Article: Khari Walser
Fashion comes from somewhere, it does not merely appear. There is a process that drives
a designer to explore new territory, push boundaries and blur the lines between fashion, art, and practicality. The blessing that is technological advancement has become a huge part of that process for many designers. The exhibit Manus Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology explores those technological advances and how they have greatly effected the fashion industry.
The viewer is presented with a plethora of designers old and new who have used different techniques to achieve a look, by using the human hand and technology together, treating them as important parts of their design process.
This exhibit confirms the effectiveness of techniques that have been used for generations. Something as simple as pleating has remained effective since the time of Mariano Fortuny and Madame Grès all the way through to Dior’s 2015 Spring/Summer collection. The garments displayed for these designers show the use of pleats utilized in different ways, to create different textures and looks. There are seven sections to explore (Leatherwork, Artificial Flowers, Embroidery, Lacework, Feathers, Pleating, and Tailoring and Dressmaking) each giving the viewer a glimpse into what makes this technique so important and so beautiful.
The exhibit displays how designers have used new technology to create their own individual style, like Iris Van Herpen who since 1984 has been putting technology at the forefront of her craft.
She uses materials like polyurethane resin, iron fillings and magnets to sculpt a design on to a dress. It is something you must see to believe, it's designers like Herpen's work displayed in his exhibit that prove anything is possible in the fashion industry.
I urge young designers to go, learn, be inspired and continue the work and innovation that these maverick designers have laid with their groundwork, this is what the fashion industry needs in the 21st century.
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Reporting on culture travel, creative events and social issues.
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