The 2009 transfer of the Brooklyn Museum’s costume collection to the Met’s Costume Institute created an unrivaled representation of the work of the Anglo-American designer Charles James. During his life James directed clients to donate their best examples of his designs to the Brooklyn Museum, intending to create a working collection to inspire students of fashion. Since coming to the Met, this unsurpassed collection has been enhanced by a number of significant acquisitions, including rare pre–World War II pieces and James’s archives of sketches, notes, photographs, and other ephemera. The archives were donated in 2013 by Homer Layne, James’s last studio assistant. That trove forms the basis of this catalogue and exhibition.