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Oddly Enough

Forgotten no more: Met celebrates fashion designer Charles James

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 01:15

May 06 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art chooses forgotten couturier Charles James as the subject of its annual costume exhibit. Elly Park reports.

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He was known as America's first couturier. While an unfamiliar name to most of us, Charles James has a unique place in fashion history according to New York Metropolitan Museum's Harold Koda. SOUNDBITE: Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, saying (English) "James is one of the few designers in the fashion business who considered himself more an artist than a commercial designer." That is why James was the perfect choice for the museum's annual costume exhibit that is now housed in the newly constructed Anna Wintour Costume Center. His legacy not only includes these artful ball gowns, but also stylish innovations, such as the wrap-dress and the A-line coat. SOUNDBITE: Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, saying (English) "He had a lot of first. But they've become incorporated into general system of fashion, so it's sort of invisible. What we're hoping to do with the exhibition is make it legible again." James was active from the mid-'20s until his death in 1978, and hopefully with this exhibit he will get the recognition he truly deserves. The exhibit titled Charles James - Beyond Fashion will run until August 10th.

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Forgotten no more: Met celebrates fashion designer Charles James

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 01:15