July 17, 2016
MANUS X MACHINA

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I oftentimes call my mom on my way home from work in the afternoons. We chat for ten minutes or so, and if I’m lucky, she is hangin’ with my niece, Mylah, who is able to say, “Hello!”, as well. We then say our goodbyes before I walk through the door to see Albert, Jones, and Jared if he has beaten me home.

Recently, during one of those phone calls, I mentioned to my mom that I was soon headed to New York City to see Manus x Machina at The Met. The exhibit had been on my mind for quite some time, and I was itching to see it in person before its closing. I felt there was so much to learn from an exhibit that studied the relationship between man and machine. After all, it seems I consider this simultaneously unsettling and comforting dichotomy almost daily when thinking not only about clothing, but also when choosing food from a grocery store versus food from a local farmers’ marketnatural medicine versus modern medicine, hands-on experiences versus Googled experiences, and so on. 

Phew, this could escalate quickly into a philosophical rabbit hole.

Within ten minutes of describing this all to my mom, she, too, was itching to see the exhibit in person and to spend some time together. Before another week could pass, we had each booked flights to the city and had created a plan for the weekend ahead. Our plan, sure enough, began with Manus x Machina.

Fast forward to arriving at The Met.

After getting our tickets (our mind-blowing tickets), we walked through The Great Hall and Medieval Art before being greeted by the most elaborate wedding ensemble I have ever seen. The proceeding three hours included 3-D printed ensembles, hand-beaded gowns, endless pleats and folds, and much more.

Below are a few of my favorite pieces and experiences (among many others) (more than 170 others to be exact) from the exhibit.

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House of Chanel, Wedding Ensemble 2005

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Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 1983

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House of Dior, “L’Eléphant Blanc”, Spring/Summer 1958

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Alexander McQueen, Spring/Sumer 2009

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Gareth Pugh, Autumn/Winter 2015 

“Every straw was cut by hand… They were attached individually with metal hardware–a little twisted jewelry fitting that hooked onto the fabric base. On the runway, you could hear them before you saw them. And they moved beautifully–like feathers caught in a gust of wind.”

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House of Dior, Autumn/Winter 2014-15 + Prada, Autumn/Winer 2015-16 + Louis Vuitton Co., Spring/Summer 2012

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House of Chanel, Wedding Ensemble, 2014

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Mariano Fortuny, 1920s

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Iris van Herpen, Autumn Winter 2014-15

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House of Givenchy, 1963 + Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 2012

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Miyake Design Studio, “Rhythm Pleats”, Spring/Summer 1990

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Iris van Herpen, Spring/Summer 2015

See a couple of my favorite articles about the exhibit here, here, and here.

The exhibit is open until September 5th. You can purchase the Manus x Machina book here.

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