NK Bride at Manus X Machina... The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the best things about living in New York is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been an incredible source of inspiration and information for me since I first moved here. Every year they have a special fashion exhibit starting with the opening ceremony known as the MET Gala. I am always amazed by the spectacular presentations. 

 This year the exhibit is called Manus X Machina. It explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.”

Opening Piece- Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel -- Wedding Ensemble -- Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Haute Couture

I tried to pick only my favorites to share with you but it has been hard to choose just a few… From Karl Lagerfeld to original Coco Chanels, Valentino, Givenchy,  to one of my favorite dresses of all times- the Dior scalloped evening dress circa fall/winter 1949–1950.

“This extraordinary ball gown by Christian Dior, of gray silk tulle, arrayed with an overlay of scallop-shaped petals The bodice and shell forms of its skirt are embellished with nacreous paillettes and sequins, iridescent seed beads, aurora-borealis crystals, and pearls. Dior is best known for his revival of the wasp-waisted silhouette seen here. His celebrated first collection of 1947 was dubbed the "New Look" by the influential American editor Carmel Snow, because the corseted, full-bosomed, and hourglass shaping had not been seen for decades. In fact, the "New Look" was an old look revived. After the deprivations of World War II, Dior believed that the survival of the haute couture relied on its ability to restore fantasy and luxury to women's wardrobes. The fragile effects of this gown, which merges Second Empire romanticism with the classical iconography of ideal and eternal beauty, recall Dior's belief that "fashion comes from a dream."

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House of Givenchy

3-D Printed Designs by Treeasfour andIrene Van Herpen

NK Bride at Swarovski

This season I had the pleasure to be invited to the Swarovski New York showroom for a presentation of their new Spring 2017 collection. The New York team of Swarovski works with select designers directly, introducing them the new shapes, colors and innovations, and I was fortunate to become one of them. It was a fascinating, informative and very inspirational experience for me as a bridal designer. I love working with embroidered crystals and other beaded textures and I have done it in on many on my designs!

 

Among many things, I was really taken by one of their inspiration stories called “AIR “,  as I believe it translates to bridal very well.“A breath of air, central to our very existence, remains a potent symbol of calm for all those wishing to retreat from the pressure of daily life."

One of their last innovations which, stood out for me, was their Crystal Fabric. It is just what it sounded – fabric made of crystals. As such, it can be used for a small section on a garment or applied all over. It comes as a sheet of crystals that can be cut into any shape and then heat-transferred on any material.

I also fell in love with the Kaputt crystal collection, which was the result of astonishing teamwork by one of my favorite designers and a source of inspiration, Jean Paul Gaultier and the Swarovski team. Their story began when Jean Paul Gaultier was struck by the perfection of Swarovski’s crystal assortment, and felt that the only way to add his touch and make something new, was to introduce an element of imperfection. His solution was designing a crystal cut which consisted of six variants that riff on irregular forms of pendants- square shapes and round stones in rich, shimmering metallic colors  a striking technological innovation that is simultaneously perfect and imperfect. Playing on the theme of “perfect imperfection”, it was aptly named “Kaputt”(German for “broken”). I absolutely love this concept and the shapes!

 

Another favorite of mine was the Crystal Leatherette-it. It is faux-leather that could be custom designed to have a crystal motif embossed on it. It really gave me some cool ideas for making a leather jacket that could be worn over a wedding gown.

 

Being able to work with the Swarovski’s team directly has opened a world of possibilities and ideas for me, and I couldn’t wait to share this with you. I hope it was as inspiring and exciting for you as it has been for me. I would love to hear about your ideas and inspiration...