Not too long ago, I wrote about how I would never be a fashion blogger. It still stands true today, of course, because I strongly believe that fashion should be for everyone and not just a selected few (so until that time comes, I suppose I’m better off sticking to beauty).
That the Manus X Machina exhibition at the MET when I visited New York in August this year was open for everyone bears testimony to it. And it was such a beautiful experience for me to be able to see up close all the gorgeous pieces that were on display, and to appreciate the work, effort and design that went into making each and every one of them. It was also very humbling to be in the presence of pieces that were way older than me – think 1920s.
Some of the brands exhibited belonged to Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Boué Soeurs, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Prada and more. I took photos of some of my favourite pieces and thought I’d share them here on the blog. Be prepared to be wowed!
I loved how each piece that was put up was also accompanied by a description and story of how the design came about. For example, for l’Elephant Blanc,
“the glittering constellation of surface decoration was painstakingly applied by hand by Christian Dior’s faithful brodeur (embroiderer), Maison Rébé (1911-66). A chevron of set crystals encircles the neckline, punctuated with clusters of looped tassels with beaded strands. Elsewhere, embroidered dots of silver thread, crystals and paillettes alternate with tiny quartrefoil blooms of sequins anchored with rhinestone centers.”
To have anyone read that and not be awed would be very surprising to me.
Fashion, already stealing my heart even before I was born.
— Katie (@LadyKathrynMC) September 10, 2016
I can’t describe how in awe I am of this Chanel wedding gown, so I will quote part of the description that came along with it in the exhibition:
“Maison Desrues (founded 1929) hand embroidered the buttons with gold, glass, and crystals, and Atelier Montex (founded 1939) hand embroidered the medallion with glass, crystals, paillettes, anthracite cannetilles, and gold leather leaf motifs. The train of scuba knit and silk satin is machine sewn and hand finished. Lagerfeld’s hand-drawn design was digitally manipulated to give it the appearance of a randomized, pixelated, baroque pattern and then realized through a complex amalgam of hand and machine techniques. Atelier Lunas (founded 1993) used a heat press to transfer the rhinestones; Atelier Anne Gelbard (founded 1997) painted the gold metallic pigment by hand; and the pearls and gemstones were hand embroidered by Cécile Henri Atelier (founded 1982).”
Can you believe the amount of collaboration that went down into this masterpiece? A complete testament to how we can create beauty when we come together with the aim of doing something great. Wow, just wow. Let me now just sit and calm myself down for a bit before we move on.
Anyhow, I do have a little gift for you if you’ve made it this far in the blog entry! Can you guess the brand that created the following piece?
Just leave a comment at the end of this post and I’ll pick a winner, at the end of November, from the correct answers to win something small from me.
I do hope you enjoyed reading this post and admiring all the beautiful pieces. These were only a very small part of the entire exhibition and I’m so glad they extended the exhibition period till 5th September of this year, so lucky me could visit while I was in New York this August. You can check out what people were talking about the exhibition on their various social media feeds here, or check out #ManusXMachina on Twitter – you won’t be disappointed! I’m also including a 2-minute video of the exhibition below, taken by Bret Beyer.
Guess the designer,