Why You Need to Check Out –  Charles James: Beyond Fashion at the Met

Charles james Beyond fashion

This man saw the human body as a canvas and based on that perception, he created some of the most memorable and coveted art in fashion history. Now, the revered couturier Charles James is being honored with an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

James was born in England, but began his career as a milliner running a hat shop in Chicago in the late 1920’s. He later moved to Queens, New York to continue selling hats and that was where he began to dabble in dress design. Taking his approach to designing hats directly on a head-shaped block, when James began to work with dresses he treated the female body as his framework. He also used millinery wire to give his dresses form. A progressive mind, Charles James has been referred to as America’s first couturier.

The work of this visionary is currently being celebrated and displayed at the exhibit ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion.’ The first exhibition of the new and improved Costume Institute at the Met explores the genius of James through his creative process and calculated methods. The Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center on the ground floor of the Met hosts part of the exhibit, the rest of which is on the first floor of the museum.

Using vintage images, text, x-rays and analytical animations, this show is an anatomical study of the thought and creativity James showed through his designs. Looking at several categories of design and personal evolution, the show explores the designer’s work with anatomical cuts, platonic forms, drapes and folds, and spirals and wraps.

The Met’s Page for the exhibition showcases rave reviews from the New York Times, The Economist and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. Everything about this educational and artistic experience proves that it’s worth checking out. Charles James: Beyond Fashion will be open for viewing until August 10th and then the opportunity to catch this one of a kind show will pass. Take a trip to the Met and see what all the hype is about!