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  • Sarah C Awad

Sarah's 5(ish) Faves: Highlights at Manus X Machina

If you have yet to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art's latest fashion exhibition, Manus X Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, I highly recommend you go before it closes on August 14th! While I have my issues with the show, it is nonetheless a luxurious spectacle perfect for anyone needing a spark of inspiration.

3D printing was obviously featured, and the selected pieces showcased it in stunningly game-changing, unique ways I had never seen before. The show also has standout pieces that are fabricated using unexpected but beautiful interpretations of different materials. Here are my five favorite moments that had me saying, "Man, I wish I made that!"

Chanel's 3D Printed Suits

Image from the Met's website

How unassuming this garment is until you realize its gorgeous 3D printed quilted overlay! A classic Chanel suit using a unique application of printing, this piece is a lusciously detailed number that is truly unforgettable, and might be the most genius/thought-provoking piece in the show.

Iris van Herpen's Silicone Feather Fantasy

Image from the Met's website

I love juxtaposing different materials in my own work, and I especially love when one is disguised as another, so I immediately connected with this piece. Laser cut silicone feathers, silicone dipped gull skulls, and wonderful layers of textures, this Dark Crystal fantasy of a dress transports you to another realm. Images can never do this one justice!

Iris van Herpen's Coral Ballerina

Image from Iris van Herpen's blog

3D Printing magic. This piece has such a weightlessness to it against the heavily detailed plastic it is constructed with. I find that this piece especially showcases 3D printing in a way that highlights its potential, versatility, and materiality more than its process, which many 3D printed garment concepts tend to be birthed from. It truly clears a wall in that way.

Louis Vuitton's Laser Cut Babydolls

Image on left from Bart Boehlhert's Beautiful Things, Image on Right screencap of Louis Vuitton ad with Ultimate Bae, Lightning.

After seeing this dress in video, online images, renders, and magazine ads, to see it in person was a pleasant surprise. Its delicate cellophane and tulle details give this garment a lightness that one would never realize until they get up close and personal with it. A very strange design, I always find my self thinking about this one (Bias aside, see images!), for just how unique it is.

Alexander McQueen Faux Feather Showstopper

Image cropped from Vogue's website

Just like van Herpen's silicone dress, I connected with this gorgeous metal feather gown for many of the same reasons. I always look to McQueen for inspiration on how to push my work from a materiality perspective, and this piece is no exception.

Christopher Kane's Sexy Anatomy Lesson

Image from the Met's website

... Because this is smart, humorous, and is so much fun amidst a vast display of more dramatic pieces; a reminder to never forget to have fun and excitement when making.

In case you missed it, check out our podcast where we discuss our thoughts about Manus X Machina, and check out the show before it closes August 14th!

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