While the Met Gala is a huge fashion event every year, the celebrities and fashion on the red carpet overshadow the reason for the event: the opening of a new exhibition from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The theme of this year’s exhibition is Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. This exhibit explores the relationship of technology and fashion, exploring handmade versus machine-made.
Manus x Machina attempts to answer an age old question of whether fashion is art. Despite the functionality of fashion, it answers the questions of whether it is significant and relevant, and if it has meaning and quality. The exhibit features over 170 pieces of couture, going all the way back to the beginning of the 1900s and back to the present.
Included in the show are designers such as Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Iris van Herpen, the designer who was the first to display 3D-printed fashion on the runway.
Traditional design is compared and contrasted to van Herpen’s up-to- date fashion technology.
One of the exhibits at the show is a wedding dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld. It is a combination of machine-made and handmade with a computer-made pattern and machine- applied rhinestones, and hand-painted gold outlines.
The exhibition comes at an important time for the fashion industry. It is dominated by fast, disposable fashion. It explores the difference between haute couture and ready to wear clothes. A lot of the fashion on display, like the wedding gown, were only made to be worn once.
The Met Gala was co-hosted by Jonathan Ive, chief design officer for Apple, Taylor Swift, and Miuccia Prada, designer, along with the annual host, Anna Wintour, editor-in- chief at American Vogue magazine.
The annual event is one where everyone is very anxious to see what the celebrities are wearing. However, it is actually a charity event, raising money for the Costume Institute. Tickets were $30,000 each and it was expected to raise 12 million dollars.
(header img via harpersbazaar.com)