Designer Charles James American

Not on view

James’s historicist outlook and aesthetic for eccentric sculptural shapes coalesce in this unorthodox yet engagingly dramatic design. To the period ideal of the sheathed female figure, James suspended a wide bell-shaped hem construction, as if the panniers of an eighteenth-century court gown had slipped down around the legs. The shape, not unlike its Rococo prototype, is supported by concentric and transverse boning. Of the James sheath designs spouting knee-length flounces, including the Tree and the Tulip gowns, the Lampshade is singular in its tight wrapping of fabric over a supporting understructure.

"Lampshade", Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978), rayon, silk/cotton, American

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