Met Exhibit Special Surprise

May 25, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail. Usually MET museum attracts my attention for reasons other than clothing, but this weekend it was exactly that: "“Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” the fashion exhibit that takes a really close look how the modern age technology entered into the world of fashion and what came out of this. And what really came out of this?

Traditionally we look at the intricacy and artistry of handmade garments as far superior to the bland methods of mass production. This exhibit invites you behind the velvet curtain of the high fashion designer processes to take a peek what stands behind. Can you really tell what is handmade, what is machine? Which one is going to be more expressive?

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.

We usually appreciate things we know and understand. This exhibit has an unusual crowd: there are some who just plainly curious, some who wouldn’t miss another fashionable event, some who deeply appreciate the intricate details of every designer gown. Passing through the exhibit and listening for the hushed arguments over the differences between the luxury of handmade features as opposed to the futuristic feel of the machine-made ones, I was fascinated by their insider’s view, fanatical devotion. I belong to neither of those visitor categories: I don’t care much about clothing, the words “handmade” don’t send a happy shiver down my spine, “machine made” does not bring devilish associations. Yet I was so surprised and deeply impressed by the artistry, imagination and historical association of the last year’s costume exhibit “China through the looking glass”, that I was expecting something of the same scale from my favorite museum.

Well, those expectations better stay at home: “Manus x Machina” - is very different.

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.
Detailed descriptions of the textile production process, handmade details, machine-made inventions… left me cold. That was a given. But the imaginative videos of the futuristic outfits that change it’s looks based on a push of a button - that was really amusing. Especially exploiting the scenario of a remote control dress. Last week, my sister’s fully automated and amazingly computerized car blandly refused to log anybody into the system, turn on, drive and had to be towed away. Imagine that happening to your dress?! I think the kid with a remote control for the dress enjoyed it a lot more, then the model, who was trying to stroll around in it.

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail. This could scarcely be a place to shop for a prom dress, though a quite a few things barely looking like clothes, were intriguing. A fur-looking coat out of plastic straws wouldn’t keep you warm in a winter even though the straws make it look unbelievably fluffy. We did play with an idea of mounting a school bus in a majestic princess gown with a 5 feet golden-beaded train behind. “I am sorry to be late for school - my train got caught in the passing traffic…” “But I thought you were taking a bus to school?” “Yes, but it was a train, that caused the problem..” My boys would absolutely adore the costume decorated with toy cars and trains. It would be fun to watch bosses’ getting absolutely dizzily hypnotized, while their mind are playing tricks on with the optical illusion suit looking perfect for a Monday meeting. 

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.
 
Leather, plastic, handmade flowers, rubber, silk, steel, stone.. My dear friend Marina would be fascinated with a colorful dress, that is made out of tiny colorful feathers, creating incredible texture and almost impressionistic feel to it. Bright pleated accordion dress looked fun at every stage: long and extended, halfway up, fully folded into a flat colorful geometric pattern.

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.

And almost at the end of the exhibit, we came to the best part: an amazingly stylishly dressed… lady?.. wrapped into an astounding micro-pleated black garment, sailing around her in fabulous geometric shapes. She was gracefully bending in an elegant curtsey towards one of the Channel pieces, to study the elaborate detail. The elaborate designer shoes, the perfectly matching pleated flat little hat with an air of a golden age of southern aristocracy, the attention that she devoted to the dress in front of her… With that much dignity and style, she looked like a Goddess of the High Fashion World, descended to take her honorable place in this Palace of Fashion Worship. Interrupting her careful examining of her subjects to beg for a photograph, seemed rude and inappropriate. You wouldn’t ask a queen, or a goddess! - for a snapshot…
 
In all honestly, this gorgeous and amazing fashion diva was the best compliment to the whole exhibit and filled even such fashion-non-believer as me with respect and admiration.

Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina.  Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.Dream Come True Photo: Manus x Machina. Gorgeous gown detail.

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