Charles James Ball Gowns, 1948, Photo By Cecil Beaton, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ah the days of the ball gown, the true ball gown, with sweeping cascades of silks trailing behind chic chignons and kitten heels demurely tucked under ones voluminous skirts. It opens on May the 8th and is only open until August the 10th so start planning your trip now!
Although not as famous a name as previous Met subjects (which have included Mcqueen, Prada and Schiaparelli), James is known for being one of America's first couturiers - having become famous in the Forties. Consistently inspired by the surrealist art movement, his dresses were sculpted and often highlighted the hips. He redefined dress-making norms of the Fifties with his complex cuts and use of different fabrics, mixing velvet with satin, silk and crepe.
The Met's display will feature 100 of his most impressive designs, along with sketches, swatches and clothing patterns.
To build anticipation, the museum has released a new film celebrating his work - watch it below!
(L) Charles James, 1952, Photo By Michael A Vaccaro, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (L) Nancy James in a Charles James Swan Gown, 1955, Photo By Cecil Beaton, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(L) Charles Jame evening dress, 1946, Photo By © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (R) Austine Hearst in Charles James Four-Leaf Clover Gown, 1953, Photo By Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(L) Charles James Butterfly Gown, 1954, Photo By Cecil Beaton, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (R) Babe Paley in a Charles James Gown, 1950, Photo By John Rawlings, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(L) Anne Countess of Rosse wears Charles James, date unknown. (R) Evelyn Tripp in Charles James dress, Photo by Horst P. Horst, 1951.
(L) Dorian Leigh in a Charles James gown, Photo by Cecil Beaton, Vogue, 1948. (R) Gypsy Rose Lee in Charles James dress, date unknown.
(L) Charles James and Model, Photo by Cecil Beaton, 1948. (R) Back view of evening coat worn over ball gown by Charles James, photo by Eliot Elisofon, October 1950.