The world of fashion has always fascinated us. We spend many a fashion week live-streaming the runways of couture fashion houses like Chanel and Dior alongside Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, watching in absolute awe of their creations. We wait in anticipation every fall for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to announce the theme for spring’s annual Met Gala so that we can plan our visit to the exhibit, always finding ourselves more impressed than the year before. When we heard this year’s theme, Manus x Machina, we weren’t sure what to expect but when we arrived at The Met, it was so much more than we ever could have imagined. We snapped pictures, took notes and starting mood boarding away for our own upcoming collections. Scroll through and be inspired with us!
True works of art, these beautiful pieces selected for the exhibit demonstrate craftsmanship as the highest levels. Walking through each of the galleries, we were taken on a tour of different techniques and how they have evolved over time with the advent of technology. Regardless of the newer and faster practices in use, they all start at the beginning with a tailor or a dressmaker working on the fit and drape. Speaking the language of each fabric, they are the ones that set it on it’s right path to creation.
With pieces from Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, the parurier floral galleries has us head over heels. Comparing the 1952 “Vilmiron” dress from Dior with a dress from their 2012 collection, we saw the modern approach Raf Simons took as he paid homage to Christian Dior’s legacy and his love of flowers. And the intricate work a wedding ensemble from Chanel’s 2005 collection had us saying “yes to the dress.”
With it’s traditions in needlework, embroidery has been a long-standing technique used to embellish textiles. With endless materials at hand, the creations that can come to life through embroidery are infinite. The ombre sequins patterns on the dream gowns on view left us with stars in our eyes. And the Yves Saint Laurent “Sardine” dress from their 1983 collection, which took 1,500 hours to complete? Well, we could hardly believe our copper-hued reflection when we saw it!
From Yves Saint Laurent’s 1969 evening dress delicately composed of bird-of-paradise feathers to Iris Van Herpen’s 2013 design made of laser cut silicone feathers nearly fifty years later, the beauty of plumasserie is not lost on fashion. It’s incredible to see these pieces side by side, each a masterpiece in it’s own right.
In the world of weddings, lace is one of those things that never ceases to amaze us. From gorgeous wedding gowns to invitation details, the beauty of lace is in it’s timelessness. Dating back to the 1600s, lace making was a time intensive process performed by highly skilled artisans. While there is still plenty of handmade lace, the advent of technology has led to machine-made lace which is both quicker and draws qualities from traditional lace patterns.
In the galleries of pleated pieces, we could not believe the range of possibilities! From Madame Grès’ delicately draped dresses to Issey Miyake’s contemporary approach to pleating clothing, these pleated garments transported us from the 1950’s straight to the future.
Culminating in the show stopper, this wedding ensemble from Chanel’s 2014-2015 collection combines traditional hand-made techniques with modern technology to show how haute couture relies on this interplay to create their beautiful works of wearable art.