24 April 2012

The Ballgown : Charles James

Hi all,

I thought I would start looking back a bit further for these Ballgown posts, here is a good'un. Charles James was a fashion designer, and was known as Americas first couturier. 
"James looked upon his dresses as works of art, as did many of his customers. Year after year he reworked original designs, ignoring the sacrosanct schedule of seasons. The components of the precisely constructed designs were interchangeable so that James had a never-ending fund of ideas on which to draw. He is most famous for his sculpted ball gownsmade of lavish fabrics and to exacting tailoring standards, but is also remembered for his capes and coats, often trimmed with fur and embroidery, his spiral zipped dresses, and his white satin quilted jackets." 
I managed to find some finished garments by him, but also some toiles that proved interesting to look at, to see how he went about constructing the gowns... 
Four Leaf Clover dress, 1953
Evening Dress, 1948
Evening Dress, 1952
Muslin, 1946
Muslin, 1947
Muslin, 1953
Evening Dress 'tree', 195
Muslin, 1947

I love the silhouettes he has used, particularly the evening dress from 1948 and the 1951. With the more simplistic bodice and then the show stopper skirt!

xox Niamh xox

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