Manus x Machina Back in early 2014, I visited the Museum of Arts & Design in Manhattan to view the exhibition “Out of Hand: Materialising the Postdigital,” which was an exhibition focused on computer-assisted design—3D-printing, a manufacturing method now used by fashion designers, artists and architects. The exhibition, curated by Ron Labaco included works by artist Anish Kapoor, the late architect Zaha Hadid and milliner Stephen Jones to name a few. After that, I visited the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion.’
What intrigues me, then and now, is the connection of digital manufacturing in fashion and how it’s progressed from haute couture. In one day I viewed two separate exhibitions, the first clearly a modern-day marvel of technology, and the haute couture era of designer Charles James. The dichotomy is poetic.
Fast-forward two years, and the talented curator Andrew Bolton will reveal his latest exhibition masterpiece on May 5, at The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled, “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.”
Bolton was inspired by the 1926 silent sci-fi movie “Metropolis”, and the concept of man versus the machine, which the exhibition title reflects. Expect to see haute couture from Chanel, Dior and garments from designers such as Iris van Herpen, Issey Miyake and Yves Saint Laurent as Bolton explores the intricacies of handmade vs. machine made fashion.
Last month, a week before its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, and thanks to FarFetch.com and Vogue, a few Dallasites had the opportunity to attend a private preview of the documentary The First Monday in May, introduced by Vogue contributing editor Andre Leon Talley. What a treat!
The documentary, shot by filmmaker Andrew Rossi captures behind-the-scenes footage of curator Andrew Bolton and Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour deep in the throes of planning The Costume Institute’s 2015 exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass.” Notes to share: copious amounts of Starbucks coffee was consumed to get through the process, clearly Anna loves to wear jeans (who knew?), Mr Bolton only wears ankle-height length pants—longtime partner is nonetheless quirky debonair designer Thom Browne, and Anna shows hands-on skills at moving tables during the gala set-up. That’s a non-diva move, love it!
Inspiration is found everywhere, within one’s circle of friends, career and family, and Andrew Bolton is certainly at the epicentre of what defines the perfect relationship between fashion and art.