By VANESSA FRIEDMAN
APRIL 30, 2016
New York Times, Fashion & Style
Monday is what for many in the fashion-Hollywood-business-celebrity nexus is considered the highlight of the social season: the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala. Before guests like Sarah Jessica Parker and Johnny Depp run the flashbulb gantlet to get to their Champagne and canapés, however, they will have to air-kiss the co-hosts Anna Wintour, Miuccia Prada, Taylor Swift, Nicolas Ghesquière, Idris Elba and Jonathan Ive, and at least pretend to pay attention to the nominal reason they are there: the opening of “Manus x Machina,” the Met’s annual fashion blockbuster exhibition.
A meditation on the assumptions we all make about what constitutes value in clothing, the show features 150 garments made between the 1880s and last February by names like Chanel, Iris van Herpen, Lanvin and Hussein Chalayan, and is meant to draw attention to the increasingly meaningless standoff between hand and machine. Why do we believe a dress that took one seamstress thousands of hours to embroider is worth more than a dress that took thousands of hours to 3D print? Can you even tell the difference? ....