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Charles James: Beyond Fashion

by habituallychic

05 . 06 . 14
I really thought I was going to love the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibition today at The Metropolitan Museum of Art but I found it underwhelming.  The gowns and other pieces are beautiful but the pitch black rooms with strange futuristic cameras was distracting and disappointing.  I would have loved to have seen the dresses mixed with period furniture and more creative backdrops.  
It was fun though to see the preparations for the Met Gala that was held Monday night.  The flowers never disappoint and were especially stunning this year. As you’ll see below, someone else liked them too. 
Charles James: Beyond Fashion
May 8 – August 10, 2014

Bill Cunningham

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

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  1. Fred Unwin May 6, 2014 | 12:55 am

    Were the dresses identified as to who wore them? I remember seeing some of his work at the Kent State fashion museum and the names of the women added a nice dimension. Yoiu can’t deny the technical quality of the dresses. Maybe you were underwelmed, because he was such a subtle designer.

  2. Habitually Chic May 6, 2014 | 12:58 am

    Fred – As I stated in the post, the dresses were beautiful, it was the setting that I didn’t care for at all. It was so dark in the gallery you could barely see anything. It didn’t do the designs justice at all.

  3. Dandy May 6, 2014 | 2:59 am

    I think the sofa in the picture was one James designed for Dominique Mendel.

  4. ArchitectDesign™ May 6, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    Agreed that the presentation seems lackluster – particularly given what the Met has at their disposal. C.J. was a genius though – simply amazing.

  5. Karena Albert May 6, 2014 | 2:38 pm

    The lighting is so very important because the gowns are incredible. Always love seeing Bill Cunningham!

    The Arts by Karena

  6. a. May 6, 2014 | 7:15 pm

    I will see it because I love Charles James but I totally agree about the black rooms. Not a fan!

  7. Irakli Zaria May 6, 2014 | 8:20 pm

    I always considered Charles James to be undeservedly underestimated as opposed to Balenciaga, Balmain and etc, though his style and works were extremely charismatic and bold. Nice to see that such an impressive exposition was dedicated to his talent no matter how bad the decoration was. Beautiful posts!

  8. Kermit Alexander King May 7, 2014 | 11:16 am

    Whomever put the show together was lazy. Pure and simple! Very uncharacteristic of The Met.