Fashion Designer as Artist
British born fashion designer, Charles James was thought of as an artist who created fashion. Some of his clients thought of his designs as fine art. This month an exhibit opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, that is a tribute to his contribution to the world of fashion. James died in 1978.
You may have seen this famous dress. It's called the Clover Leaf Ball Gown and it was made to dance in. It's elegant and beautiful and weighs 10 lbs... Apparently the dress is effortless to wear on the dance floor, but a little less so when sitting or just standing around!
For those of you who are curious, here is a picture of how this famous dress was constructed:
He loved to manipulate material by distressing it, or combining luxury fabrics with synthetics, for a look that took him out of the purely "classic" realm.
Here is his puffer coat, that he designed in 1937. It was constructed in the same manner as an eiderdown bed quilt. In it you can see where some of the inspiration for our modern, down winter coats came from.
The photo's of his gowns below, show how he sculptured the fabric to a women's body and they show how he was not afraid to use colour.
I'm headed to New York City in August and I look forward to seeing this exhibit at the Met! I'll take some photo's and share them.