H&M collaborated with fashion icons Ciara, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Hudson, Lucky Blue Smith, Pyper America Smith, and Amber Valetta to create custom made looks for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit 2016, the year’s most prestigious night in fashion.
Inspired by this year’s exhibition theme “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”, H&M’s atelier had the privilege to create one-of-a kind couture looks for each one of its guests in honor of the brand’s second year taking a table at the fashion event of the year. The designs, honoring each individuals personal style, lends itself to this year’s theme having used hand-crafted traditions and cutting-edge techniques and materials to create each of the looks.
“We savour every moment in creating these looks for the Met Gala. Fashion is our greatest love at H&M, and it’s deeply inspiring to make one-of-a kind outfits for our guests using the most exquisite techniques and detailing,” says Pernilla Wohlfahrt, Design and Creative Director at H&M.
The exhibition “Manus x Machina” celebrates both the machine and man-made in fashion, looking at how the traditions have increasingly become blurred. The theme inspired the H&M design team to create looks that reflected the personality of each of its guests, using techniques such as laser-cutting, hand embroidery, feathering, heat-transference, stonework and crystal pleating.
Singer Ciara’s intricate and daring dress has been hand-made as if by a jeweler. Pendants of Swarovski crystals hang from a diamond grid of leaf-like metal chain, with a choker neck and sporty racer back.
"I have been a huge fan of H&M for a long time and I am delighted to have been invited and also had the opportunity to create a unique gown with the team. It has truly been a special experience all the way around,” said Ciara.
Actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld wore an emerald green gown that had effortless clean-cut glamour: its corseted bodice had navette sequins overlaid with silk organza, while the floor-length silk crepe back satin skirt had a high central split.
"As a personal fan of H&M's contributions to the fashion industry, I was especially proud to collaborate on a design that marries our tastes and highlights the theme of this year's MET Gala. It's been a wonderful partnership,” said Hailee Steinfeld.
Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson wore a white bodice silk dress that showed the beauty of hand-embellishment, with 3D bugle beads, French knots and hand-melted sequins. The dress is finished by a glamorous four-foot train.
“It’s been an amazing experience to collaborate with H&M to create a one of a kind dress. The stunning four foot train makes me feel so glamorous,” said Jennifer Hudson.
Model Lucky Blue Smith looked sharp in an off-white Italian wool slim tuxedo blazer with a strong shoulder worn over a white silk shirt, both fastened with Swarovski buttons. His leather trousers had a blue metallic coating.
Model Pyper America Smith’s iridescent dress brought together machine and man-made techniques, with laser-cut vinyl feathers and fringing all hand-sewn onto a silk tulle base with a sequin bodice.
"I feel so lucky to have worked with H&M for my very first Met Gala! My dress is the perfect example of this year’s Met Gala theme, mixing intricate details and new innovative technologies but also keeping an iconic shape," said Pyper America Smith.
Model Amber Valletta wore an elegant look in sustainable materials. The dress is made of deep blue silk taffeta, embellished with over 1,000 hand-cut and sewn organic silk petals and recycled plastic sequins. Laser-cut petals were heat-transferred with reflective vinyl. Her husband Teddy Charles wore a black wool tuxedo with silk satin wide lapels and strong shoulders.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with my friends at H&M again and have the opportunity to wear another Conscious dress made from sustainable materials. It really speaks to my personal style and conscious efforts,” said Amber Valletta.