Met Gala 2016: Manus x Machina and Red Carpet Looks

The Met’s Costume Institute Gala has morphed into one of the year’s biggest celebrity fashion events, partly because the gala uses each year’s theme to inspire the fashion of its guests. We wrote about last year’s Met Gala (“China Through the Looking Glass”), here. While the theme did inspire some truly beautiful looks (think Rihanna’s yellow silk couture by Chinese designer Guo Pei), the exhibit itself was a hodgepodge of problematic Orientalism, dabbling in the same exoticization and fetishism that mark many designers’ relationships with the “mysterious East.”

This year, the Costume Institute turned to a new fashion frontier with its theme “Manus x Machina,” an exploration of the way that fashion and technology intersect. In the past, the line between high and low end fashion fell roughly along the handmade vs machine-made—think painstakingly hand-beaded couture gowns opposite factory-churned fast fashion. But this divide is no longer so clear. New technologies, culled from mass-production, enhance the creation of the most rareified designs (for example, the intersection of thermoplastic film and hand embroidery), forcing us to rethink the relationship between industry and what has traditionally, but perhaps not quite accurately, been classed as pure artistry and craft.  Continue reading “Met Gala 2016: Manus x Machina and Red Carpet Looks”


Big Sound Saturdays: Lady Cyborgs (Guest Post!)

I’ve always loved dancing of any kind, but industrial and electronic dance music have a special place in my heart. It begs for chunky-soled black boots and heavy eyeliner, vinyl and hardware. When the right song comes on at the right dive bar or nightclub, I find my way from the lounge to the dance floor, walking tall and looking as aloof as possible, imagining I am the hero of a cyberpunk novel. Nostalgic for the clubbing years of my past, and hopeful that I will have more clubbing years in my future, I present the goth EDM club mix of my teenage dreams. Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Lady Cyborgs (Guest Post!)”

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