Apple and Vogue’s Costume Institute exhibit has finally arrived, and with it comes the clearest expression of two companies’ combined vision. Titled Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, the theme for this year’s exhibit — as well as last night’s extravagant Met Gala — celebrates the marriage between human handiwork and machine in fashion and design. But more than that, the exhibit represents a desire to fuse the two brands’ power and influence to make for something greater than what each could accomplish alone.
Evidently, that means building a church to high fashion right inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beyond the Medieval art and Antonio Canova’s “Perseus with the Head of Medusa,” architectural firm OMA has erected a snow white cathedral of sorts for some of the finest dresses ever designed, whether they were made by hand, laser, or 3D printer. Some of those dresses, like Christian Dior's "Vilmiron" dress, were crafted decades ago. Others made their debut only last year. All of them show some connection to the notion that technology has informed the fashion world for ages.
A snow white cathedral for some of fashion's finest dresses
The end result is an exhibit that's as sumptuous as it is overwhelming. These are dresses most people will never see in person otherwise. (After all, who would ever dream of seeing anything like a remote-controlled "Floating Dress" in real life?) Knowing the kind of work and attention to detail that went into each of them only adds to their significance, elevating the labor into an art form unto itself.
Racked’s Nicola Fumo and I took a walk through the exhibit yesterday, and got to see some of the amazing pieces on display. Below you’ll find just a handful of the most beautiful works of art in the exhibit, all serving to remind the visiter that, yes, fashion matters. Manus x Machina opens to the public this week and closes on August 14th.
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Photography by Amelia Krales