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2016 Met Gala theme revealed

The Costume Institute's Spring 2016 exhibition at the Met's theme is Fashion in an Age of Technology

By Shantila Lee | Published: 15 Oct 2015

2016 Met Gala
Iris van Herpen Haute Couture Fall Winter 2013/14 (Photo: Imaxtree)

In an announcement on October 14, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that the Costume Institute's Spring 2016 exhibition will scrutinise the impact of technology on fashion. Set to open on 5 May, "manus x machina: fashion in an age of technology" will explore how fashion designers are stitching together the duality of the handmade and machine-made for haute couture and more avant-garde ready-to-wear items.

"Fashion and technology are inextricably connected, more so now than ever before," said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met. "Often presented as oppositional, this exhibition proposes a new view in which the hand and the machine are mutual and equal protagonists." Andrew Bolton, Curator at the Costume Institute, adds: "… recently this distinction [between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter] has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other."

"manus x machina" will put on display a staggering more than 100 examples of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion. Presented in the museum's Robert Lehman Wing and Anna Wintour Costume Center, the galleries will be arranged enfilade, resembling the structure of a couture atelier. Handmade couture using traditional techniques of embroidery, pleating, knitting, lacework and braiding will be juxtaposed against new tech like 3D printing, laser cutting, computer modeling, thermo shaping and ultrasonic wielding. Visitors will also get the chance to witness the creation of 3D-printed garments.

Designers whose pieces will be featured are Christopher Bailey, Cristobal Balenciaga, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Coco Chanel, Alber Elbaz, John Galliano, Christian Dior, Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquière and many, many more.

In conjunction with the exhibition opening, the Costume Institute's Benefit (a.k.a. the Met Gala) will take place on 2 May. The co-chairs will be Idris Elba, Jonathan Ive (from Apple, who are sponsoring the exhibition), Taylor Swift, and Anna Wintour. Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada will serve as Honorary Chairs.

Related: The Singapore Art Museum presents 'Time for Others'
Related: Annie Leibovitz is launching a travel exhibit


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