Charles James: Beyond Fashion #MetBall2014

Charles James Board 1The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball is literally around the corner and the biggest night of the year for the fashion industry.  One red carpet night a year the fashion elite showcase their stylistic interpretations of each year’s themes.  Last year’s theme was dedicated to the great impact that punk has contributed to the fashion industry and I could not have been more excited.  This year’s theme is a complete dichotomy of punk but the influence and insurmountable contributions is bar none.  The theme of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” is in dedication to the life and work of courtier Charles James.  The name and significance of Charles James is not well known outside of the fashion community so I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Charles James and his legendary work.

  • Who’s the Designer:  Charles James, otherwise known as the “Great American Courtier”.  James started his design career in London, and then Paris, and arrived in New York City in 1940 (fun fact is that before he officially settled in New York City he spent time here in Chicago).  While he 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.   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 & dresses, spiral-cut garments, and poufs.   In addition to these design elements he also has a long list of iconic ball gowns from the late 1940s and early 1950s which are the Four-Leaf Clover, Butterfly, Tree, Swan, and Diamond.
  • What’s the inspiration & relevance:  The exhibit is a focus on exploring James’s design process, his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.  Approximately seventy-five of James’s most notable designs will be on display.   
  • Who’s wearing what? :    That is the big question but here are a few predictions so tune in to see if they happen to be right-Prada will be represented by brand face Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery; Prabal Gurung by Zoe Saldana; Givenchy by Amanda Seyfried; J. Mendel by Taylor Swift; Diane von Furstenberg by Margot Robbie and Olivia Munn; Tommy Hilfiger by Zooey Deschanel; with Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Naomi Watts, Jessica Pare and Allison Williamsalso attending. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz will be there with a mystery celeb, but not usual house model Emma Stone.

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2 Thoughts on “Charles James: Beyond Fashion #MetBall2014

  1. Pingback: The Best of the Met Ball in prep for tonight! |

  2. Pingback: Thomas Tait: Fall/Winter 2014 |

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