2016 Met Gala: Manus X Machina

The “first Monday in May,” also known as the Met Gala, is fashion’s most anticipated event of the year! For those who don’t know, this gala is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual fundraising event that celebrates the grand opening of the new fashion exhibit in the Costume Institute.

For me, the Met Gala is what the Super Bowl is to Football fans! I adore watching the star-studded red carpet come alive on the steps of the Met and seeing the stunning unique fashion that the event attracts. It’s such an elegant and elaborate affair, and with the help of social media I feel like I actually attended the event – oh the joys of modern technology! Ironically, this fits perfectly into this year’s exhibit!

In past years you may recall exhibits such as Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), Punk: Chaos to Culture (2013), Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (2001), American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (2010) and most recently China: Through the Looking Glass (2015).

This year’s theme is, Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. With over 150 pieces, this exhibit explores the complex relationship between man and technology, and it’s influence on fashion, dating back to the early 1900’s. Two different approaches are explored within the term “technology” in the fashion world. The first, is the increased popularity for tech companies to create devices that are coined as ‘fashionable.’ A good example of this is the Apple Watch. This is something that you can customize, make personal and wear on a daily basis – technological fashion.

The other approach that this exhibit explores is the dichotomy between handmade and machine-made garments, assessing the quality stigma around both of these methods and the influence it has over the creative process. Fashion is always one of the first to embrace technology, even in the early years with the introduction of the sewing machine and mass production. In this case, what makes Haute Couture? A hand-sewn piece or one made with a machine or both? Anna Wintour says she sees very little difference between the detail in both methods – so I am going to go ahead and agree with the Queen of Fashion.

The fashion at the Gala represented this very modernized, technological theme and the guests did an amazing job of adapting to this techy, futurist vibe through shimmering rhinestone frocks, chrome hearts, body cut-outs and illuminating dresses. The two red carpet looks that stole the show and did an amazing job of taking wearable technological fashion quite literally to another level were:

Karolina Kurkova shone in this “Cognitive Dress” created by IBM in partnership with the Design House of Marchesa, using emotional intelligence. Learn more about this dress here.

Clare Danes was the belle of the ball in this modern day Cinderella “Starry Night” dress designed with fiber optic lighting by Zac Posen. Learn more about this fabulous dress from Zac Posen himself on the Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert here.

Here are a few of my other favorite looks from this year’s Met Gala!

The fashion, the Gala and the exhibit are all stunning – I can’t wait to see it for myself someday! Learn more about the theme and the pieces you can find throughout the exhibit here!

xoxo Kristy

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