Loving fashion as we do, it was decided by all to visit the Metropolitan Museum in New York and view the Charles James exhibit that runs until August 10th.
During James lifetime (1906-1978) his fascination with the female form was a constant theme throughout his career. He used a range of techniques (spiraling, draping, sculpting and folding) to achieve startling results.
Though not as well known as many of his contemporaries, he was a true visionary who was “beyond fashion”. In fact, he was an artist who chose to work with fabric as his main medium of expression.
For example, he was among the first designers to use a zipper in a dress and, along with Schiaparelli, the first to use a visible zipper as a decoration. His “Taxi” dress included a zipper with a large, obvious placket that spiraled completely around the body.
And, if you can believe it, he used billiard cloth (the felt used for pool tables) for evening wraps. This exceptional creativity reminds me of Alexander McQueen’s 2011 exhibit that we also saw at the Met. One of his most exciting creations was a beautiful gown made of black parachute silk that was absolutely stunning.
It’s interesting to compare these two: the McQueen exhibit was a blockbuster with a record-breaking attendance of over 600,000 visitors, while the James is a more subdued affair that is being held in two different spots in the Met itself. Personally, I think this is a mistake.
But let’s face it, the McQueen exhibit really raised the bar for dramatic presentation: the fashions themselves coupled with theatrical lighting and dramatic music offered an exhilarating and breakthrough show.
Both are remarkable creative talents and, it should be noted, James influenced many of today’s well-known designers – he was a talent clearly ahead of his time.
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This is the first thing I saw when perusing the 50th anniversary issue of the Smithsonian magazine for April 2020. This eye-opening 10-page article (with spectacular photos) is titled, “The Ship in the Ice” and concerns a topic we’ve all been hearing about for years, e.g., global warming.
The pandemic this year has affected all of us in many ways. Two things that stand out in my mind: people definitely need people (to paraphrase the song “People” sung by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl). The phone, email, computer, TV and all the other digital creations we use DO NOT take the place of human interaction. We all need to see and talk to each other. That said we have also learned that we can work at home very efficiently and handle our normal workload if necessary. Never commute again? I don’t think that will happen, but perhaps we’ll find a happy medium – time will tell.
I have often found that when a person achieves incredible success – after a long struggle – the back-story is almost as fascinating as the achievement itself. That’s why I was interested in, yet another, Andy Warhol write-up that appeared in the May 2020 issue of the Smithsonian magazine.
We use Italian lingerie sizing for our bodywear and items tend to run small.
Because of the body-hugging nature of the fabric and our body conscious fit most women prefer to wear our layering tops as under-layers. If you are inclined to wear them on their own we suggest you size up. Please email us or give us a call if you have questions about your sizing. We're happy to help you get it right.
Relaxed fit. Wear alone or over any of our layering tees or camisoles.
Please email us or give us a call if you have questions about your sizing. We're happy to help you get it right.
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