Evening dress

Designer Charles James American

Not on view

James’s writings indicate he conceived the design for this dress as one piece that spiraled around the body with a single diagonal seam running from the knee to the shoulder. The logistics of fitting and the limitations of fabric width, however, necessitated that it be cut in three pieces—the scarf/front bodice, the skirt/back bodice, and a triangular piece that extends the skirt into a wrap—thereby allowing, as James put it, “for a leg to emerge while seated.

Evening dress, Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978), silk, American

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