Charles James

charles james3Charles James with models in 1950

Considered America’s best kept fashion secret, haute couture designer CHARLES JAMES was actually born in Surrey, England. His mother was a native of Chicago and that’s where Charles began his career in fashion as a hat maker.

In fact, Charles often used his milliner training and learned techniques when he designed women’s clothes sculpting luxurious fabrics into beautiful one-of-a-kind silhouettes. Charles most prominent works were in the 1940s and 50s but interestingly because Charles was a perfectionist he only designed 1000 garments over the course of his 50-year career.

Next May, the Costume Institute will showcase Charles James most iconic designs during its annual gala. Certain to be on display will be the Four Leaf Clover, the Butterfly, the Tree, the Swan and the Diamond gowns in a glamorous celebration of American haute couture.

james hearst cloverleafAustine Hearst in Charles James’ Four Leaf Clover gown

charles james4Babe Paley in Charles James

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