Celebrating the Art of Fashion (and Bikinis)
The Met Gala isn't just about the red carpet — officially, it's meant to celebrate the big, new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute: Manus X Machina, which itself celebrates the art in fashion. The focus: machine and hand techniques in both couture and ready-to-wear. Among the 120-plus garments on display, you'll see details as ornate as silicone feathers, mermaid-like gelatin sequins, and hand-painted foam. Exhibit curator Andrew Bolton says, "The intent is to slow down the fashion system — people are so preoccupied by the next thing that there’s a lack of appreciation in the making of fashion."
Here, then, is our way of slowing things down and appreciating the art of fashion — with a look at the super-exquisite and complicated work behind some incredibly gorgeous swimwear.
Agua Bendita is known for its detailed designs, but this suit wins our hearts with an elaborate hand-embroidered sequin toucan, intricate seam banding, mixed media fabrics and printed panels. The materials — and sheer effort — involved in producing this piece blow our minds.
Here’s another Agua Bendita suit, with precisely placed ruffles, rosettes and lace — all additions that require stronger skills than the regular cut-and-sew tactics.
This beautiful bikini by ALE depicts the concept behind Manus X Machina, with both machine-made crochet and hand top-stitched details.
Seilenna’s luxe set is handcrafted by artisans in France using digital prints, which highlights and contrasts the hand-sewn waist gathers and delicate bows – that’s true art.