Manus x Machina

For this year The Costume Institute’s theme is Manus and Machina – hand vs technology. How has the fashion world changed in the age of technology? What is the difference between hand crafted fashion items and machine-made?

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presents the Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of technology exhibition until 14th of August. There are more than 170 beautiful gowns that address the difference between hand crafted materials and machine made. There are some incredible evening gowns created by Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and other famous designers. There is also a wedding dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with a 20-foot train. The presentation is also fantastic: details of  embroidery projected onto the domed ceiling.

The Met Gala this year presented different gowns created by high fashion designers celebrating Manus vs Machina theme. There were some cutting-edge technologies used to create the dresses and develop the theme. Men vs Machine is a big topic for debate not only in fashion but in all other industries. During Industrial Revolution millions of people were replaced my machines and lost their jobs, however the production process became more efficient. Now back to fashion..

Here are some gowns that I found remarkable, I picked three dresses that I think unraveled this theme the most.

The first dress is created by Calvin Klein for beautiful Emma Watson, this dress is a “score” for technology. It is made purely from recycled plastic bottles.


The best hand-made dress was created by Burberry for Blake Lively. It was a beautiful pink dress with hand crafted red flowers. This dress is too elegant and delicate to be manufactured on a machine, so this is a win for hands.

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The next dress ticket both boxes: it was hand sewed but could not be created without technology. This “cinderella” gown for Claire Danes. The dress was literally glowing in the dark due to organza and fiber optics.

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