Andrew Bolton in The Great Hall at the 2016 Met Gala Press Preview | Photo: Courtesy of The MET Museum
Affair: 2016 Met Gala (Formerly Costume Institute Gala) & Exhibition
When: Gala ~Monday, May 2, 2015 (6PM carpet arrivals) Exhibition Dates ~ Friday, May 5 - Saturday, August 14, 2016
Hot Spot: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute, NYC
The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit. Each year's event celebrates the theme of that year's Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress of the night since guest are expected to choose their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit. Each year the event also has honorary celebrity event day chairpersons.
In October 2015, The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that The Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition will be manus x machina: fashion in an age of technology, on view from May 5 through August 14, 2016 (preceded on May 2 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented in the Museum’s Robert Lehman Wing and Anna Wintour Costume Center, the exhibition will explore the impact of new technology on fashion and how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.
The exhibition is made possible by Apple.
Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.
“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. Often presented as oppositional, this exhibition proposes a new view in which the hand and the machine are mutual and equal protagonists.”
In celebration of the exhibition opening, the Museum'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.
“Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made, but recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “manus x machina will challenge the conventions of the hand/machine dichotomy, and propose a new paradigm germane to our age of digital technology.”
Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, said, “Both the automated and handcrafted process require similar amounts of thoughtfulness and expertise. There are instances where technology is optimized, but ultimately it’s the amount of care put into the craftsmanship, whether it’s machine-made or hand-made, that transforms ordinary materials into something extraordinary.”
manus x machina will feature more than 100 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, dating from an 1880s Worth gown to a 2015 Chanel suit. The exhibition will reflect on the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of industrialization and mass production. It will explore the ongoing rhetoric of this dichotomy in which hand and machine are presented as discordant instruments in the creative process, and will question this oppositional relationship as well as the significance of the time-honored distinction between the haute couture and ready-to-wear.
The Robert Lehman Wing galleries on the Museum’s first floor and court level will present a series of pairings of handmade haute couture garments and their machine-made ready-to-wear counterparts. The galleries will be arranged enfilade, with a suite of rooms reflecting the traditional structure of a couture atelier and its constituent petites mains workshops for embroidery, feathers, pleating, knitting, lacework, leatherwork, braiding, and fringe work. These will be contrasted with ensembles incorporating new technologies including 3D printing, laser cutting, thermo shaping, computer modeling, circular knitting, ultrasonic welding, and bonding and laminating.
The Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries will present a series of “in process” workshops, including a 3D-printing workshop where visitors will witness the creation of 3D-printed garments during the course of the exhibition.
Designers in the exhibition will include Gilbert Adrian, Azzedine Alaïa, Christopher Bailey (Burberry), Cristobal Balenciaga, Boué Soeurs, Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Pierre Cardin, Hussein Chalayan, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Giles Deacon, Christian Dior, Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Mariano Fortuny, John Galliano (Christian Dior, Maison Margiela), Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton), Hubert de Givenchy, Madame Grès, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough for Proenza Schouler, Yoshiki Hishinuma, Marc Jacobs (Louis Vuitton), Charles James, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Helmut Lang, Mary McFadden, Issey Miyake, Miuccia Prada, Paul Poiret, Paco Rabanne, Noa Raviv, Yves Saint Laurent (Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent), Mila Schön, Raf Simons (Jil Sander, Christian Dior), Maiko Takeda, Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy), threeASFOUR, Philip Treacy, Iris van Herpen, Madeleine Vionnet, Alexander Wang, Junya Watanabe, and others.
manus x machina is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator of The Costume Institute. Shohei Shigematsu, Director of OMA New York, will lead the exhibition design in collaboration with the Met’s Design Department. Raul Avila will produce the Benefit décor, which he has done since 2007.
Spotted: Hosts Idris Elba, Jonathan Ive, Taylor Swift, Anna Wintour and honorary chairs Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada. Guests Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Kendall Kardashian, Kylie Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, Zayn Mallik, Emma Watson, Lily Aldridge, Bradley Cooper, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Zac Posen, Alicia Vikander, Solange Knowles, Zendaya, Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick, FKA Twigs, Robert Pattinson, Naomi Watts, Naomi Campbell, Dakota Johnson, Ivanka Trump, Zoey Deutch, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zoe Kravitz, Miranda Kerr, Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde, Emma Stone, Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling, Rachel McAdams, Odell Beckham, Jr., Lily Collins, Jared Leto, Florence Welch, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Amandla Stenberg, Sienna Miller, Lea Seydoux, Lucky Blue Smith, Pyper America Smith, Katy Perry, Lorde, Ansel Elgort, Lauren Bush, Lupita Nyong'o, Andreea Diaconu, Vanessa Axente, Brie Larson, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Chastain, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Kate Hudson, Katie Holmes, Nicki Minaj, Allison Williams, Emily Blunt, Bella Hadid, Alexa Chung, Anita Ko, Orlando Bloom, Jenna Lyons, Lena Dunham, Jennifer Konner, Tyga, Lady Gaga, Lauren Santo, Amber Heard, Hannah Davis, Derek Jeter, Karolina Kurkova, Freida Pinto, Cindy Crawford, Kerry Washington, Hailey Baldwin, Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, Kris Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Dakota Fanning, Common, Sofia Sanchez, Edie Campbell, Mario Testino, Joan Smalls, Ciara, Jordan Dunn, Doutzen Kroes, Alessandro Ambrosio, Jennifer Fisher, Tom Ford, Livia Firth, Lily-Rose Depp, Kate Mara, Irina Shayk, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, Liu Wen, Nick Jonas, Este Haim, Danielle Haim, Alana Haim, Jessica Hart, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Bosworth, Rami Malek, Kate Upton, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Emily Ratajkowski, Ellie Bamber, Alexander Skarsgard, Naomie Harris
Hint For The Average Socialite:E! will be live streaming from the red carpet! "E!'s Giuliana Rancic and Zanna Roberts Rassi will join Olivia Culpo and celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek to break down all of the gorgeous, shocking and breath-taking high-end fashion at the event, while Catt Sadler and Zuri Hall go one-on-one with the biggest names in entertainment and fashion on the star-studded red carpet.
Don't miss our coverage of the Met Gala this Monday starting at 7 p.m. ET, with a special edition of E! News and live from New York at 7:30 p.m. from 30 Rock. And come back Tuesday, May 3, for more juicy details and red carpet recaps on E! News, Fashion Police and Live From E!."
Tickets to this social event of the year are highly coveted and close to impossible to obtain (the event has recently been limited to 350 guests). You can keep an eye out for charity auctions if you are willing to spend quite a bit to attend. A red carpet live stream will not be available online this year but follow @MetMuseum on periscope for live coverage.