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05-11-2007
  31
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he's really great at manipulating fabrics for texture !
i love the shrimp dress and #19

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25-11-2007
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Quote:
Charles James (1906-1978) was born in London. His father was an English military officer, while his mother came from a socially prominent Chicago family. After he was expelled from Harrow as the result of a sexual escapade, his family packed him off to Chicago to work. Not long after, he began his career as milliner. His shop at 1209 North State Street was called Charles Boucheron, the surname borrowed from a school friend. Two years later he moved to New York City and began designing dresses with the same sculptural sense that characterized his millinery.

“Charles James is not only the greatest American couturier, but the world’s best and only dressmaker who has raised it from an applied art form to a pure art form,” declared the great Spanish couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. His famous “butterfly Dress,” originally created for Mrs. William Randolph Hearst Jr. in 1954, is featured here in another version, worn by Mrs. John V. Farwell III. Made of 25 yards of peau de soie and nylon net, the dress weighs 18 pounds. Its most notable features are structured side wings and a back bustle skirt. The Chicago History Museum has more than a dozen dresses by Charles James, many of which were donated only a few years after they were first worn, possibly because they were so difficult to store.

Charles James, evening gown, 1954, USA, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John V. Farwell III, photograph by Irving Solero
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25-11-2007
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25-11-2007
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Don't like the dress above. The fabric is too much like wallpaper. Why would his dresses have been hard to store?

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25-11-2007
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^I wonder about that too, although maybe it's the size? Some of the dresses are very big, so maybe that's why they are hard to store

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19-01-2008
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Quote:
c. 1937 (designed), Quilted satin, filled with down.

Charles James (1906-1978) created this jacket for Mrs Oliver Burr Jennings. In 1975 he wrote a full description of the development of its design. It was constructed in the same manner as an eiderdown bed quilt. In certain areas of the garment there was a danger that the thickness would impede movement. James resolved this by diminishing the depth of the padding around the neckline and armholes. This jacket ranks among his most important works, along with the taxi dress and the Sylphide gown. It became a cult object in the 1970s, linked with voluminous padded coats. James longed for it to be translated into other materials - an expensive version in kid leather, for example, or a mass-market example in nylon stuffed with kapok for motorcycle- or ski-wear.



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19-01-2008
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That is godawful

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23-05-2008
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Quote:
"Butterfly," 1954

Charles James

Known as the “Butterfly” dress, this gown is made of 25 yards of peau de soie and nylon netting and weighs 17 pounds. Worn by Mrs. John V. Farwell III.
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© Chicago History Museum
www.chicagohistory.org

See post #33

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01-06-2008
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Quote:
A signature Charles James piece is rare ... and one that is in excellent condition is even more rare. This rarity derives from the fact that Charles James was eclectic, eccentric and extremely perfectionistic in his designing. Furthermore, to own a Charles James creation is equated to owning an original sculptured work of art. His artistic genius was in his ability to craft a garment with the intuition of an artist combined with an engineer taking into account weight distribution and elements of proportion, line, color and texture. In his lifetime, Charles James produced not a large quantity of designs. What he did create was devastatingly beautiful and uniquely constructed signature gowns and coats, signature garments that he continued to evolve and perfect throughout his lifetime. These creations are now considered iconic representations of the designer .... such as this coat. During his career, James dressed many of America's best-dressed women who provided a devout and loyal following considering they could have easily afforded to have been dressed by the Paris salons.

Circa 1952 authentic Charles James short coat fashioned of burgundy red Botany pressed wool broadcloth. Has stand up shawl collar, round back yoke; inset sleeves; semi fitted raised waist; flaring dipping hemline. Designed by Charles James initially for, and marketed by William S. Popper. One of the high end department stores that handled this particular line was the old I. Magnin and Company.

James' periodic attempts to contract with various manufacturers and stores to create ready-to-wear were only partially successful due to his drive for extreme artistic perfection. Charles James is considered to be the only American designer to work in pure couture tradition. and was regarded as the greatest couturier of his time even by the master of construction, Balenciaga. According to the book, "The Genius of Charles James", page 105.... "The reigning monarchs of Paris couture - Poiret, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Dior and Balenciaga - recognized and praised his fluency in sculpting unique shapes and in the displacement of the dart and seaming." Hence, the genius of Charles James.

An example of the coat being offered in this auction can be found in the book, "The Genius of Charles James" by Elizabeth Anne Coleman, page 153 pic 41
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01-06-2008
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A Charles James evening mantle or dolman of shimmering blue/pink shot grosgrain, English, 1937-8, bearing large woven red satin label `James, 15 Bruton Street, London W', cut long at the front and short waist-length at the back, with inner waistband, curved darts to the front panels.

Charles James was born in Somerset in 1906, and although technically British he was acknowledged as a leader in American fashion from the 1930s. He set up a business in New York in 1928 and by the end of 1929 he had opened a London salon, and one in Paris in 1934.. For the next ten years he moved constantly between Europe and America. In 1937 he became resident at the Dorchester in London and showed for the first time in Paris. In 1940 he moved permanently to New York. It is exceptionally rare to find any English James pieces from this early part of his career.
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29-07-2008
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Charles James Cutaway Bolero Jacket
American, 1952
Of navy blue satin, cutting away in a circle from neckline to center back, the collar comprising two interlocking pointed tabs creating an X at neck, three-quarter straight sleeves, two triangular insets at back, geranium pink silk faille lining, no label.
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29-07-2008
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Charles James Two-Piece Evening Ensemble
American, circa1948
Comprising a copper/green silk faille and satin bodice and pale blue/green satin skirt, the sweetheart line bodice with short off-the-shoulder satin sleeves pleated at bust and fitted at waist and over hips, peach satin lining and interior boning, the skirt circular, with single front center inverted pleat, two angled side back zippers, black velvet integral tie.

Two of Charles James' most important clients were photographed wearing this bodice. Mrs. William Randolph (Austine) Hearst was photographed by Louise Dahl-Wolf wearing an identical skirt and bodice ensemble. See Harper's Bazaar, December, 1948, p.105. Standard oil heiress Millicent Huddleston Rogers wears the bodice with a different skirt in the often-published seated photo of her by Horst. See U.S Vogue, February 1, 1949.
See Elizabeth Ann Coleman, The Genius of Charles James, p.114, for first, pp.43, 137 for second.
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29-07-2008
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Probably same bodice as the one in post #9:

Quote:
Charles James Black Velvet Bodice
American, circa 1949
With off-the-shoulder vestigial sleeves, structured cuffed neckline folded up into point at center, fitted at waist and over hip to rounded point at front and back center, interior boning and ivory satin lining.

James used this bodice style as part of several of his dress designs, as well as a separate worn with evening skirts. Rebecca Guggenheim Logan sat for a portrait wearing a blue satin version of it with a green satin version of the skirt in Lot . The design also comprises the bodice of the famous "March of Dimes" dress owned by eight of James' most important clients.
See Elizabeth Ann Coleman, The Genius of Charles James, pp.36,42,50-51,122, cats.68 and 70, 124,cat.83.
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29-07-2008
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Charles James Draped Satin Skirt
American, circa 1947
Floor length, of pale aqua satin, with matt silk insets at top of hip and wide boned cumberbund waistband, the front draped in a pouf at knee level.

This was a design that James used in various forms from 1939 to 1947. A gown with this skirt was photographed by Louise Dahl-Wolf. See Harper's Bazaar, April, 1947, p.181 and Elizabeth Ann Coleman, The Genius of Charles James, pp.37,120.
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29-07-2008
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In post #3 you can see the frontview of this dress:

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Charles James Asymmetrical Cocktail Dress
American, late 1940s
The dress conceived as a sculpture spiraling around the body, the bodice and asymmetrical front skirt tablier of brown/gray silk faille, the skirt of copper silk satin, the bodice with high straight neckline and extended shoulders, slashed at oblique angle from right shoulder to center and cut in low V to small of back, back inset at waist sewn with grain at opposite angle to main bodice.
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