Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fashion Designer: Charles James

When I was in fashion school, part of our lessons was learning about ALL of the most iconic and influential fashion designers in fashion history. I've been off my fashion game lately and I've decided to get back on it! I have spent the last several months relearning all of the fashion era's and now it's time I relearned about all the fashion icons. I'll start with Charles James since his exhibit is a at the Met now.

I went last night and saw the exhibit since It was Friday and the museum stays open until about 9pm and I was already planning to attend an event that was being held on the rooftop. The rooftop is awesome,by the way! Great view! 

Anyway, the exhibit is split into two parts in two different areas of the museum. The gowns were all in the special exhibition galleries on the the first floor. While the dresses and other sportswear were in The Costume Institute's Anna Wintour Costume Center on the ground floor. The structure and details of the the clothes were astonishing! I will definately be going back several more times.

Charles James:Beyond Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC from May 8 -August 14, 2014

*Charles Wilson Brega James (18 July 1906- 23 September 1978) was a British-born fashion designer known as "America's First Couturier.

James looked upon his dresses as works of art, as did many of his customers. Year after year, he reworked original designs, ignoring the sacrosanct schedule of seasons. The components of the precisely constructed designs were interchangeable so that James had a never-ending fund of ideas on which to draw. He is most famous for his sculpted ball gowns made of lavish fabrics and to exacting tailoring standards,[5] but is also remembered for his capes and coats, often trimmed with fur and embroidery, his spiral zipped dresses and his white satin quilted jackets.
He designed the interior and several pieces of furniture for the Houston home of John and Dominique de Menil.
After returning to New York City from Paris, Arnold Scaasi worked for James for two years.[7] James retired in 1958. Homer Layne, a graduate student at that time, was "James’ assistant for several years until his death in 1978

I just liked this picture. Popular model from the 40's and 50's, Jean Patchett in a Charles James gown.

No one is allowed to take pictures inside of the exhibit so I had to pull pictures from the web of some of the gowns and garments featured.The four pictures above are from inside the exhibit so you can see a bit of how it's displayed. It's dark and each gown was on it's on separate round stage under a spotlight.

Each gown also had this interesting camera that would scan the dresses and on a screen behind each gown you can read about the gown's details or see how the pattern pieces look and how they all fit together. It was rather interesting. I don't know how many gowns there were, but I looked at ALL of them and I plan to go back and take illustrated notes like I saw one girl doing.

This gown is the first one you will see when you enter the exhibit. 

"Four Leaf Clover" I think this gown was called. 
The pictures below are some of the gowns that are on display. 


 This is the other part of the exhibit in Anna Wintour Costume Center of the Costume Institute. Again, you can't take pictures of the exhibit so I had to use pictures found on the net to show some of the things in the exhibit. There were a lot more coats in this exhibit, but my web search showed mostly the gowns. I could look harder, but I figure Charles James is more famous for the gowns anyway, so I won't go out of my way to find more of his sports wear items.Also you can go the the mets website for info and pictures,

Charles James on seventh avenues Walk of Fame!

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