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closed Charles James.

Curated by: Rick Owens

The show

The exhibition "Charles James - The Couture Secrets of Shape" curated, produced and originally presented by Rick Owens , offers a selection of rare auteur prints , patterns , prototypes , from the 1930s to the early 1970s.
Considered one of the most important American designers of the twentieth century, Charles James set the stage for a radical change in fashion conventions. Charles James (1906-1978), Anglo-American, America's first couturier, became famous for the extraordinarily elegant evening dresses created in the 1930s and 1950s for the most sophisticated customers. Personalities like Marlene Dietrich , Austine McDonnell Hearst , Gypsy Rose Lee , Millicent Rogers , wore her creations. From the very beginning of his career, James designed, a truly revolutionary for the times, unisex clothing. The down jacket (Eyderdown Jacket) and unisex models share with her large ball gowns a sculptural presence, an architectural structure and a design method strictly based on mathematical proportions.
James is considered an innovator in fashion for his technique and methodological approach. Homer Layne, legendary assistant to Charles James and Dorothea Mink, Professor of Fashion Design at Bremen University of the Arts, together wrote the book, published by Spector Books, which inspired this exhibition. After examining Charles James 'notable innovations, they revealed what made his designs so special, and suggested how designers can apply James' concepts to their work even today. For the first time this exhibition on the secrets of form in high fashion by Charles James, reveals a largely invisible work and gives an idea of the early development of his style, with carefully selected images, both in concept and composition, which testify to an extraordinary creative process.
The exhibition "Charles James: The Couture Secrets of Shape", goes beyond evening dresses, and presents some of the unisex designs and projects elaborated in New York at the Chelsea Hotel, where he lived from 1964 to 1978. In the era of Mapplethorpe and Patty Smith , by Warhol and Leo Castelli , his rooms at the Chelsea Hotel served him as a studio, laboratory, archive, almost a magnet for the artists who passed by. In 1973 he began writing the book: The Charles James Approach to Structural Design , which offered an inside look at his method of working, from paper patterns to original drapery tools. In homage to Charles James, American designer Rick Owens , one of his greatest admirers, wrote: "When I started in the mid-nineties, my ultimate goal was to become the new Charles James. Extreme admiration for craftsmanship, refusal for conventional comforts, but attention and respect for what is super-refined and original ".
On display in 10 Corso Como, one of Charles James's archetypal dresses: sculpted and elegantly shaped, a synthesis of timeless elegance, it has been reinterpreted by Rick Owens.

Timetable and tickets

Address

Corso Como, 10
20154 Milan

Contacts

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