Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
Length at CB (a, b): 50 in. (127 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. A. Bernatschke, 1955
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.