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Manus x Machina – Fashion in an Age of Technology

by Andrew Bolton Metropolitan Museum of Art
Pub Date:
05/2016
ISBN:
9781588395924
Format:
Hbk 248 pages
Price:
AU$102.99 NZ$106.95
Product Status: In Stock Now
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The complex and often ambiguous relationship between the hand crafted and the machine made is examined in this intriguing look at the ever-changing world of fashion and taste. Manus Machina traces styles of dress from one-of-a-kind works and haute couture created by highly skilled artisans, through the introduction of industrial manufacturing, to extraordinary recent technological advancements applied to high fashion, such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer-generated weaving and patterns.


 


The oppositional relationship between the machine, as representative of democracy and mass production, and the hand, as the hallmark of elitism, is explored in its many facets in this fascinating book. Paradoxically, technology in fashion has both advanced artistic creation and obscured the sense of the designer's expert hand. Similarly, handmade garments have come to represent either a nostalgia for lost craftsmanship or, in haute couture, a cult of personality and affluence.Interviews with renowned and cutting-edge designers discuss how technology can blur the line between haute couture and pret-a-porter, and ultimately question the relevance of the distinction between hand and machine.


 


The book features new photography of extraordinary pieces, including intricate 19th-century floral designs by William Morris, handcrafted haute couture of designers such as Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen, and the spectacular 3D creations of Iris van Herpen.
“The book is a beauty to behold. A large format paperback with a plastic jacket to protect its precious interior, Manus x Machina is an object of art unto itself. With silvery mylar inserts, vellum overlays, silver ink, and four color plates, the book is adds a highly tactile experience to the traditional illustrated book, reminding us of the power of hand and machine to work together as one.”—Crave
Andrew Bolton is curator in charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.