lunes, 7 de julio de 2014


This year’s MET Costume Exhibition  is an ode to American designers, featuring one of America’s most notorious courtiers, Charles James. James’ pieces are known for their innovative cuts and architectural structures. The gowns and suits in James’ collections have very distinctive and three-dimensional shapes, which created looks that serve both as modern and timeless. 

The MET’s exhibit offers an extremely creative and modern experience, which correlates to James’ innovative style. Every gown in the first room of the exhibit (with the exception of the muslin versions) has it’s own computer screen below, which shows a graphic, three-dimensional version of the dress that comes apart before your eyes, revealing the patterns and cuts he used to piece it together. While the computer flips through it’s slides, a projector, set up at the front of every gown, slides up and down and projects measurements, angles, and other geometric figures onto the dress with a bright white light. Indeed, this technology offers an extremely thorough and new way to experience fashion, scientifically.

At the MET’s last “Sunday at the MET” talk, they invited the notable and very current American designer, Zac Posen, to speak about James’ pieces and aesthetics. Zac Posen, in fact, is most renowned for his ingenious gowns as well, being a  “James” of his time. 

Posen opened the lecture discussing his interest with James’ ability to present fashions that had both anatomical cuts and a glamorous air about them. Posen expressed that James had the ability to manipulate fabric in such a way where he could hide construction underneath façade. Posen noted that James’ fashions were all based on the straight and curved lines along the body, creating a very technical and beautiful look. He  calls this “emotional engineering,” and said that James’ used this method to create and design most of his work.

Zac also remarked that James’ gowns made women feel empowered, and compared his relationship with the notorious Dita Von Teese to that of Charles James and Gypsy Rose Lee.

 Both him and James have created erotic and confident gowns and clothing for these women, bringing inner expression to the outside. Posen noted that it’s all about how a woman feels when she’s wearing the clothing.

The talk ended on an extremely interesting note, where Posen addressed the relationship of art and science in fashion and in James’ work. “I believe art and science are symbiotic,” Posen noted. Both technical and glamorous, Charles James’ ingenious dresses and designs are the epitome of art and science, the lecture concluded. 

Mr Posen exploring Charles James work. 

Construction: the key of Charles James work

Dita Von Teese wearing a Zac Posen gown next to one of Mr. James'

by Alanna Martine for FLORBIBAS
images by Alanna

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