Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Evening dress

Designer:
Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
Date:
1952
Culture:
American
Medium:
silk
Dimensions:
Length at CB (a, b): 50 in. (127 cm)
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. A. Bernatschke, 1955
Accession Number:
2009.300.213a, b
Not on view
The skirt of this dress is an especially exuberant rendering of James’s spiral draping. He cut away the below-knee-length hem as it winds clockwise over itself until it terminates in a disengaged point at the left front waist. The narrow underskirt, barely visible, suggests a continuation of the spiral but is cut separately. Here James exploited taffeta’s natural body and ability to hold its form to exaggerate the skirt’s animated and layered effect.
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