Glow in the Dark Gown, Cognitive Dress Win the Night at Manus x Machina Met Gala 2016

The Met Gala, organized to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, has joined the list of society and celebrity must-attend red-carpet events and has attracted a great deal of media attention — the giant yellow cloak Rihanna wore last year that launched dozens of memes, or Beyoncé’s nearly nude entrance in an embellished sheer Givenchy dress that left little to the imagination. Guests are requested to dress according to the theme of the fashion exhibition, which formally opens a few days later, and this year’s Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” exhibition called for “Tech White Tie” as the dress code.

Many decided to play it safe and opted for all-white look, some in sharp tailoring (Rosie Huntington Whiteley in Ralph Lauren, Uma Thurman in Tommy Hilfiger) or with serious peekaboo cuts (Joan Small and Doutzen Kroes in Balmain and Karlie Kloss in a striking Brandon Maxwell), while others opted for metallic silvery versions (Kim Kardashian,Kylie Jenner and Alessandra Ambrosio in form-fitting Balmain; Anna Ewers in Jason Wu, Lara Stone in Tom Ford).

But some designers also took the opportunity to showcase their savoir-fair with new materials.

Though social media is supposed to be restricted inside the building, Zac Posen revealed on his Instagram account how the white ball gown he designed for Claire Danes glows in the dark thanks to a custom-made fiber optic woven organza fabric.

Marchesa teamed up with IBM Watson to create a ‘cognitive dress’ (rocked by Karolina Kurkova). The dress has embedded LED lights that change color in real time based five emotions (joy, passion, curiosity, encouragement, and excitement) as expressed by the public on social media.

Tory Burch also opted for innovative color changes using embedded Swarovski crystals on a white dress worn by Frida Pinto.

Opting for a low-tech approach to the future of fashion, Calvin Klein took on the green carpet challenge and in collaboration with Eco-Age designed a gown for Emma Watson in sustainable cotton, satin, and taffeta woven from recycled plastic yarn.

Also of note, Naomi Watts wore a stunning custom Burberry gown of chain-mail sequins and handmade metallic yard flowers encrusted with glass beads; Rita Ora wore a Vera Wang platinum trumpet silhouette gown with hand-placed sculptural metallic feathers, while Kate Mara wore a mini-dress by a master of the future of fashion, Paco Rabanne.

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