(L) Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Fall 2013. (R) Hussein Chalayan, Spring 2007. Photos: Catwalking / Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the new theme for next year’s Costume institute exhibition: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” The upcoming exhibition will focus on the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion. “Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made,” explains Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute. “But recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other.”
The show will feature more than 100 pieces of fashion, both haute couture and ready-to-wear. Several handmade couture items, featuring techniques such as embroidery, pleating, and lacework, will be juxtaposed with machine-made designs showcasing new technologies like laser cutting, thermo shaping, and circular knitting. The exhibition will also have several “in process” workshops, including 3-D printing, in which the public will be able to see these designs take shape.