The Mind of Charles James
Over the summer I had the opportunity to be in New York and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where there was a show about fashion designer Charles James. I'd actually never heard of him before, but was blown away by his work. The intro to the book accompanying the show (which I purchased, it's available on Amazon and I highly recommend it), describes Charles James as:
The creator of works of sculptural bravura and sophisticated palette, he is revered as one of the most significant couturiers of the twentieth century by fashion students, designers, and historians. James is, however, largely unknown to the wider public.
He worked primarily in the 50's and 60's, with his most famous output being staggeringly sculptural and complex evening dresses. In the show, which was designed by architects Diller Scofidio & Renfro, robotic arms highlighted areas on, around, and inside the garments, matched with photos and animations on LCD panels. This gave an audience a literal and figurative peek under the dress to see the many layers creating the structure, and the intricacies of cutting and sewing that made the forms.
Throughout the show and book were quotes and aphorisms from James, which I really enjoyed. Here are a few: