'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Although Charles James had no formal training, he is regarded as one of the greatest designers in America to have worked in the tradition of the Haute Couture. "Charles James: Beyond Fashion," on view at the Metropolitan Museum, examines the career of the legendary 20th-century Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906–1978), who left London and arrived in New York City in 1940. His fascination with complex cut and seaming led to the creation of key design elements that he updated throughout his career: wrap-over trousers, figure-eight skirts, body-hugging sheaths, ribbon capes and dresses, spiral-cut garments, and poufs. These are showcased along with his iconic ball gowns from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, and Jan Reeder, Consulting Curator for the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discuss the exhibition, on view through August 10, 2014.