Manus X Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology by Andrew BoltonManus X Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology by Andrew Bolton

Manus X Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

byAndrew BoltonPhotographerNicholas Alan Cope

Paperback | May 31, 2016

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A stunning look at the paradoxical relationship between the artisanal and the technological in fashion

The complex and often ambiguous relationship between the hand crafted and the machine made is examined in this intriguing look at the ever-changing world of fashion and taste. Manus x Machina traces styles of dress from one-of-a-kind works and haute couture created by highly skilled artisans, through the introduction of industrial manufacturing, to extraordinary recent technological advancements applied to high fashion, such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer-generated weaving and patterns.  The oppositional relationship between the machine, as representative of democracy and mass production, and the hand, as the hallmark of elitism, is explored in its many facets in this fascinating book.
Paradoxically, technology in fashion has both advanced artistic creation and obscured the sense of the designer’s expert hand. Similarly, handmade garments have come to represent either a nostalgia for lost craftsmanship or, in haute couture, a cult of personality and affluence. Interviews with renowned and cutting-edge designers such as Sarah Burton, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada discuss how technology can blur the line between haute couture and prêt-à-porter, and ultimately question the relevance of the distinction between hand and machine. 

A tour de force in art book production, Manus x Machina incorporates two volumes into its innovative package. The main volume of the book includes a smaller hand-sewn booklet, which features the printed interviews, tucked into the back jacket flap. The outer cover of the main volume is made of three-ply plastic layers with high-frequency weld and die-cut flaps. The paperback cover is die cut (modelled on the punch cards used in the first automated weaving looms), and the main volume includes 5 different paper stocks and silver foil stamping, and is printed with both high-density and ultraviolet inks. The book also features new photography of extraordinary pieces, including intricate 19th-century floral designs by William Morris, handcrafted haute couture of designers such as Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen, and the specatuclar 3D creations of Iris van Herpen.  
Andrew Bolton is curator in charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Title:Manus X Machina: Fashion In An Age Of TechnologyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 13 × 8.88 × 0.98 inPublished:May 31, 2016Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1588395928

ISBN - 13:9781588395924


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking book for breathtaking exhibition I saw this spectacular exhibition of haute couture in NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Printed in Italy, this catalogue's beautiful photographs captures the fine details of design houses such as Dior, Prada, Chanel. It is the top book on my coffee table. Don't let the neutral cover fool you, the contents will take your breath away.
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful! Really a beautiful book, gorgeous quality and formatting. I love the little book of interviews tucked in the back. Andrew Bolton's writing is always a joy to read
Date published: 2017-06-24

Editorial Reviews

"The book is a beauty to behold. A large format paperback with a plastic jacket to protect its precious interior, Manus x Machina is an object of art unto itself. With silvery mylar inserts, vellum overlays, silver ink, and four color plates, the book is adds a highly tactile experience to the traditional illustrated book, reminding us of the power of hand and machine to work together as one."—Crave