Manus x Machina: Fashion In the Age of Technology


The newest costume exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was a celebration of embellishment and how innovations in technology through history sparked innovations in design creativity as well. From the first sewing machine through digital printing, 3D printing, laser cut, etc. craftsmanship and beauty did not have to be compromised, just enhanced.

There were distinct sections of the exhibit dedicated to embroidery, faux flowers as embellishment, feathers, lace and pleats. You could see the progression of hand-tied knotwork from 200 years ago from Les Boeur Soeurs with delicately cut fabric flowers complemented the delicate metal flower appliques of Alexander McQueen and laser-cut flowers of contemporary Dior. Prada's modern dresses used a composition of ribbon, jewels and fabric flowers in an updated placement on machine-sewn dresses.

I guess what I loved about this show was that it proved beauty was beauty, no matter what discipline you chose to achieve it. I myself love to mix old techniques with state of the art. Adopting technology to find new ways to create is something no designer should be afraid of.

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