THE MACHINE OF FASHION: Year-round residents might feel otherwise, but summer is prime time for tourists in New York. Perhaps with that in mind, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has extended the run for “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” for an additional three weeks.
Now on view through Labor Day, the Apple-sponsored exhibition has been tracking strong numbers. The exhibition has attracted more than 350,000 visitors since opening on May 5.
This is the second year that the Met has extended the run of a Costume Institute exhibit. Last summer, “China: Through the Looking Glass” also added three weeks to its scheduled viewing. For its closing weekend last year, the Met went one step further, keeping the galleries open until midnight — three hours more than normal — on the Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
For “Manus x Machina,” curator in charge Andrew Bolton selected 170 couture and ready-to-wear ensembles from Chanel, Gareth Pugh, Givenchy and others to try to demonstrate that fashion is in fact art. The show examines how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made.
As of now, the exhibition is running just behind “China: Through the Looking Glass” and “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” the Met’s fifth and eighth most popular exhibitions, respectively, both of which were also extended and curated by Bolton. “China: Through the Looking Glass” attracted 815,992 visitors in total, and “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” reeled in 661,509. With nearly 60 million visitors expected to descend on New York this year, “Manus x Machina” should have a healthy base to draw from in the weeks ahead. And in years past, summer heat waves are said to have helped fuel museum traffic.
Although the gallery space used for “Manus x Machina” is slightly smaller than the footprint for last year’s China exhibition, the show has 30 more ensembles, and visitors have meandered through without having to waiting in line, according to museum officials. Museum members will have private access to the galleries on July 15 and 16 from 9 to 10 a.m. before the museum opens to the public.
As part of “MetFridays: Extreme Measures” on July 22, visitors can participate in a special Drop-in Drawing session featuring models wearing clothes inspired by the exhibition, a wearable-art-making program on creating extreme hair accessories and a nail-art workshop.