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Charles James: Beyond Fashion

80023833 New
Item # 80023833
Charles James: Beyond Fashion is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 12.
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Description

By Harold Koda and Jan Glier Reeder; With a preface by Ralph Rucci and contributions by Sarah Scaturro and Glenn Petersen

Charles James, often considered to be America's first couturier, was renowned in the 1940s and 1950s as a master at sculpting fabric for the female form and creating fashions that defined mid- century glamour. Although James had no formal training as a dressmaker, he created strikingly original and complex designs, including intricate ball gowns worn by members of high society in New York and Europe. This lavishly illustrated book offers a comprehensive study of James's life and work, highlighting his virtuosity and inventiveness as well as his influence on subsequent fashion designers.

Featuring exciting new photography of the spectacular evening dresses James produced between 1947 and 1955, this publication includes enlightening details of these intricate creations alongside vintage photographs and rarely seen archival items, such as patterns, muslins, dress forms, and sketches. A detailed and illustrated chronology of James's life describes his magnetic personality, his unorthodox design processes, his colorful supporters—such as Salvador Dalí, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, and Cristobal Balenciaga—and profiles of a number of his famous clients, such as Gypsy Rose Lee. With flair and style echoing that of its subject, Charles James brings to life one of the most fascinating and creative figures in American fashion.

By Harold Koda and Jan Glier Reeder; With a preface by Ralph Rucci and contributions by Sarah Scaturro and Glenn Petersen

Charles James, often considered to be America's first couturier, was renowned in the 1940s and 1950s as a master at sculpting fabric for the female form and creating fashions that defined mid- century glamour. Although James had no formal training as a dressmaker, he created strikingly original and complex designs, including intricate ball gowns worn by members of high society in New York and Europe. This lavishly illustrated book offers a comprehensive study of James's life and work, highlighting his virtuosity and inventiveness as well as his influence on subsequent fashion designers.

Featuring exciting new photography of the spectacular evening dresses James...See More

Details
  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Authors: 
  • Pages: 264
  • Illustrations: 315 in full color
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dimensions: 9 3/4'' x 13''
  • ISBN: 9780300204360
  • Award: 2015 Book Industry Guild of New York Book Show
Editorial Reviews

''Harold Koda's detailed examination of James's creative process and his oeuvre reveals the designer’s true genius This book is beautiful. The printed canvas cover cleverly opens to endpapers printed with James’s canvas toile. The photographs are bold and alluring But the real merit in this book is the sheer breadth of its source material and the depth of its examination. As the authors intended, James's status as a true artist cannot be doubted here. Rucci encourages us to approach this book with a willingness to be seduced. Even the most unyielding reader will be unable to resist its appeal.'' 
      —Costume: The Journal of The Costume Society 

'' a glamorous retrospective of the couturier Charles James’s work in the sumptuous exhibition catalogue, Charles James: Beyond Fashion." 
      —Atlantic 

" lavishly illustrated offers a comprehensive study of James’ life and work, highlighting his virtuosity and inventiveness as well as his influence on subsequent fashion designers. Featuring exciting new photography of the spectacular evening dresses James produced between 1947 and 1955, this publication includes enlightening details of these intricate creations alongside vintage photographs and rarely seen archival items, such as patterns, muslins, dress forms and sketches This awesome book tells you everything." 
      — Birmingham Post 

"...as sumptuous as his work...In their catalog, curators Harold Koda and Jan Glier Reeder encapsulate James' life and career in 264 pages of context and color. 
      —Chicago Tribune 

"...magisterial monograph..." 
      — Wall Street Journal

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Charles James: Beyond Fashion The book is very nicely done. After seeing the Met Show and the profoundly dark installation, the photographs are a remarkable and welcome opportunity to actually study the clothes. Typically, the text is largely anecdotal with only secondary consideration and information about the actual clothing. I would be a welcome and scholarly addition to a future reprint if some of the texture mapped "drapes" could be included along with more information about the actual patterns and construction. The V&A publications always do a much better job with that. My coffee table is already overcrowded, I would prefer to own books that I might study and return to again and again. Next time a little more scholarship about the clothes and textiles please.
Date published: 2014-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully illustrated, compelling book I purchased one copy for myself after seeing the exhibit in July because I wanted to know more about Charles James and how he went about designing and constructing the garments. I promptly read it from cover to cover and now keep it out on a table where I look at the photos again and again. Subsequently, I bought another copy to give to a friend who knew someone who worked at Vogue for several years. She loved it! The book clearly describes/illustrates how many garments were constructed, the fabrics used and the difficulties/ potential pitfalls inherent in working with certain materials, bias cuts, etc. The photos are exquisite--expertly done. They show the garments as works of art , produced by a man with an eye for beauty, and a profound understanding of form and function. The book is rather expensive so most people would not acquire it for themselves or as a gift unless they were very interested. However, all the women and girls I have shown it to, thought it was lovely and looked at every page. Even several men, a house contractor, a psychiatrist and several others saw the garments as impressive works of art.
Date published: 2014-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Charles James: Beyond Fashion This publication exemplifies the superlative standards for which the Met is well known. It's a beautiful book, lavishly illustrated, and not only informative, but fascinating as well. I feel privileged to own it!
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and informative! I purchased and read prior to seeing the exhibit. It was a wonderful accompaniment to the exhibit, but stands in its own right as an interesting and informative book on James' career and his work. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2014-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Regrettably, I could not make it the Met to see the exhibit up close and personal so I treated myself to the catalog. When I opened the box, I did not expect this gorgeous catalog. If you love fashion, this is a must have.
Date published: 2014-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful! This catalogue / book is a real tressure! Beautiful pictures of all the wonderfull dresses and nice biography. The book helps me to remember the awsome exhibition in 'the Met'
Date published: 2014-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Charles James Beyond Fashion I am thrilled by this book, printed in Italy on the perfect heavy stock paper with the best photography.
Date published: 2015-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely coffee table book. This is my favourite new book. The quality is top notch and it is a welcome addition to my book collection. And it's a nice accompaniment if you saw the Charles James Exhibit and even if you didn't ..it's lovely to have. This book has so many beautiful pages in it, I keep looking at it again and again. It would make s wonderful gift as well.
Date published: 2014-08-21
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