Cocktail dress

Designer Charles James American

Not on view

Although the bodice of this dress has center front, center back, and side seams, its second-skin fit was accomplished by molding the bust à calage (steaming in the shape) and using back shoulder darts. The body of the dress has center front and center back seams. A long dart curves from under the arm over the front hipbone and into the low front cowl. With its high neckline, shoulder line extending into a cap sleeve, and sheathlike fit, this James design suggests the exotic influence of the Chinese qi pao, a style promoted at the time by another American couturier, Mainbocher, on his client Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor.

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

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.