The Met Gala, a highly exclusive fashion event, takes place annually to raise funds for the exhibitions, acquisitions, publications and capital improvements for the Costume Institute. It is one of the curatorial departments of the museum. The gala originally created by publicist Eleanor Lambert, has been taking place since 1948. Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue magazine, has been chair of the event since 1999. It has been through her dedication and overseeing of the gala that has made it one of the most anticipated parties of the year. Considered as one of the most exclusive social events in New York it’s also one of the biggest fundraising nights in the city, raising millions every year. The gala takes on a fashion theme and all the attendees including people from the arts, fashion, high society, film, and music come dressed in wardrobe coinciding with the theme. The theme selected for this years fashion exhibit was titled Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. It examines how the Manus (hand) and Machina (machine) made has played a role in the creative process of fashion. The exhibit features a 170-piece exhibition of haute couture and prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) dating from the early 1900s to the present.
“Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made. Recently, this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.
In an article from Bazaar, they ask the question, “Are handmade clothes really better than machine made clothes?”
Fashion is stepping away from haute couture being only handmade and more designers are embracing technology. From 3-D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, toultrasonic welding, there is so much technology has to offer. Bolton’s statement was right, as it is becoming more difficult to differentiate between handmade and machine made items because oftechnological advances.
A prime example of the combination is a Karl Lagerfeld’s 2014 haute couture wedding dress for Chanel with a 20-foot train. The pattern on the train was hand-painted with gold metallic pigment, machine-printed with rhinestones, and hand-embroidered with pearls and gemstones. It took 450 hours to complete.
BhavyJ Designs has embraced both techniques as well and has incorporated them into her own designs. Coming from an Indian background, there are some cultural influences in the designs.
Below is an example of embroiderers in India doing the traditional hand embroidery with needle and beads.
Can you figure out which BhavyJ Design items are handmade and which are machine?
BhavyJ embellished pencil skirt: Paisley motif hand done with adhesive beads.
BhavyJ embellished hi-low dress: Neckline embroidered with a machine.
BhavyJ Denim Skirt: Skirt border hand done with adhesive beading.
Technology has revolutionized the world we live in. It has also made an impact in the fashion industry as well. It offers another platform for designers to experiment with but also makes us appreciate the long lasting techniques that have been used to make clothes and embellish them.
As always hoped you enjoyed reading this blog. Make sure to keep checking out future blogs for more sneak peeks of BhavyJ Designs!