The theme of the Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 exhibition is “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology“, which explores the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) in fashion. The annual Met Ball Gala, which kicks off the exhibition, is one of fashion’s biggest nights of the year, with attendees dressing to the match the theme. At Monday’s event, it was clear that many designers seem to equate technology with metallics. And while this led to some stunning looks, only a few outfits truly embraced the theme.
Emma Watson (WHY IS SHE SO GOOD?) collaborated with Calvin Klein and Eco Age to create a completely sustainable look made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, and zippers made from recycled materials. Claire Danes’ Zac Posen creation was created from fiber optic woven organza and the 30 mini battery packs sewn into the gown’s understructure made it light up like the chicest firefly ever.
Karolina Kurkova’s gown was designed by Marchesa and IBM’s Watson (yes, the cognitive computer). Embroidered with 150 LED-connected flowers, the dress was programmed to read people’s reactions to it. Watson’s Tone Analyzer API interpreted the sentiment of tweets tagged #MetGala and #CognitiveDress, and changed color accordingly. Mind. Blown.
Even if all of the guests didn’t harness their inner techies, there were still plenty of beautiful gowns on the read carpet. Here are my favorites of the night.