Charles James: Beyond Fashion – The Met’s 2014 Fashion Exhibition

I was so excited when I heard the announcement that the fashion exhibition leading the way next year by New York’s Costume Institute is ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’.

‘Ballgowns’, 1948 – Photo By Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Cecil Beaton, Beaton / Vogue / Condé Nast Archive. Copyright (c) Condé Nast

I love Charles James, and have a huge appreciation for his wonderful couture designs (even though as a person he was a little much at times).

Here is a short video clip from Vogue below:

WWD sum it up perfectly with their report.

“He really is a one-of-a-kind designer,” said Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Costume Institute. “Even if you look through the history of French haute couture and all the English couture designers, James stands out as a very idiosyncratic personality and artist and one of the few designers who, in his own lifetime, felt that his work transcended the medium.”

Thus the exhibition’s title. “When we say ‘Beyond Fashion,’ it’s not to disparage fashion, but it was actually James’ tentative title for his own autobiography, because he felt that the research — studies of anatomy, the way he resolved sculptural shapes with his tailoring and ballgowns — was something that transcended trends and fashion. He wanted to use fashion and push fashion even further than what it was as a commercial enterprise.”

The exhibition will run from 8th May to 10th August 2014 and will feature some 100 pieces by Charles James from his entire career.

For more information on Charles James, have a Voguepedia page on him.

The Telegraph also has a nice article on the exhibition too (with some great images!).

I personally didn’t really enjoy the Punk theme of the Met Gala this year. And working on it with celebrities was rather challenging. It’s not easy for everyone to carry off the Punk look. Then again, I’m about as Punk as Charlotte York from Sex and the City.

Couture glamour on the other hand? I find myself terribly excited! I’ll bet lots of designers, stylists and PRs are too.

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