Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SEE and SEEN: That was Then, This is Now: Charles James

There are two certainties in this life: 

1. Tickets to the Met Gala, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, in May 2014 will not cost you anything even slightly remote to $200.  

and 2. Ain't no one, but no one, is going to be sashaying in a fashion show after dinner wearing a Charles James Four Leaf Clover Dress or a Charles James Swan Gown.

The Genius of Charles James.  The Brooklyn Museum. 1982.

"Like the career of James, the exhibition and the evening were more idiosyncratic than most.  There was to be the requisite dinner, this for 600 last night, to be attended by such guests as Halston, who underwrote the dinner and the fashion show, Bianca Jagger, Perry Ellis, C.Z. Guest.  There were nice nostalgic touches:  James' favorite champagne, Moet & Chandon, was to be served at dinner and the tables were set with his favorite flowers, orchids.

But unlike other exhibitions, the evening was to feature a fashion show of models wearing that designer's famous confections."  The New York Times.  October 15, 1982

"A benefit dinner and fashion show in the Blum Gallery at the Brooklyn Museum will open the exhibition "The Genius of Charles James".  The late designer, such a perfectionist that he only completed 200 dresses in a long career, is represented also by lithographs and the lip sofa considered so avant-garde in its day.  After dinner, models will parade in 20 James creations on loan from such proud possessors as Jennifer Jones, Elizabeth de Cuevas and Austine Hearst, co-chairman for the event with Halston.  Patrons will also be able to preview the exhibition before it opens to the public October 16th.  Tickets, $200. " The New York Times. October 10, 1982

Mrs. Charles James photographed by Cecil Beaton at 716 Madison Avenue.  1955

Dominique de Menil wearing Charles James on a Charles James designed sofa

Detail of extreme beauty... Charles James Swan gown...

I am so excited for upcoming exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion in the newly renovated galleries of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art!  Is it too soon to worry about what to wear?!  I don't think so!

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