This year's theme is Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of technology. Now that's an exciting theme, isn't it? Technology plays an integral role in clothing production but at the couture level, technology is less present. This exhibit "will explore how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear." according to the exhibit home page.
Anna Wintour chairs the Gala and determines everything from the guest list to guest arrival times; see this article for an excellent description of what she does. People from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada are also involved in the event and therefore, many attendees wore Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
Many of the Gala attendees dress to the theme, although some choose just to wear a formal outfit. Many appeared to interpret the technology theme as either "futuristic" or "armour" and so there are a lot of silver sequinned outfits. Others clearly stuck to the "fashion" part of the theme, and many of those outfits sport a lot of feathers. Apparently nothing says "fashion" like feathers.
Regardless of the adherence to the theme, the outfits worn at this event were so interesting and unusual that I wanted to comment on them. I didn't include every outfit that appeared on the red carpet; a celebrity wearing a pretty dress is just not so interesting to me, especially when there are so many other interesting and unusual outfits to look at.
See the ones I included in this picture-heavy post after the jump.
|Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen
She is Anna Wintour's daughter, apparently. There may not be an unusual amount of futuristic technology in the construction and embellishment of this dress but it's gorgeous nonetheless.
|Anna Ewers in BOSS
So.... futuristic technology means silver texture? I mean, the fabric is gorgeous and I love the texture because I am fascinated by pretty shiny things, but it's perhaps a safe choice for a futuristic look.
|Wendi Deng Murdoch in Christopher Kane
Lovely lace and all, and a gorgeous dress, but not so technological. I guess this is one of the more "fashion" outfits - although perhaps there are technological components we can't see.
|Juno Temple in Erdem
I'm sure technology was involved somehow. This dress has a 70s look to it with the long, poufy sleeves, easy fit, low neckline (with normal sized breasts!), and ruffles.
|Julie Macklowe in Philipp Plein
"Technology" apparently means "futuristic" and what's more futuristic a multi-paneled sequinned jumpsuit.
|Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Another minidress - this time, paired with another pair of high-heeled combat boots. They're the future, apparently.
|Selena Gomez in Louis Vuitton
Are mid-length bias skirts coming back? It's like I'm 25 again. How can combat boots be useful when the heels are so high?
|Rose Byrne in Ralph Lauren
Who looks good in tight satin? No one. Not even Rose Byrne, and she's beautiful and fit and toned. The necklace is beautiful.
|Rita Ora in Vera Wang
This may not be technological but it is interesting. The feather placement (including the transition from shiny to matte feathers) and use of illusion is not a trivial task. This is glorious.
|Ellie Bamber in Giles Deacon
When I first saw this I thought she was pregnant, but she's not. The dress is just that poufy. Accomplishing that is a miracle of engineering but I don't know how much technology is involved.
|Kate Mara in Paco Rabanne for Julien Dossena
This is cute, for sure, even if it is just a bandeau top, granny panties, and a dress of large sequins.
|Ciara in H&M
This is one sexy dress! The dress is covered in Swarovski crystals and the lining is an excellent match for her skin tone (I did think she was naked underneath the crystal mesh but it's lined). Pretty.
|Lauren Santo Domingo in Giambattista Valli Couture
Fringe! I imagine this would have been entrancing in person because the fringe would have caught the light the way sequins do. This is similar to armour... and it's fringey.
|Jennifer Connolly in Louis Vuitton
I don't know why but I kind of like this dress. Maybe because it's sparkly? I wonder if they gave out high-heeled combat shoes at the gate?
|Katy Perry in Prada
This has an armour look to it as well, doesn't it? I do love black velvet and the gold sequin embellishments are nice.
|FKA Twigs in Versace
I think the corset thing is supposed to evoke bondage which in turn evokes armour. She looks kind of like a warrior princess attending a formal banquet who can't quite give up her armour.
|Beyonce in Givenchy
Someone called this a condom dress and they're not far wrong. This is an embellished latex dress. It's a technical achievement, making a latex dress that can actually be worn out in public.
|Naomi Watts in Burberry
The sequins on this dress are apparently chainmail sequins, whatever that means. They were fitted together like chainmail, maybe? If so, that's tedious and time-consuming. The effect is nice, if a bit armour-like.
|Zendaya Coleman in Michael Kors
There's something armour-like about the fabric, although the design could not be mistaken for armour. I don't think that colour could work on many people but it works for her and the design suits her.
|Emma Watson in Calvin Klein
I don't quite understand what's happening at the waist but I like thiat this is pants with a skirt over it topped with an asymmetrical bodice. Also, this was made with eco-friendly, recycled and/or sustainable components.
|Margot Robbins in Calvin Klein
This is... a basic dress. But what's really special is that it, like the preceding two, is made with eco-friendly, recycled and/or sustainable components.
|Agyness Deyn in Kenzo
Even though it looks like she's dragging curtains behind her, I love this dress. The design is unusual; the bodice and sleeves are interesting, and the colour is gorgeous. To me this says "fashion".
|Allison Williams in Peter Pilotto
There's soemthing about this that I really like. The style is sort of interesting but what I really love is the fabric... it's just so gorgeous. And I do love the colour.
|Dakota Fanning in Nina Ricci
Oh velvet, how I love you. And velvet and lace is a classic combination. This doesn't look too technological but it is pretty.
|Queen Rania of Jordon in Louis Vuitton
More feathers! Maybe we're all going to turn into birds in the fiture? I think this would have worked better with a nude illusion on the bodice.
|Mackenzie Davis in Altuzarra
Another sheer, sparkly, sequinned cape with Art Deco overtones. I love it, of course. I love the geometric designs formed by the sequins, and I kind of love the cape.
|Liu Wen in Iris van Herpen
One of the more unusual outfits. Is there a technological component? Maybe. I don't know how this was constructed but I can imagine technology playing a major role here.
|Rachel McAdams in Valentino
The writing circling the skirt are lines from Dante's Divine Comedy. The bodice definitely has an armour look to it but at least the dress isn't silver like all the other armour components.
|Zoe Saldana in Dolce & Gabbana
This dress reminds Ian of the garbage people from Fraggle Rock. He has a point. There's no question that there's a strong fashion component to this dress and it is striking.
|Eva Chen in Christopher Kane
Now that's a crazy amount of fringe! The overlapping pieces are interesting and unusual. Was technology involved in creating this dress? Probably. But it doesn't matter because it's definitely fashion.
|Ming Xi in Michael Kors
This is cute what with the oversized placket, silver sequins, and feathers. The combination of the collar and short skirt remind me of dresses from the 60s.
|Jourdan Dunn in Balmain
This dress design definitely evokes armour. I love the geometric lines of the sequins and the ombre effect on the skirt. However, I find the triangular mesh at her crotch to be a bit distracting.
|Jourdan Dunn (back view)
|Danai Gurira in Giambattista Valli
Does this say technology? Well, not especially, but it is gorgeous. The sleeves, bodice, and high neck suit her.
|Miranda Kerr in Louis Vuitton
Another armour effect in that bodice but at least this one isn't silver sequins; instead, it's got some interesting colour blocking going on.
|Huma Abedin in Altuzzara
Sparkly! And too long. If it were me I'd be tripping over the skirt in front. The bodice has a slight armourish effect but the panels and black border add interest and soften the armour look.
|Eve Hewson in Monse
Who looks good in loose satin? She does. Although there is something towel-like up in the way the fabric is draped at the bodice, I still love the overall effect. It's pretty.
|LaLa Anthony in Nicholas Jebran
Who doesn't love ombre? The technological aspect of this dress is how her breasts wound up at her collarbone.
|Alessandra Ambrosio in Balmain
Somehow I don't think macrame armour would be very effective at repelling attacks. Maybe the big silver belt is magic.
|Lisa Maria Falcone
This is an interesting dress. It's not exactly attractive, true, but the placement of each of those round sequins was determined by an artificial intelligence. That's definitely using technology in fashion, and is a great representation of the theme.
|Alex Morgan in Christian Siriano
In the future, we're all going to turn into cyborgs with metal arms. That what this dress says to me.
|Saorise Ronan in Christopher Kane
More feathers! Does this say fashion in the age of technology? Errrr, no. But it's still interesting, right? The collar and feather embellishment that somehow extends to the hem is unusual.
|Riley Keough in DVF
Well, it isn't light silver... instead, it's kind of a smokey/khaki colour. It's a safe choice for this event but it suits her.
|Dakota Johnson in Gucci
Not everyone would choose to wear a black slip dress with big colourful lace stars all over it. Then again, if you can pull it off (and she can), why not wear it?
Claire Danes in Zac Posen
These pictures from news.com.au show the dress in the dark. It glows. I love it - I love that the edges glow more brightly (which I'd expect given the fibre optic textile) but I especially love that the whole dress glows..
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