Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
Gift of Elizabeth Fairall, 1953
Not on view
The American couturier Charles James was noted for his breathtakingly sculptural creations. A James gown, like this famous Four-Leaf Clover, was a masterful blending of romantic Belle Epoque elegance and sexy mid-twentieth-century glamour. His beginnings as a milliner informed his most spectacular effects, relying as they did on a layered infrastructure of nylon mesh, feather-boning, buckram, and horsehair braid. A James gown did not require hoops and crinolines to hold its form; it could literally stand on its own.
Marking: [label] Charles James 1953
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "In Style: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Costume Institute," November 17, 1987–April 17, 1988.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed," December 4, 2001–March 17, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of Fashion," October 23, 1967–January 1, 1968.