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Merging Fashion and Technology At The Met’s Costume Institute Show

fashion and technology merge at met costume institute show

            Merging Fashion and Technology At The Met’s Costume Institute Show



The Costume institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC is home to over 35,000 costumes and accessories. Representing seven centuries of dress, since its reopening in 2014, there has been a large shift in their bi-annual exhibitions. More and more, the participating designers are producing technological garments, fusing together the elegance and style of fashion with the latest developments in technology.


This year, The Costume Institute presents its latest collection entitled Manus x Machina, a exploration of how fashion has evolved alongside the new inventions of technology. The exhibition space, a futurist temple of fashion, houses 160 pieces by top leading designers, spanning from early 20th century to present day. The inspiration came from looking closely at Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian Dress from the Fall 1965 collection. Andrew Bolton, the curator at The Costume Institute, discovered that the dress was made almost entirely by machine. This revelation showed the progression and necessity of technology within the fashion industry, when once Haute Couture by very definition had always meant hand made.


The first piece visitors are greeted with is the stunning Wedding Ensemble by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Stealing the spotlight, the wedding dress is eclipsed by its ten foot, glittering train made from scuba knit and hand embroidered with glass, gold and crystals.


Following the grand opening, Israeli born designer Noa Raviv’s piece entitled dress certainly makes an impact. A monochrome, optical dress, Raviv employed the relatively unexplored technique of 3D printing to create his masterpiece. To give the illusive of transitioning from 2D to 3D, the printed polymer is attached at the hip and protrudes outwards from the garment. At a time when multiple consumer goods are being 3D printed, it’s about time the fashion industry really got creative with this technique. The 21st Century version of a tailored garment? A piece specifically printed for your body shape!


fashion and technology merge at met costume institute show


English fashion designer Gareth Pugh also makes his mark in the collection, designing a black tunic made entirely of drinking straws. Hand cut and sewn directly onto the mesh base, each straw is attached with metal hooks. The most amazing part of this piece is how attractive the material actually looks, catching the breeze as the piece is worn, straws fluttering elegantly like feathers.


fashion and technology merge at met costume institute show



The Hussein Chalayan piece, Floating Dress is made from sculpted fiberglass, resulting in an eye catching and delicate yet robotic silhouette. The piece is painted with gold pigment and and embellished with pearled paper and crystals. The futuristic garment is worn by stepping into a rear back panel and is entirely remote control operated. What’s more, the embellishes can be spring loaded and, by using the controller, be launched up into the air, swirling around the wearer.

fashion and technology merge at met costume institute show


Perhaps the most spectacular and talked about piece at the Met’s Costume Institute actually came from outside the exhibition. During the annual Gala, actress Claire Danes pulled out all the technology stops with her show stopping, red carpet dress. Her princess-esque, sky blue ball gown was hand crafted from organza and fiber optics, allowing the dress to illuminate in the dark. The dress featuring a seriously voluminous full skirt was ultimately a very fitting piece for the event.

fashion and technology merge at met costume institute show



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Protect Your Eyes with Designer Eyewear

When you buy sunglasses, look for a style that looks good on you and is comfortable to wear. Different people have different preferences and choosing the right pair of shades will make you stand out in the crown, and provide ample protection for your eyes from UV radiation.

When buying glasses Look for 99 percent or 100 percent UV protection, to block most of harmful UV rays.

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The larger the lenses, the better protection they offer. Large lenses generally protect better because they hide more of the area around your eyes.

Although it may seem counter intuitive, darker isn’t automatically better. The darkness of the lens affects only the ability to filter out visible light. The protection from UV light is conferred by coatings applied to the lens.

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Yet shading is important in protecting you from glare — a different problem from UV light. For many people, very bright light causes an unpleasant sensation. It makes you squint, and it’s harder to see clearly.

Lenses come in different shades, for different situations. For example, dark lenses are best for a sunny day on the water, while lighter tints may be better choices for overcast days. These days, you can get “photochromic” lenses that change their shade depending on the amount of light. Indoors, they are clear. Outside in bright sun, they become a dark shade.

You want the frames to fit comfortably, with the lenses directly in front of your eyes. Frames should be leveled on your face, and one side should not be higher or lower than the other.

Polarized lenses add additional layer of glare reduction, it’s especially helpful when driving, playing sports, or spending time outdoors.


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Tech form now matters as much as tech function

The dance between technology and fashion has always been a rather ungainly one, characterized by awkward stumbling, accidental toe-treading and unexpected knees in the groin.

Neither world is really certain what it’s supposed to be doing with the other. Products deemed to combine style with cutting-edge credibility tend to leave the public cold, whether that’s a celebrity-endorsed gadget or solutions to problems that don’t exist (Bluetooth glove-phones, rechargeable handbag chargers). But as technology shrinks, form and style start to become much more important.

The arrival of wearable technology into the marketplace has been muted by this truth. There’s little point in making wearables that people don’t find alluring enough to wear, and while technology companies tie themselves up in knots over the functionality of, say, a smartwatch, the fact is that we require very little from a watch. For most people, aesthetic appeal is more important. That’s why a team of 100 designers is rumored to be working on Apple’s much-anticipated “iWatch”: while the mass adoption of wearable technology is primarily a social battle, it’s one that can be won a whole lot quicker if the product looks cool and feels desirable.

Small wonder, then, that technology companies are beginning to court figures from the fashion world like desperate singletons at a speed-dating event. The departure of Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts for a job at Apple comes only a few weeks after Yves St Laurent’s Paul Deneve made the same move. Google, still engaged in a long-term pre-launch battle for public acceptance for Google Glass, scored a win when Diane von Furstenberg’s models wore the futuristic spectacles at last autumn’s New York Fashion Week. Samsung sent Galaxy Gears watches up the catwalk in Milan with Moschino; Kenzo designed covers for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet at Paris Fashion Week, while those on the front row at Roksanda Ilincic’s recent show in London were slipped a free pair of stylish Sennheiser Momentum headphones. With the attitudes of taste-makers so important in the often sniffy world of fashion, you can hardly blame those technology companies who suddenly find themselves plunged into the luxury accessories market for attempting such overt seduction.

But what do the fashion companies get out of this liaison? Does any kudos flow the other way? “The fashion and beauty worlds were very slow to the digital party,” says Tyler. “Until a couple of years ago there were barely any decent e-commerce websites, and luxury brands were in denial about what technology could do for them – mainly because they were steeped in heritage. But that’s changing.

That developing link with technology was highlighted at Dressed To Code, a “fashion hackathon” hosted by Glamour magazine last month at New York Fashion Week, where coders (split 50/50 between men and women) convened to merge the worlds of technology and fashion through the development of mobile apps. It’s hardly a marriage made in heaven, but perhaps the geek and the chic are finally getting it together.

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The must have pink coat for you.

Pink Coat

Every season some high-street outlet – sometimes Whistles, sometimes Zara, occasionally M&S – will knock out a decent garment that happens to be quite similar to one seen on the runways.

The fashion magazines have been excited over the M&S coat because various high-end designers made pink coats this season.


A pink coat at the Osman show. Photograph: Tim P Whitby/Getty Images

Has there ever been a more perfect trend for fashion retailers than a pink coat? Coats are the one type of clothing that everyone accepts should be expensive. Because a coat is something that needs to be good quality: it needs to be warm, it ideally should be waterproof and it needs to withstand daily wear. Ergo, expenditure is acceptable.

Let’s look again at the pink coat. Pink coats are, quite elegant, with the youthful playfulness in them. Yes, it’s a bold look. But it also looks incredibly chic and makes the perfect statement outfit.  It’s not just bright pink either; pastel shades were seen at Topshop Unique, Carven, Jonathan Saunders and Celine; to name just a few.

These Coats are pared back, understated and elegant. Manly silhouettes help to counteract the girly color of the fabric.

Bubblegum pinks are the standout tones for autumn and can look elegant and grown-up for evening or officewear.

Look for unexpected fabrics and textures to create interest in your outfit, like sequins and faux fur – this contrast will work especially well if you’re planning a top-to-toe pink look. Think fluffy pink angora jumper teamed with a vinyl pink pencil skirt.