By Abbey Gingras
Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City announced the theme for the Costume Institute exhibition and the Met Gala in 2016, “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” The event, which takes place every spring and has a new theme each year, will focus on the contrast and fusion between handmade and machine-made clothing.
The Met Gala has always been the pinnacle of high fashion, with many of the greatest style moments of all time taking place at the annual soiree. This year’s theme merges the old with the new — in many ways, the past with the future of fashion.
Undoubtedly one of the trademarks of many high fashion brands is their process of creating clothing. While much of what consumers buy in stores is mass produced in factories by machines to reduce cost, many designers painstakingly hand sew their creations. This grueling process can take months or even years. Rihanna’s gown for last year’s gala was handmade by one woman, and took two years to complete.
As style rules shift and change with new trends and technologies, it’s important that designers keep pace with the culture around them. This year’s theme, and partnership with Apple, is an acceptance of the changing realm of fashion and the world we live in today.
While an appreciation for handmade couture is still prevalent, so to is an understanding that technology can in many ways advance fashion to places it has never been before. By accepting both schools of thought, fashion leaders will be able to move forward and continue to innovate.
I believe this year’s theme will be one of the best in recent years, and I’m looking forward to seeing what shows up on the red carpet in May.