On my last day in NYC I had the great honor of attending the press preview for MANUS X MACHINA: Fashion in an Age of Technology at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I was invited to this event by my dear friends Jean And Valerie of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.  Read their beautifully written and knowledgeable review of the exhibit HERE.

In the photo above, which was taken by Jill Krementz of the New York Social Diary HERE, (left to right) Jean wears a straw hat designed by Ignatius from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Craft Show,  Valerie wears a pale green straw boater from Printemps in Paris, and I’m wearing a gifted vintage red velvet and satin turban by Schiaparelli.


The exhibition overview HERE states that “the exhibit will explore how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. The show is divided into rooms which display more than 170 ensembles from the early 20th century to the present, incorporating embroidery, feather work, artificial flowers, pleating, lacework and leather work.”

The show opens with a Chanel bridal gown.  The train in the photo above, which is covered with Swarovski crystals, marks the beginning of this ravishing exhibit.


The front of the gown is dramatic, yet understated.  To the left, Carl Bolton, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, speaks with the press.

The following photos are a few of the ensembles that I photographed during the preview.  It was difficult to narrow down my choices, because there was beauty everywhere.  It was impossible to capture every piece that “spoke to me” in this breathtaking show.  The exhibit descriptions are below each photo.


Boue Soeurs, 1928

Hand-sewn ivory silk tulle, machine-embroidered with couched silver cord in a foliate and vermicelli pattern; inserts of silver-blue silk and metal lame with machine-picot edging; hand-appliqued with hand-embroidered white silk tulle with artificial flowers in pink, purple, green, yellow, and blue silk ribbon and floss.


Saint Laurent, 1999

Bridal wreath, bracelet, and anklet: handmade pink and gold silk flowers and leaves; train: machine-sewn pink silk bazar.


Christian Dior, 1952 (left)

Machine-sewn, hand-finished white silk organza, hand-embroidered with artificial flowers in green, pink, yellow, and white silk floss, hand-painted cotton, silk twist.

Christian Dior, 1953 (right)

Machine-sewn, hand-finished white silk organza and net, hand-embroidered with artificial flowers, clover, and grass in green, pink, and purple silk floss.


Cristobal Balenciaga, 1965

Machine-sewn, hand-finished pink silk net and pink silk Rachelle knit trimmed with hand-glued pink ostrich feathers.


Chanel (Karl Lagerfeld) – 2005

This wedding ensemble was made by hand from start to finish.  The artificial flowers, embroidery, and feather work together required seven hundred hours of handwork.


Alexander McQueen, 2012

Machine-sewn white silk organza, hand-sewn to nude silk mesh; hand-embroidered with silver beads, clear crystals, and silver plastic feather-shaped paillettes; hand-applique of silver silk and metallic hand=shredded petals, hand embroidered with silver beads, clear crystals, and silver plastic feather-shaped paillettes.


Gareth Pugh, 2015

Machine-sewn black silk-wool gazar with overlay of black mesh, hand-embroidered with black plastic drinking straws.


Maiko Takeda, 2013

Hand-cut transparent green, blue, and purple-ombre acetate fringe, hand-woven with machine-cut clear acrylic squares, hand-assembled with silver metal jump rings.


Proenza Schouler (Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough), 2015 (left)

Machine-sewn black silk chiffon, hand-embroidered with silver plastic paillettes.

Iris van Herpen, 2013 (right)

Machine-sewn black cotton twill, hand-painted with gray and purple polyurethane resin and iron filings, hand-sculpted with magnets.


Thierry Mugler, 1990

Machine-sewn black silk velvet, hand-embroidered with optical fluorescent stripes.


Issey Miyake, 1990

Machine-garment-pleated, machine-sewn yellow and red-purple polyester-linen plain weave.


Issey Miyake, 1993

Machine-sewn polyester plain weave, machine-garment-pleated in paper.


During the press preview we were sitting two rows behind designer Mary McFadden, and I was in awe of the back of her coat, beret and scarf.


I was captivated by this woman’s Comme des Garcons jacket with 3-D roses and coordinating cell phone.


Jean and Valerie’s friend David Noh, writer for the Gay City News, strikes a pose after the preview.


It was inspiring to see another red hat in the crowd!


The press preview was a thrilling experience for me.  Jean and Valerie always generously introduce me to a New York adventure that fills me with wonder.  The colorful and talented artist Sue Kritzman HERE said it best on Instagram!  “The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas HERE make New York City a better place.”  I couldn’t agree more!


18 Responses to “The Press Preview At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art: Manus X Machina”

  1. Carl

    While visiting this exhibition, Bill and I realized that you, Judith, are the only woman on earth worthy of wearing those gowns.

  2. PInkCheetahVintage

    Your turban is gorgeous and every piece is just a work of art. Amazing. <3

  3. Brenda Direen

    Stunning! Thank you so much for sharing the details with each photo!

  4. Kaye


  5. Danette


  6. Nancy

    Oooh, those Dior dresses!! I could look at them for hours. Great post! Thank you.

  7. Desiree

    This is the absolute first I have seen of the exhibition and I knew I could trust you to give a wonderful and fair account of the highlights and some of the gorgeous, beautiful people who attended. Thank you beautiful! xoxoxo

  8. Penny

    What an absolutely wonderful exhibition. I do hope it comes over to the UK (to the Victoria & Albert museum) like the McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ did. You look amazing as ever and the gowns in the exhibition are just stupendous. it must have been a simply mouth-watering experience. And lovely photos – thank you for sharing this with us.

  9. Maria koru

    You ladies are tres elegant. I too recently bought a hat from Ignatius. He is one of my very favorites. Looks as if a good time was had by all. Must get to exhibit before it ends. Good to see you elegant women. Keep up the Fun and informative website. It is an inspiration.

  10. Suzanne

    What a fun way to spend an evening in NYC.


  11. Shelley

    I wish that exhibit was going to be around when I am in NYC in the fall – I like the concept and the pieces are wonderful. I would love to be able to take the Gareth Pugh drinking straw coat out for a spin. Looks like you had a blast during your trip (as usual)!

  12. Vix

    I’ll take the Balenciaga! I’d wear it to Glastonbury with my wellies.
    Gorgeous choices, Judith. Your right, when you’re surrounded by so much beauty its hard to concentrate on anything. xxx

  13. Jane Trombley


    Excellent write-up of this fabulous event. The photos you chose are terrific.


  14. LA Contessa

    I love your GREEN OPERA COAT!I have a shorter CHINESE coat in the same color that was my GRANNY’s!
    WHAT A SHOW!!!!!!!
    I have NEVER been to THE MET……and it has been years since I last saw NEW YORK.I hope to go for TZIPORAH’s BOOK Signing next FALL…….I will write you to TELL me what NOT TO MISS!

  15. Leah Heide

    You look wonderful!

  16. Patti

    Oh these dresses. I could look at them for days. You fabulous women, too – as striking as any exhibit! xox


  17. No Fear of Fashion

    You three are a feast to the eye. Love your green coat and your Chanel bag. The gowns are sooo beautiful. And thank you for photographing that Comme des Garçons jacket with the roses. I sooooo want that!
    PS I dug your emails out of my spam box….

  18. FeltHappiness

    Thanks for sharing this exciting event – feel like I’m almost there. Can feel the buzz, as if I too were sitting behind Mary McFadden. Also, your photos show the pieces better than the Met’s short video!

    And of course, you look wonderful!!

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