The Exhibition: Manus x Machina At The Met
Manus x Machina, from what we can gather, is basically a fancy way of saying man vs. machine, which may or may not actually just be in Latin, we’re not sure, we weren’t treated to such exotic lessons in the ancient tongue down the local comp. Anyway, Manus x Machina, or in full form, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology, is the name of the latest exhibition at the Met’s Costume Institute curated by the legendary Andrew Bolton and sponsored by tech-giants Apple. You can blame it for the reason that Zayn Malik appeared with some sort of robotic cyborg arms at last night’s Met Gala, which, we can report, is not indicative of contents of the exhibition – the Costume Institute being of a little more cultural substance (read: taste), exploring not whether armored metal arms can be successfully inserted on to a tux (we’re going with no, never) but the relationship between fashion and machinery – how clothes are made and conceived, from the intricacies of traditional couture to the avant-garde creations of Hussein Chayalan and Iris Van Herpen. “Fashion and technology are inextricably connected, more so now than ever before,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Met. “It is therefore timely to examine the roles that the handmade and the machine-made have played in the creative process. Often presented as oppositional, this exhibition proposes a new view in which the hand and the machine are mutual and equal protagonists.”
So what else finds itself inside those hallowed walls? There’s also a hefty does of Helmut Lang, presumably there specifically for fashion worship purposes – we’ll be praying westwards at least three times a day. A nice representation of Brit talent is also on offer – from Christopher Kane’s delicate laser cutting to Gareth Pugh’s drinking straw-covered get-up. The centrepiece though, is a Karl Lagerfeld-designed Chanel wedding dress replete a train so long it basically takes up the whole museum. Which, in turn, means we are considering it as our wedding dress/funeral/bah mitzvah/birthday outfit of choice. Whichever comes first, really. Making frantic phone calls to Karl as we speak. He’s “out of service” in Cuba, apparently. Now, we’re pretty sure said exhibition is set to be crammed with annoyingly eager tourist-y sorts, but if you are in New York, embrace the masses and go. It’s a good ‘un.