So, you know Monday is The Met Ball. The First Lady, Michelle Obama will cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Anna Wintour Costume Center, although she won’t be attending the Ball Monday night. (This name of the center is somewhat of a scandal on its own as many thought it should named after Diana Vreeland, the woman who put the Costume Institute on the map – but it’s a done deal now. Sorry, DV but Anna raised $125 million bucks – and money talks.)
The latest exhibit, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, which opens next week, will explore the couturier’s sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continues to influence designers today. After designing in his native London, and then Paris, James arrived in New York City in 1940. Though he had no formal training, he is now regarded as one of the greatest designers in America to have worked in the tradition of the Haute Couture. His fascination with complex cut and seaming led to the creation of key design elements that he updated throughout his career: wrap-over trousers, figure-eight skirts, body-hugging sheaths, ribbon capes and dresses, spiral-cut garments, poufs and all manner of complicated designs that end up looking the most simple and elegant. All of this finery will be on display. Today, this remains the REAL red carpet standard that everyone longs for. It’s sometimes called Hollywood Glamour but it is just pure GLAMOUR. The men attending The Met Ball on Monday night will be a bit challenged to keep up, as they are all required to wear white tie and tails. Look for pictures on social media #CharlesJames. Take a look at some it here.