Preview: “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” at the MET

“Charles James: Beyond Fashion” at the MET

By Eugénie Trochu, translated by Charlotte Sutherland-Hawes via

L'exposition  Charles James : Beyond Fashion  du Met Costume Institute 2014

Anglo-American designer Charles James (1906-1978) is one the biggest names in mid 20th century American fashion, a designer who thought of fashion as a mathematical science. From Thursday May 8 to Sunday August 10, 2014, the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is opening to the doors to the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition, which celebrates the work of the visionary designer. With just a few days until it officially opens, brings you a look at some of the iconic images on display in this year’s MET exhibition, which draws huge crowds every year.

James 1

Now an established tradition thanks to work of the famous Diana Vreeland, the annual exhibition of theCostume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum has been a veritable fashion phenomenon since 1946. After dedicating last year’s exhibition to the punk movement in Punk: Chaos to CoutureElsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada in 2012 and Alexander McQueen in 2011, the Met Costume Institute is paying tribute to America’s first great designer Charles James (1906-1978) this year. The exhibition will be divided in two sections, presented in both of the recently refurbished Costume Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Re-telling the story of the designer’s exceptional career, Charles James: Beyond Fashion will showcase the designer’s 100 most iconic pieces, featuring archive pieces including sketches, fabric samples and several of the designer’s last, unfinished pieces on show. A true visionary, Charles James is considered as one of the greatest American designers, renowned for dresses that sculpt and perfect the female form. True pieces of architecture blending glamour and elegance, his pieces contributed to the critical success that transformed the designer into a fashion legend.

Photo: Cecil Beaton, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Charles James in 1952

Charles James in 1952

Photo: Michael A Vaccaro, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nancy James in a Charles James ballgown, 1955

Nancy James in a Charles James ballgown, 1955

Photo: Cecil Beaton, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art



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