My trip to New York – Manus x Machina, Mood Fabrics and more

Last month I visited my family on the East Coast. I was able to make a quick trip to New York while I was there. Here’s a brief summary of my trip, with many photos.

My first stop was to Mood Fabrics where I searched for lightweight denim and bought these two to make a trouser jeans.

Denim fabric - Mood Fabrics - New York

The I wandered across the street to Sposabella Lace, which carries all sorts of bridal laces, and drooled over some stunning embroidered lace that was draped over the counter.

Embroidered lace - Sposabella Lace - NYC

Then I asked them if they had any netting, which isn’t easy to find. They had several colors. I bought a yard of navy and black netting, which I’ll add to a hat at some point.

Netting from Sposabella Lace - New York -

Then I went uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view the stunning “Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology” exhibit, which “explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.” It was a fascinating showcase of jaw-dropping handcrafted and machine-made fashion.

I was truly surprised by how compelling this exhibit was. Vintage fashion was displayed next to 21st century designs, revealing the similarities and differences between the past and the present. I couldn’t stop taking photos with my phone. Here are a few highlights.

This 1958 Dior dress designed by Yves Saint Laurent is called L’Eléphant Blanc – or the White Elephant. It’s made of silk, metallic thread, glass, and plastic and was sewn by machine. This lovely confection has five layers of tulle. Behind the dress was a video that slowly panned up the dress, showing the beading in detail.

Manus x Machina - L'Eléphant Blanc - Dior - designed by Yves Saint Laurent - 1958

This is a 2010 Chanel dress and cape designed by Karl Lagerfeld. The dress is made of pink silk chiffon and charmeuse, hand-embroidered with pink silk satin flowers, pearls, and pink-frosted crystals, hand-finished. The cape is made from 1,300 hand-pieced pink silk satin flowers by Lemarié with pink frosted crystals. Wow.

Manus x Machina - Chanel dress - 2010 - Karl Lagerfeld - pink silk chiffon and charmeuse, hand-embroidered with pink silk satin flowers, pearls, and pink-frosted crystals, hand-finished. Cape - 1,300 hand-pieced pink silk sating flowers by Lemarié with pink frosted crystals

Notice how the flowers are of varying sizes? Here’s the bottom half of this cape. I love it. This could be a fun – albeit time-consuming – way to use fabric scraps. 😉

Manus x Machina - Chanel cape - 1,300 hand-pieced pink silk satin flowers by Lemarié with pink frosted crystals

Check out this laser-cut patent-leather dress by Iris van Herpen.

Manus x Machina - Laser-cut patent leather dress - Iris van Herpen

And look at this autumn/winter haute couture 2015-16 Chanel dress by Karl Lagerfeld. It’s made from black silk tulle with hand-embroidery by Lemarié with hand-glued and stitched black ostrich feathers.

Manus x Machina - Chanel - haute couture - black silk tulle, hand-embroidered by Lemarié with hand-glued and stitched black ostrich feathersblack

Lemarié has come up twice in this post so in case you were wondering who is Lemarié, it is a specialized workshop in France, founded more than 130 years ago, designing “feather and flower creations for luxury fashion houses.” They also do other techniques such as smocking, pleats, and ruffles.

The pleats on this ensemble are amazing. There was a video near these Dior garments that you could watch, showing the ribbon being sewn to the white silk organdy and how the fabric was hand pleated.

Manus x Machina - Dior pleated dress - Rafe Simons - spring/summer 2015 haute couture - hand-pleated, machine sewn, hand embroidered, piece-dyed grosgrain ribbon

I’ll need to do another post with more photos from this exhibit.

After the Met, I went back downtown to meet two sewcialists for lunch – Olgalyn, who designs and sells knit fabrics for her company O! Jolly! and teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Yoshi, who I “met” via Instagram. She’s @garmentgirl on IG, Olgalyn is @ojolly, and I’m @csews. Here we are at Rin Thai on 23rd near 8th Avenue.

Yoshi, Chuleenan and Olgalyn at Rin Thai

It was a really fun trip! I’ll post more photos from Manus x Machina soon…

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology exhibit at the Met

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7 Responses to “My trip to New York – Manus x Machina, Mood Fabrics and more”

  1. angie
    October 20, 2016 at 7:14 am #

    Sounds like an amazing trip! can’t wait to see those denim trousers!

    • October 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

      It was a lot of fun. I have more photos from Manus x Machina so I may do a third post with photos from the show. 🙂

  2. Michael Portuesi
    September 12, 2016 at 7:30 am #

    I can’t see any of the photos. They are all broken links in my browser. Did something go wrong with the blog post?

    • September 12, 2016 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks for letting me know. I’m not sure what’s wrong. I think there’s a WordPress error or something. Hopefully I can fix it.


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