Manus x Machina

Hello my fellow readers,

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If you follow fashion closely or even if you don’t, you have most likely heard of the magical night called, the Met Gala. A yearly event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Gala celebrates various themes that explore various aspects of fashion, which can also be related to history, technology, art, and architecture. The Met Gala celebrates and explores designers, as well as their exclusive creations, which are solely designed for the stars, which cover the carpet that magical night.

This year’s theme has held many visitors of the museum in a state of confusion, however, it’s a theme which-in my opinion- provided more room for creativity. Appropriately titled, “Manus x Machina,” the theme concentrates on two subjects: fashion and technology. When I was visiting the exhibit, a woman next to me was ecstatically stating how she’s about to see “some technology and some outfits” yet, Manus x Machina is much more than that. The focal point of the exhibition is on technology’s involvement in fashion; how has technology impacted the fashion world as it has developed and grown ever since. This idea of concentrating on the mixture of handcrafted hemming and machine-sewn details portrays a different perspective on technology and humanity. Rather than focusing on how machines might substitute human workforce, Manus x Machina displays that in fashion, you are not obligated to choose between humans and machines; an interpretation of both collides and creates magnificent masterpieces.

There are certain handcrafted details that cannot be replicated by machines, and there are certain machine-made details that might take a longer time and much more work might be required if made by hand. The peace established between machines and humans is expressed through designs of the most famous fashion houses, such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, and Prada. At one glance, you might see petals cut by machines on a dress by Dior, however, as you get closer, you begin to witness the tiny details that have been individually attached by hand. On other works, one might see interesting patterns and acid-washed sequins, which were possible with the use of technology, yet the creative minds behind the process all belong to the humankind.

At every fashion exhibit at the MET, gowns are usually displayed in a way that is accessible to the public, but at Manus x Machina, the fashion works of art were not just accessible; you were able to carefully observe the piece, from every single angle because there’s no glass barrier between the presented and the observer. The setup of the exhibit felt similar to the one from “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.” What was the most favorite part was the centerpiece dress, designed by one and only Karl Lagerfeld for the House of Chanel. As a visitor, you were capable of looking into the detail at the palm of your hand. Not only were you observing the pieces; you were mentally wearing them.

Manus x Machina maintained my fascination throughout the entire visit. From the center masterpiece to the gallery in which various types of machine and hand made design techniques were explained and displayed, Manus x Machina was worth more than just every penny. Incorporating many pieces from distinct time periods, as well as from a vast variety of designers, Manus x Machina reassures that there is no need to choose between machines and humans; peace is possible between both and when it occurs, the result is astonishing.

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Photography by me.

Thank you for reading, and have a great day.

Yours Truly,

Sophia for Fashion Caption.

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