He was friends with Andy Warhol, dressed Coco Chanel, and once wore a giant sombrero to Studio 54. Charles James was “America’s first couturier”, whose sculptural designs forever changed the fashion world. If you want to brush up on your fashion history, head on over to the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before it ends on August 10th. Couture, culture, and a perfect way to escape the NYC heat…what could be better?

outside of met

The exhibit is a two part exhibit, one half is on the main floor and the other is located downstairs in the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

anna wintour costume center

the costume institute

All the dresses are displayed throughout the room without any barriers, so that everyone can get a close look at them and the expert craftmanship. Each dress is displayed next to a high-tech screen that gives you specific information about that garment, and other images about its construction.

muslin dresses

dress and screen

Quotes from James about style, fashion, and design are found around the room on mirrored walls.

mirror quote

 Standout pieces like the four leaf clover ball gowns and the famous “taxi dresses” show just how much James influenced the fashion industry.

four leaf clover

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