I was blown away by a fashion show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. The show is entitled Manus & Machina and while the exhibit consists of unbelievable women’s cloths, the statement that it conveys is much more fundamental than a fashion statement.
Manus, or haute couture refers to garments that are painstakingly created by hand. From stitching to fabric pleating, to beading, lacing and embroidering.
This show is a collection of cloths where the old fashioned skills are combined with modern technology from the good old sewing machine to sophisticated lasers that cut intricate flowers out of plastic sheets to decorate an amazing gown, machine printed rhinestones that decorate a hand stitched 20 foot train of a wedding dress and state of the art computerized pleating devices that create the most amazing effects of colorful fans on sleeves and skirts of beautiful ensembles.
For us artists and illustrators who work both traditionally and digitally, this exhibit is all about the essence of art today. when we smear real paint on a canvas, scan our images , add textures in photoshop, print it, sketch something in charcoal on top, change the scale on our computers, print again and add more details by hand , we are celebrating the freedom that is bestowed upon us with manus & machina.