Futuristic Belles of the Ball

by AVENUE insider Photographed by Lauren Santo Domingo
Thursday, May 5, 2016

On Monday night, this galaxy’s brightest stars and supernova’s descended upon the Metropolitan Museum of the Art’s famous steps for a futuristic night at the museum for the annual Met Gala.

To kick off the celebration of this year’s spring Costume Institute exhibit, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, constellations of celebrities and fashion crowd insiders in glittering silvery couture gowns were greeted by this year’s hosts: Anna Wintour, chairwoman of the gala; Jonathan Ive, chief design officer of Apple; Taylor Swift; and the actor Idris Elba.

Manus x Machina explores haute couture and ready-to-wear that display the balancing of the hand (manus) and machine (machina) work. The exhibit’s over 150 pieces of exquisite items take the museum visitors on a history of fashion’s mass production and intricate handmade work, showcased in cathedral-like setting featuring ethereal otherworldly music. The evocative show demonstrates that sometimes one cannot be distinguished from another, marrying the fashion with the functional, much like Apple does with technology.

The dress code for the year’s biggest fashion party called for “tech white tie,” and the lucky attendees like Lauren and Andrés Santo DomingoGigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West in Balmain wearing blue contacts, Katy Perry, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Vikander, and more, fully embraced the open for interpretation theme: C-3PO-inspired intergalactic robot attire, armored gladiators latex clad queen (Bey) from another planet, sexy robotic arms, metallic manicures and tamagotchi pendants, as with the previous years, the costumes outshined the wearers.

Model Karolina Kurkova even wore a “cognitive dress” designed by Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig and IBM’s cognitive computing system Watson. The “smart” dress is embedded with IBM Watson technology and LED lights that changed colors in real time, dependent on the social media mood of users commenting on the gala through Twitter live during the red carpet arrivals.

And if the future of fashion is anything like Claire Danes’ glow-in-the dark Cinderella-like gown and other creations radiating metallic sparkle, it is glaring brighter than the stars.

To guide you through the fashion’s interstellar milky way and to celebrate those stylish space travellers that went all out for the evening’s futuristic theme, we put together all the brilliant, dazzling and beaming looks you need to see. Take off and enjoy.

Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology opens May 5 and runs through August 14. To learn more visit,

Photos by Billy Farrell/


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