Source: USA TODAY
Technology and fashion come together to produce the 'Cognitive Dress' for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual gala. The fashion house Marchesa and IBM's Watson collaborated on the design of the dress.
Every year there are Met Gala attendees who take the theme seriously, and those that treat it more as a suggestion. Nicki Minaj and designer Jeremy Scott fell in the later category this time around, telling us on the red carpet that their main priority was glamour. And who can fault them or their rhinestone-encrusted selves? It’s a time to go big for the fun of it.
But there were designers and their muses who managed a glamorous arrival while embracing this year’s theme: "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology."
Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa had a true fashion moment with model Karolína Kurková on the steps of the Met, twinkly lights and all. The designers partnered with IBM’s Watson to create a “cognitive dress” that analyzed tweets for the emotion of the fans watching on social media, and lit up embedded LED lights in corresponding colors.
When the group reached us near the end of the carpet, the peony-shaped appliques were glowing in a soft lilac and shifting to light blue.
“Everyone is excited!” Kurková exclaimed. Indeed, the dress inspired some shock, awe and delight on the Twittersphere, which according to Watson, we could just call purple (which is fine with us, we’re kind of partial).
“It’s probably one of the most creative projects we’ve done to date,” Chapman said.The dress was months in the making, Chapman and Craig told us at a preview Sunday night.
Another creative highlight? Zac Posen’s similarly radiant and high-tech gown, made with a custom fiber optic woven organza.
It was especially impressive outside of the bright lights of the red carpet, where it turned its wearer Claire Danes into a living Cinderella.
The designer has been known to pull out a tech trick or two. He worked with Google’s initiative, Made with Code, which helps get more young girls interested in computer science, to create a show-stopping dress that closed his ZAC Zac Posen spring 2016 show and was later worn by Star Wars star Lupita Nyong’o.
Despite the fancy coding and fabrics, the dresses feel on-brand for Posen, not like an iWatch strapped to a dress. Particularly Danes’ dress, which fits the fairy-tale silhouette that he’s known for.
Same holds true for the girls of Marchesa, who kept their romantic aesthetic despite the fact that there were plenty of wires buried deep in the seams of Kurkova’s dress.
“That was incredibly important to us, though we were involving technology, the idea was that the dress really felt Marchesa.”
Let’s hope that’s the future of fashion x tech.