Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

New Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibit Explores the World of Fashion Tech

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

No industry is immune to the changes that come with technology—not even fashion. But as an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute shows, that might be a good thing. The exhibit, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, will feature over 120 ensembles, showcasing the dynamic between handcrafted and machine-made work in the ever-evolving fashion world.

Apple is sponsoring the show, and as Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge at The Costume Institute, told Engadget, it's a perfect thematic fit: “Apple is really about craft, which is what the show’s about. Of course it's about technology, but it’s all about how the hand and the machine are coming together; the idea of craftsmanship, and how craftsmanship plays a role within the creative process at Apple. So in many ways, philosophically, they're the perfect partner for the exhibition.” 

Manus x Machina was inspired by the 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis, which Bolton described as a “dialectical treatise between the hand and the machine.” The ensembles in the exhibition range from a gown made in the 1880s to a 2015 Chanel wedding dress made out of scuba knit, complete with an embroidered train made by both human and machine hands. Some featured works were made using traditional techniques like featherwork and pleating, while others are the result of more cutting-edge methods like 3D printing, computer modeling, and ultrasonic welding.

The show opens on May 5 and will remain on display at The Costume Institute through August 14. Check out the preview below, and head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website for more information.


Wedding ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel 
(French, founded 1913), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture, back view; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Suit, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883– 1971), 1963–68 haute couture; The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e)

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Ensemble, Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984), spring/summer 2010 haute couture; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.16a, b)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, 
founded 1913), autumn/winter 2015–2016 haute couture; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope



Evening dress, Yves Saint Laurent (French, 1936-2008), autumn/winter 1969–70 haute couture; The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, Gift of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, 1983 (1983.619.1a, b)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope


“Kaikoku” Floating Dress, Hussein Chalayan (British, born Cyprus, 1970), autumn/winter 2011–12;
Courtesy of Swarovski
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

Wedding Ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), autumn/ winter 2005–6 haute couture; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

[h/t Dezeen]

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Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
The Covers of Jack Kerouac's Classic Titles Are Getting a Makeover
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press

Readers have been enjoying classic Jack Kerouac books like The Dharma Bums and On the Road for decades, but starting this August the novels will have a new look. Several abstract covers have been unveiled as part of Penguin’s "Great Kerouac" series, according to design website It’s Nice That.

The vibrant covers, designed by Tom Etherington of Penguin Press, feature the works of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline. The artwork is intended to capture “the experience of reading Kerouac” rather than illustrating a particular scene or character, Etherington told It’s Nice That. Indeed, abstract styles of artwork seem a fitting match for Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose”—a writing style that was influenced by improvisational jazz music.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Dharma Bums, which was published just one year after On the Road. The Great Kerouac series will be available for purchase on August 2.

[h/t It's Nice That]

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John MacDougall, Getty Images
Stolpersteine: One Artist's International Memorial to the Holocaust
John MacDougall, Getty Images
John MacDougall, Getty Images

The most startling memorial to victims of the Holocaust may also be the easiest to miss. Embedded in the sidewalks of more than 20 countries, more than 60,000 Stolpersteine—German for “stumbling stones”—mark the spots where victims last resided before they were forced to leave their homes. The modest, nearly 4-by-4-inch brass blocks, each the size of a single cobblestone, are planted outside the doorways of row houses, bakeries, and coffee houses. Each tells a simple yet chilling story: A person lived here. This is what happened to them.

Here lived Hugo Lippers
Born 1878
Arrested 11/9/1938 — Altstrelitzer prison
Deported 1942 Auschwitz
Murdered

The project is the brainchild of the German artist Gunter Demnig, who first had the idea in the early 1990s as he studied the Nazis' deportation of Sinti and Roma people. His first installations were guerrilla artwork: According to Reuters, Demnig laid his first 41 blocks in Berlin without official approval. The city, however, soon endorsed the idea and granted him permission to install more. Today, Berlin has more than 5000.

Demnig lays a Stolpersteine.
Artist Gunter Demnig lays a Stolpersteine outside a residence in Hamburg, Germany in 2012.
Patrick Lux, Getty Images

The Stolpersteine are unique in their individuality. Too often, the millions of Holocaust victims are spoken of as a nameless mass. And while the powerful memorials and museums in places such as Berlin and Washington, D.C. are an antidote to that, the Stolpersteine are special—they are decentralized, integrated into everyday life. You can walk down a sidewalk, look down, and suddenly find yourself standing where a person's life changed. History becomes unavoidably present.

That's because, unlike gravestones, the stumbling stones mark an important date between a person’s birth and death: the day that person was forced to abandon his or her home. As a result, not every stumbling stone is dedicated to a person who was murdered. Some plaques commemorate people who fled Europe and survived. Others honor people who were deported but managed to escape. The plaques aim to memorialize the moment a person’s life was irrevocably changed—no matter how it ended.

The ordinariness of the surrounding landscape—a buzzing cafe, a quaint bookstore, a tree-lined street—only heightens that effect. As David Crew writes for Not Even Past, “[Demnig] thought the stones would encourage ordinary citizens to realize that Nazi persecution and terror had begun on their very doorsteps."

A man in a shop holding a hammer making a Stolpersteine.
Artisan Michael Friedrichs-Friedlaender hammers inscriptions into the brass plaques at the Stolpersteine manufacturing studio in Berlin.
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

While Demnig installs every single Stolpersteine himself, he does not work alone. His project, which stretches from Germany to Brazil, relies on the research of hundreds of outside volunteers. Their efforts have not only helped Demnig create a striking memorial, but have also helped historians better document the lives of individuals who will never be forgotten.

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