This weekend is your final opportunity to see the incredible exhibit of fashion designer Charles James' work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The show, which shed light on the little known British-born, New York-based James, is now one of the most popular Costume Institute exhibits. James excelled at intricate craftsmanship, whether when designing elaborate ball gowns or day coats. There are videos deconstructing the structure of some of the gowns, but even though he was America's first couturier, he was also a little punk. Society publicist R. Couri Hay spoke to The Cut about James' unlikely side:
Toward the end of his life, he lived in the Chelsea Hotel and spent nights at Max’s and Studio 54; he spent time with Andy Warhol, Candy Darling, Truman Capote, the illustrator Antonio Lopez, and Lou Reed. “I was there when Lou Reed came down and started to sing the original verses of 'Walk on the Wild Side' to Candy Darling in Charles James’s room,” Hay recalls. “[James] was like a punk-rocker. He was a real rebel. He would go down [to Studio 54], and he had platform shoes on, he had leather jackets; he was like a rebellious punker.”
James, who died destitute, also made early versions of the down jacket and sports bra.
Charles James: Beyond Fashion, runs through August 10.