Manus x Machina: Inside the exhibit

So I know it’s been over a month since the Met Gala, but with final exams and figuring out my summer I only got around to seeing the exhibit this past weekend! Better late than never, right? In some ways I was a little nervous to see it. I thought that surely a month worth of anticipation and expectations would leave me disappointed, but I was dead wrong.

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Manus x Machina was even more beautiful in person – a dream like experience that transported you to the etherial world of fashion. The exhibit’s focus was on fashion in the age of technology: each piece on display reflecting the intricacies fostered by both hand and machine.

Getting to see so many couture pieces in person was such a transformative experience, and one that deepened my appreciation for the art of fashion even more. My favorite piece was the collection’s centerpiece and showstopper: the Chanel haute couture wedding gown (obviously). With a 20 foot train covered in beads and jewels, the gown stood on a raised platform at the heart of the exhibit. The photos don’t do it justice so if you have access to NYC, it’s worth the visit.

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What I took away from the exhibit was the unbelievable amount of imagination and craftsmanship that goes into fashion. From hand-made techniques to modern inventions such as 3-D printing the ability to manifest couture from one’s imagination is becoming a more practical affair as time goes by.

What the heck is Blenheim Palace?

It wasn’t just the incredible fashion from the Dior Resort collection that got my attention – the show’s location was equally as captivating all on it’s own. I’m embarrassed to ask though, am I the only one who hadn’t heard of Blenheim Palace? I immediately recognized the exterior from Richard Branagh’s Hamlet, but knew little about the English estate itself: Enter my good friend Google.

So apparently Blenheim Palace, is the only non-royal “palace” there is. Rather, it’s considered a country house and is located in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. The grant for its construction was gifted to the first Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne in 1704 for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim.Oh and the first duke of Marlborough also went by the name of John Churchill. After the palace was built he and his family would go on to inhabit the estate, where his descendants continue to live today.

If the last name Churchill caught your eye, you’re onto something. Yep, Winston Churchill is part of the duke’s lineage and was actually born at Blenheim on November 30th of 1874. 

As far as numbers, the Palace is 200,000 square feet! The interior is comprised of everything you’re probably already thinking – a great hall, grand library, drawing rooms, sitting rooms, grand murals covering the ceilings and elaborate interior architecture.

More than its grand interior, the Palace is known for its extensive landscape, with flowing streams and blooming gardens that sit on 2,000 – yes TWO THOUSAND – acres!!

Today, the palace is open to tourists. So if you didn’t make to the Dior Resort show there’s still time to experience with great “palace” that’s as rich in history as it is in beauty.