03 August 2014

Couturier Charles James on…"Clients whom I would have liked to dress…"

If you have the opportunity to visit the exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum (closing August 10), don't skip the small room devoted to the designer's archives.  James was clearly aware of his place in fashion history and made sure to document his influences (including Jules Pascin, Kees von Dongen and Christian Berard) and opinions on his contemporaries ("Illustrative Designer-Artists whom I abhorred and thought in their pretention to represent fashion disgraced it: ERTE").

Here are a few of the bodies beautiful he would have liked to have dressed – "…Some I could have but did not":

Gertrude STEIN.
Massive elegance; great style.

Born a fairy princess to charm and court discipline; become [sic] sad with time.

Mrs William BUCKLEY    New York.

Smart, imaginative, ready to develop taste; still lacking it.
Miss Lana TURNER
Beautiful and far greater actress than recognized.

Miss Greta GARBO      New York
Need I say?

Top photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 
Brown silk chiffon, cream silk satin, brown silk satin, dark brown nylon tulle
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Fund, 2013 (2013.591)


The Devoted Classicist said...

I can imagine the ladies, but it is his dressing these men that would have really been interesting.

Karena Albert said...

All would have been glorious in his gowns ( quite interesting to see his attire for the men)

I adore the butterfly gown in that chocolate shade, yum!

The Arts by Karena

Toby Worthington said...

Gertrude Stein and Charles James! Now that is an unlikely pairing if ever there was one. Then again, Pierre Balmain did make coats and suits for Gertrude Stein who attended his fashion shows on occasion.
Meaning that anything is possible.

Roy said...

The line about Mick Jagger is fabulous! These quotes are priceless. Mr. James had no shortage of strong opinions that's for sure. The collection assembled at the MET is nothing short of amazing!