The Met Museum has outdone itself again. Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Met's Costume Institute department, takes us to a showroom setting where couture gowns and pret-a-porter dresses are displayed like fancy sports cars. Designers from Chanel to Prada are easy to recognize while some are historical obscurities like Madame Gres, whose ancient Greek-inspired draperies are only accessible in museums. While the whole exhibit seemed like a mishmash of decades, the entire point of the show was to demonstrate how designers created dresses with machines versus their own hands; hence, the title, Manus x Machina, was extremely fitting.

When you first entered the exhibit, a Chanel couture gown from the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection stood alone in the middle of the room. Instead of displaying the front, the cape of the gown was shown before our eyes. Set against a white neoprene background, bronze gilded beads form a floral motif reminiscent of Rococo-esque brocade wallpapers. Due to its aesthetically pleasing design, this Chanel number was an instant hit among the crowd, who were ready to take out their smartphones in a snap.

Then, the rest of the exhibit was categorized by different types of handiwork from embroidery, lacework, plumage, artificial flowers, tailoring, patterning, pleating and leatherwork. Instead of being displayed in a linear fashion, the dresses were displayed in semi-circle hallways. Among the sections I loved, the top two in my list were the artificial flowers and embroidery sections.

In the artificial flowers section, it mainly featured contemporary and modern works from Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Hussein Chalayan and Yves Saint Laurent. Speaking of high-tech fashion, Chalayan's gold-hued backless dress demonstrated the art of technology at its finest with an open back closure and a wheeled device, which helped the model maneuver her way on the runway. On the other hand, Raf Simons' silk bubble dress for Dior Haute Couture was mainly done by hand to execute the airy silhouette, which managed to remain stable thanks to the glass beads of the flowers. Surprisingly, the Met included an Yves Saint Laurent two piece floral set from his Spring/Summer 1999 runway show that was smaller than (gasp) Paris Hilton's infamous blue crop top and micromini getup from the MTV Movie Awards in 2003! While Saint Laurent usually connoted prim and proper elegance, his floral two-piece managed to show that fashion was just purely an art form.

Now that embroidery is in full swing again, the exhibit's idea of embroidery is not the standard issue hippie dippie floss string that you see on every vintage purse. Instead, there were sequined evening dresses and beaded ball gowns that were defined as "embroidery". Among the dresses there, you couldn't miss Dior's heavily mimicked Venus and Junon gowns, which consisted of a strapless bodice and a full skirt with a fish scale-like cape hugging from the waist to the floor. If this dress were to be sold, it would be worth more than an arm and a leg, or better yet, your soul! What I really loved about the gowns was that they were delicate, yet strong with its structured silhouette and mermaid-like iridescence of the beads. While there were other sequined dresses that were equally beautiful, they were too bland compared to the Dior gowns.

While the previous two sections impressed me, I was somewhat disappointed in Bolton's inclusion of the tailoring and patterning sections. The tailoring and patterning sections of the exhibit were placed on the lower level for the right reasons. The items included there consisted of non-descript black and white Chanel tweed suits and a Charles James pattern draft of a gown. Strangely enough, a Maison Martin Margiela coat made of drafting paper was included in the exhibit. While the tailoring section meant to show how designers created a silhouette, it should've been its own exhibit. I also thought that the Met may have rehashed a few pieces from their own archives (of past exhibits) to make up for the abundance of space in this exhibit. Instead, Bolton could simply make more room for the lacework section.

The lacework section was equally as remarkable as the top two in my list. Lace is one of my favorite fabrics since it instantly dresses up an outfit. Sadly, it only focused on featuring Prada and Alexander McQueen lace dresses. Bolton could have been more resourceful by reaching into the pockets of Meadham Kirchhoff's archive or hunt for some antique Victorian or Gatsby-era white lace dresses. But underneath it all, you knew that Anna Wintour probably assisted Bolton on making him choose the high-end designers so that the exhibit would draw in tourists and Instagram likes.

All in all, Manus x Machina was a wonderful exhibit worth all the money well-spent. If you need to treat yourself, book a flight to New York, bring a student ID (for money-saving purposes) and a shopping bag for the souvenirs at the exhibit's store!