Metropolitan Museum of Art set to exhibit Charles James

METcourtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The New York-based Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is all set to open its much awaited spring exhibit paying homage to America’s first-ever couturier Charles James.

Slated to be held from May 8 to August 10, 2014, the retrospective exhibition will focus on the legendary 20th century Anglo-American designer’s sculptural, scientific and mathematical approach towards fashion.

Jointly curated by Harold Koda and Jan Glier Reede, the ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’ event will feature more than 75 notable designs crafted by the British-born couturier in his illustrious design career beginning from 1920s through 1978.

The event will be organized at the newly renovated Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery as well as the museum’s special exhibition galleries on the first floor.

The Costume Institute’s first-floor special exhibition galleries will highlight an array of glamorous architectural ball gowns, worn by the likes of Austine Hearst, Millicent Rogers and Dominique de Menil, created by James between the periods of 1940s and 1950s.

The museum’s Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery will display archival pieces including sketches, pattern pieces, swatches, ephemera and partially completed works from the designer’s last studio in New York City’s Chelsea Hotel.

Also, animation videos illustrating how the couturier designed anatomically considered dresses that sculpted and reconfigured the female forms will also form a part of the exhibit.

Harold Koda, the Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute and co-curator of the forthcoming exhibit said in a press statement, “Charles James was a wildly idiosyncratic, emotionally fraught fashion genius who was also committed to teaching. He dreamt that his lifetime of personal creative evolution and the continuous metamorphosis of his designs would be preserved as a study resource for students.  In our renovated galleries, we will fulfil his goal and illuminate his design process as a synthesis of dressmaking, art, math, and science.”


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