Charles James is getting a lot of recognition this year with a look at his legendary career with an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Charles James: Beyond Fashion. Considered to be a “master of the cut and fold” his creations are an architectural marvel. Hailed by his rivals like Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Schiaparelli as well as countless women from high society ( and not so high like Gypsy Rose Lee) as the best and only dressmaker, James considered himself first and foremost an artist. Take a look at some of his art.
A few facts about Charles James
- Some of his dresses weighed up to 18 pounds.
- James was largely a self taught designer
- He started in fashion making hats
- Married Nancy Lee Gregory and had 2 children
- James was openly gay
- For a career that was over 50 years, there are about a 1000 of his gowns left
- He is said to have spent 12 years on one dress
- He designed a children’s line after the birth of his son
- He added the zipper into couture gowns
- Died alone and broke in 1974
Charles James: Beyond Fashion (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
A behind the scenes look at some of James’ gowns from the Chicago History Museum