The world of fashion and interiors often overlap in such a remarkable way. Designers serve as the artists behind these industries, each using their skills to recreate the world around us while painting masterpieces out of naked canvases – whether it be a room or a body. There’s an equal love for master craftsmanship, acute attention to detail, and a reverence for eclectic styles, color, prints, and patterns while projecting visions for a client or a mass audience.
The first Monday in May is when the Met Gala is hosted. Referred to as the “superbowl of fashion events” by Andre Leon Talley of Vogue, The Gala serves as The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements. This year, they’ll be announcing their newest installment at the Museum of Metropolitan art: Manus vs Machina. As of May 5th, the Museum’s Robert Lehman Wing on the first-floor will showcase the exhibit that explores the impact of new technology on fashion and how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.
Up until recent years, the role that technology has played against handcrafted works (think fabrics for wall-papers, dresses, and upholstery) was always oppositional. With the advent of today’s leading ideas in the tech-sphere, there’s been a change in the way we go about our designs, and technology proves to lend a hand in the fast-paced world we live in today. Everything from the making of furniture, to the changes in mass production, and down to the delivery, can all be initiated from the touch of your fingertips. This impacts designers (fashion or interiors) as it serves as tools that enable productivity and with more control.
Giving a more in-depth scope to the exhibit, the show will reflect on the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of industrialization and mass production.
Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, said, “Both the automated and handcrafted process require similar amounts of thoughtfulness and expertise. There are instances where technology is optimized, but ultimately it’s the amount of care put into the craftsmanship, whether it’s machine-made or hand-made, that transforms ordinary materials into something extraordinary.”