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Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manus x Machina: handmade or machine made in haute couture from 1800 until today


The Costume Institute's spring 2016 exhibition will explore the impact of new technology on fashion, and how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. Often presented as oppositional, the exhibition will propose a new view in which the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) are equal protagonists. With more than one hundred ensembles, dating from an 1880s Worth gown to a 2015 Chanel suit, “Manus x Machina” will look into the founding of the haute couture in the nineteenth century, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand and machine at the onset of industrialization and mass production. It will re-examine the dichotomy in which the hand and the machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and question the significance of the time-honored distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.

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