Iris van Herpen in Manus X Machina exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum

On May 5, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will open its new Costume Institute exhibition, “Manus x Machina,”, where Dutch designer Iris van Herpen exhibits her latest designs next to Lagerfeld and Chanel. Exploring the relationship between the handmade and the machine-produced in fashion, the show will feature more than 100 haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces. The goal? To show how the lines between the high-tech and the artisanal are blurring in fashion as we move further into the 21st century.

About Manus x Machina

Over 120 pieces of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion are yours to discover in Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. The exhibition explores the creative process and unravels how designers are reconciling the handmade with the machine-made in fashion. Galleries will focus on embroidery, feather work, artificial flowers, and pleating alongside innovative processes such as 3D printing, computer modeling, and more.

This text is conducted by “Fashion and technology are inextricably connected, more so now than ever before,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “It is therefore timely to examine the roles that the handmade and the machine-made have played in the creative process. This exhibition proposes a new view in which the hand and the machine, often presented as oppositional, are mutual and equal protagonists.” In celebration of the exhibition opening, The Met’s Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 2, 2016. The evening’s co-chairs will be Idris Elba, Jonathan Ive, Taylor Swift, and Anna Wintour. Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada will serve as Honorary Chairs. This event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.

 

Iris van Herpen, Autumn/Winter 2013– 14 haute couture;Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

About Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen stands for a reciprocity between craftsmanship and innovation in technique and materials. She creates a modern view on Haute Couture that combines fine handwork techniques with digital technology .Van Herpen forces fashion to the extreme contradiction between beauty and regeneration. It is her unique way to reevaluate reality and so to express and underline individuality. The essence of van Herpen is expressing the character  and emotions of a woman and to extend the shape of the feminine body in detail. She mixes craftsmanship- using old and forgotten techniques- with innovation and materials inspired on the world to come.

“For me fashion is an expression of art that is very close related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting. In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art, and not just a functional and devoid of content or commercial tool. With my work I intend to show that fashion can certainly have an added value to the world,  that it can be timeless and that its consumption can be less important then its beginning. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion. Movement, so essential to and in the body, is just as important in my work. By bringing form, structure and  materials together in a new manner, I try to suggest and realize optimal tension and movement.”

Iris her designs require every time an unique treatment of material or even the creation of complete new materials. For this reason, Van Herpen prefers interdisciplinary research
and often collaborates with other artists or scientists.

About The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.