Manus x Machina: Poetic Possibilities of the Machine at the Met

Working against the myth that couture is “hand made” while “machine made” is prêt –à-porter or, basically, for the masses — not on the same level of imagination, craft, refinement and price — Andrew Bolton has fashioned an exhibition that proves otherwise.

What follows are particular standouts, in an exhibition that is, as usual, a knockout, although the quasi-religious music wafting through is, to my mind, a bit pretentious.

It’s clear, from this exhbition, that machines and all forms of technology are simply additional mechanisms through which designers can now weave their magic

2Miyake Design Studio, Flying Saucer Dress 1994

3Alexander McQueen (Sarah Burton), 2012

4Alexander McQueen (Sarah Burton), 2012

5House of Dior (Raf Simons), 2015

6Thom Browne, 2013

7Pierre Cardin , 1968

8Comme des Garcons (Junya Watanabe), 2000-2001

9Noa Raviv, 2014

10Thierry Mugler, 1990-91

11Halston, 1970

12Wedding Ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld, 2013

13Close up of Wedding Ensemble Embroidered Train

Opening photo: Iris Van Herpen 2012
Photos by Eleanor Foa Dienstag

About Eleanor Foa Dienstag (34 Articles)
Eleanor Foa Dienstag is a veteran author, journalist, photo-journalist and award-winning corporate writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, the New Republic, the New York Observer, Ms., Travel & Leisure, and many other websites and publications. Eleanor is the author of three books. Her most recent, available on Amazon and Centro Primo Levi is MIXED MESSAGES: Reflections on an Italian Jewish Family and Exile. It is a multi-layered memoir about Eleanor’s personal journey, her father’s exile from Fascist Italy and the Foa Family journey, whose Italian-Jewish roots go back to the 1500s in northern Italy where her ancestors were famous printers. WHITHER THOU GOEST: The Story of an Uprooted Wife, also a memoir, was acclaimed by Business Week for its insights into corporate life. Her third book, In Good Company: 125 Years At The Heinz Table, offered a unique view of a quintessential American company. Eleanor served as staff speechwriter to the Chairman and CEO of American Express. In 1983, she founded Eleanor Foa Associates ( It provides a wide variety of corporate writing and marketing services. Eleanor is past president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), received speechwriting awards from IABC, and was awarded literary residencies at Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). She resides in Manhattan.