13 In travel

the met: manus X machina

As a little girl growing up in the NYC suburbs, my favorite field trip of the year was when my class would visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So it’s no surprise that I still love it as an adult- my mom and I spent nearly a whole day there this summer. And though David doesn’t adore museums the way I do, an afternoon at the Met was the perfect respite from a very rainy day during our last trip.

It was just a bonus that it gave me one more look at this year’s Costume Institute exhibit, ManusXMachina, right before it closed. Fashion in the Age of Technology honored designers and the intricacy of couture workmanship, and it may well be my favorite museum exhibit ever.

Sarah Burton did Alexander McQueen beyond justice in this magnificent metallic mermaid, but I only had eyes for the sequined scalloped vintage Diors.  The black is the dress of my dreams- I genuinely considered stealing it, but worried it wouldn’t be worth the jail time just to not be able to fit into it. Each sequin was HAND-STITCHED in in 1949.

This trapeze dress was from Yves Saint Laurent’s first collection for Dior, and I’d wear it everywhere I possibly could.

How amazing is the workmanship on this Chanel? It’s an absolute  dream, and the intricate florals and feathers were even more magnificent  up close.

Some more vintage Dior dreams.  The house has always prided itself on executing to the highest standard, whatever the couture technique, and that exquisite craftsmanship was visible through the lace work, pleating, and so much more. Can you even handle those magical striped ballerina numbers?


I’m a total magpie, and love all things sparkly. That included 1983 Saint Laurent, some classic Norman Norell, and that black sequin beauty ws the first garment Coco designed under the Chanel label in 1935.

There was an entire alcove in the large exhibit featuring garments made from straws and other found objects- so cool!

And man, oh man, the feathers were the stuff of fantasy. I’d never have anywhere to wear them, but wouldn’t want to let that stop me!!

There was so much beautiful lace, just hard to capture in such low light without flash. It spanned from Irish lace hand-crocheted circa 1870 and embroidered court dresses, to LV laser cutting lace from leather and Proenza Schouler.

Some of the prettiest pastels were on display as well, like that gorgeous blush Chanel cocoon coat, and the loveliest Prada party dresses.

This neoprene, digital lace, and crystal masterpiece from Karl for Chanel was the centerpiece of the show and truly made me stop in my tracks.  It seemed like the train was a mile long!

3-d printing obviously had its place in the exhibit, as one of the more recent innovations in metier. The Iris van Herpen pieces  and printed quilted Chanel suits were standouts for me.

I’d read about and seen pictures of Issey Miyake’s paper pleats, so it was very cool to see the variance in volume in person.

But elegance will always be my altar, and when it came to draping, Hussein Chalayan does amazing things nowadays, with the most inflexible materials. Lanvin and Madame Grès will always nail the perfect drape, absolute dreaminess. In my next life, I’m wearing vintage Grès on my wedding day.


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  • Oh wow! What beautiful dresses! Bet you had lots of fun there & your outfit looks stunning Ravayna 😉

  • These pieces are seriously like works of art! Especially loving that first dress – the amount of detail is incredible!!

    Helen xx

  • Christine

    Wow I can’t help but be blown away by these amazing pieces of art. The details, embellishments, stitching and everything are beyond my comprehension! What a fabulous experience to see these up close and personal! Thanks for giving us an inside peek into this beautiful collection of couture pieces. Xoxo, Christine


  • ellen kim

    wow!! These dresses are STUNNING! I wonder how much more amazing they looked in person! Love seeing gowns by designers such a great inspiration! Thanks for giving us a peek inside!


  • Jessie Li (4evajessie)

    Omg those dresses are beyond stunning ! They are so pretty, probably every girls dream for this Xmas! Thanks for sharing babe!!


  • Virna Gambini

    Your hair colors is fantastic!
    And I really love every single dress at that exposition! Especially YSL for Dior and Chanel!

  • Andreea Birsan

    So in love with all those dresses! Haven’t seen something more beautiful before. Have a lovely week! <3


  • Sofia N

    Wow what an amazing exhibit! I cant even imagine how beautiful the dresses are in real life. And LOVE your hair girl!!



    I am aboslutely stunned! these all works of art in the form of fashion! I wish was there the exhibition looks amaazing and your hair is amazing such a great colour on you XOWP

  • I’m embarrassed to admit that as a new yorker myself, I have never checked out this exhibit lol. But I do regret it as it looked amazing! Thanks so much for this post as I feel like I got to experience it with you! 🙂

    xo Soo | http://www.BrownEyedToast.com

  • Oh my goodness how dreamy is this exhibition? It never fails to amaze me how much work goes into these sheer pieces of art. I mean all those hand stitched sequins is just crazy!!

    Rachel xxx

  • Wow all these dresses are such a work of art. I wish I could see them live. I love visiting the mat and all the other museums mind you when I visit New York. Thanks for sharing all your photos and experience with us! xx

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