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"Charles James: Beyond Fashion"

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion," on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through August 10, 2014, explores James's design process, focusing on his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today. Approximately sixty-five of James's most notable designs are presented in two locations—the Anna Wintour Costume Center and the special exhibition galleries on the Museum's first floor.

Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Dress, ca. 1950. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Erik Lee Preminger in memory of his mother, Gypsy Rose Lee, 1993 (2009.300.592) #CharlesJames

Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Swan, 1951. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Jr., 1961 (2009.300.850) #CharlesJames

Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Suit, 1948. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955 (2009.300.199a–d) #CharlesJames

Mary Jane Russell in a “full-length evening coat with its own angles,” from 1949. “So geometrical is Charlie James,” Virginia Woolf once wrote in a letter, “that if a stitch is crooked . . . the whole dress is torn to shreds.”

From the Archives: Charles James in Vogue - Vogue

vogue.com

Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Opera coat, 1956. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Lord and Taylor, 1957 (C.I.57.27) #CharlesJames

Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Suit, 1961-62. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Lee Krasner Pollock, 1975 (1975.52.5a, b) #CharlesJames

Learn more about Charles James’s revolution of twentieth-century fashion. | Left: Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Evening Dress, 1948. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1949 (2009.300.734). Right: Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887–1986). Black Iris, 1926. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1969 (69.278.1). #CharlesJames

Guest blogger Hallie shares her favorites in the exhibition “Charles James: Beyond Fashion." | Left: Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). “Clover Leaf,” 1953. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Cornelius V. Whitney, 1953 (2009.300.779). Right: “Taxi,” ca. 1932. Purchase, Alan W. Kornberg Gift, 2013 (2013.309) #CharlesJames

Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Dress, 1950. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1954 (2009.300.180) #CharlesJames