Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

First Monday in May 2016, just like any first Monday in May, the Metropolitan Museum of Art always closes honoring the annual opening of the costume institute exhibition. This year’s theme celebrates the contribution of technology in fashion. During a short conversation, Andrew Bolton, the curator of the exhibition, explained how the advancement of technology has blurred the segregation line between haute couture and pret-a-porter, which before, was distinguished by the craftsmanship method. Haute couture pieces used to be known for its hand-made technique and significant human involvement due to the detailed nature of the design that often goes inconsistent throughout the dress, but with the aid of various technologies such as 3D printing and laser cut, many haute couture pieces are now fully developed by Machina through Manus’ creativity.

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The highlight and the inspiration of the exhibition, Chanel’s wedding dress that was designed by Karl Lagerfeld, abolishes the stereotype that wedding dresses can only be of a superior quality if they are hand-made. The off-white wedding ball gown truly showcases futuristic fashion without putting aside the elegance that a Chanel wedding dress always carries. The symmetrical design and single tone color of the gown are spiced up with classical embroidery in the cape that is done in gold thread with 3D printing.

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Honorary guests of the museum step in to share their views on how technology has become an integral part of fashion. Wendi Murdoch, a familiar supporter of the Costume Institute exhibition, shared with us her insight about fashion in the era of technology and mentioned that the contribution of technology in the modern fashion has become inseparable to creative minds. When asked about technological invention that contributes the most to the growth of high-end fashion, Wendi says, “Laser cut is one of them.” The elegant lady further shares her dress of the evening that is designed by Christopher Kane and utilizing laser cut technology, “You will see me tonight in Christopher Kane laser cut dress,” said the effortless beauty.

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