, spring/summer 2003
Courtesy of Balenciaga Archives, Paris
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984) Dress, spring/summer 2012 haute couture Courtesy of Iris van Herpen Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984)
Dress, spring/summer 2012 haute couture
Courtesy of Iris van Herpen
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Wedding ensemble, autumn/winter 2005–6 haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913)
Wedding ensemble, autumn/winter 2005–6 haute couture
Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

 

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology – Gallery Views

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Galleries 955, 961–962 & 964–965

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