It’s one of the biggest fashion events of the year. A themed spectacular where designers can show off their creative flair to fit a brief that changes annually. Last year there were some stunning gowns by a range of brilliant, talented designers taking the idea of ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’ and running with it.
This year, there were about 5.
Zac Posen knocked it out of the park with his gorgeous princess dress for Claire Danes – IT LIT UP. And Karolina Kurkova wore a Marchesa x IBM LED embroidered gown that reacted to social media interaction – SO COOL. There were a handful of other beautifully dressed ladies and gents but those were the two for me that went above and beyond for this years goal: Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology.
This year, there could’ve been so many collaborations with designers known for using smart fabrics; careers veritably launched if stylists had chosen lesser known, but totally fabulous gowns that incorporate and celebrate technology. We live in a time where fewer things are impossible by the day, and the future of fashion in this digital age is often discussed at Fashion Week.
What did we get?
So much silver. Metallics. Sequins. More metallics. More silver. Confusion.
What should have been worn?
I did a quick search through my couture pinterest board and general pinterest search last night and pulled up a couple of designers that would’ve fit the brief so much better in a couple of minutes. Some of the ‘key themes’ of the red carpet this year were: silver, florals, other metallics, structure, mixed fabrics (mainly leather/sturdy accents) – so I’ve taken that and found some better suited alternatives, plus a few ideas that would’ve been solidly fab on their own. So much missed potential.
obviously still synonymous with anything remotely suggesting ‘futuristic’, if silver was the stylists final choice then why was Issey Miyake not considered? Heck, why was Issey Miyake not considered full stop for any outfit choice? Issey Miyake INC’s basic philosophy is: ‘the continuing focus on both the importance of imagination and the development of new technology in which to make clothing’, they’re an internationally recognised brand, regularly billed at Paris Fashion Week, and stocked in 91 international stores.
But yes… silver. This piece from the 2014 ss line, the silver leather skirt with crisp folds, sharp angles and perforated line patterns in a celebration of architectural fashion. It would’ve looked brilliant paired with a sheer blouse (mesh if daring), maybe some cage-style footwear, and appropriate sparkles.
for spring? Groundbreaking. With the exception of Karolina Kurkova’s masterpiece, the floral representation was somewhat… lacking in tech innovation. I’d’ve recommended stepping into the world of Jean Louis Sabaji Couture, a Lebanese designer, most specifically the SS14 collection where beautifully crafted floral designs featured heavily. Almost every piece in the collection would’ve made a statement, showcasing the incorporation of 3D constructions into high end fashion, but my favourite are the red leather dress with 3D flower and the bridal strapless dress with oversized gazard roses. If you take a look at his portfolio, you can see how he plays with structure, texture, and materials to create some truly stunning gowns.
along with silver, there were a plethora of shimmery metallic dresses. It was a bit disappointing to see so many glitzy yet oh-so-similar dresses in varying shades of metal waltz along the red carpet. Definitely pretty, but safe. Conservative. If we’re looking at ways to appear like the dress is made of material other than fabric, then Guo Pei’s SS16 couture line is where I’d start. Especially since Rihanna wore one of the Chinese designers’ pieces last year.
The entire collection is exquisite, though I feel only a few dresses would fit the theme of fashion in the age of technology. Two of the ballgowns look as though they’re made out of water or some other incredibly smooth material that hardly looks like fabric. Thought I can’t find which is used, it showcases immense skill to make something look so fluid in reality.
there were quite a few structured outfits in attendance at the gala, but I think the addition of a gown by Ashi Studio would’ve gone down a storm. Based in Beirut, Ashi Studio is the eponymous label of designer Ashi, and both the couture and ready-to-wear are beautifully engineered structured pieces. The designs are so minimal, mostly white or neutral colours, so that the work in the design can really, truly sing. Fluted skirts and voluminous gowns with sleeves that take Chanel’s couture puffs this season and say ‘we can go bigger’.
It’s so in your face, but instead of a slap it’s a gentle, repeated caress that should’ve appeared.
another apparently popular choice was the combination of hard or tough accents juxtaposed with more normal, even floaty bases. And whatever Selena Gomez was wearing. To me, most seemed really quite clunky and a bit odd – not aesthetic and not especially the marriage I was expecting between fashion and technology.
What would’ve really wowed for me in this mixing of textures and fabrics would’ve been a look at Atelier Versace 2014 fall collection. Featuring contrast, strong silhouettes, buckles, metal, and that daring, dangerous vibe that comes with a lot of Versace’s collections. For those that wanted to go a little bit dominatrix some of the pieces here would’ve been fabulous.
let there be light
there were a few outfits it seemed that incorporated LED or fibre-optic technology to create some stunning gowns, but I can’t help but feel another designer was slightly overlooked. The Lebanese-American designer Rami Kadi’s fall couture collection features glow in the dark insect embroidered gowns. Inspired by fireflies, using special fabric that presents as white beading and threadwork in daylight he created motifs that illuminate when the lights go out.
Though if people really wanted to be on brief, then how about commissioning pieces from designers that strive to make massive leaps in the industry of technological fashion.
Ying Gao: creates pieces that respond to sounds, voices and human presence. She examines the interactive quality of clothing in response to different environments. That’s incredible. You can read more at coolhunting.com
Catalytic clothing: a find from a quick search yesterday showed me that people are now making clothes that can purify air. As you wear them. Proud moment that my university is helping to fund research into this, but there is now clothing that can purify air. Holy fck.
3D Printing: really disappointed that only one person (Allison Williams) turned up in anything that I could see as being printed using 3D technology (a Peter Pilotto gown). It’s become and increasingly accessible form of creation, showcased on programmes such as Project Runway and in university degrees. I’ve seen 3D printed accessories at Fashion Week incorporated into street style, and to see it absent from celebrities with far more money is quite disheartening.
As much as I joke when I say this: I’m graduating in 2 months and I am available for hire.
Did you see the Met Gala dresses? Who wowed and who flopped for you? Let me know~