Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Cocktail dress, 1952
    Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
    Tobacco brown silk taffeta, brown jersey
    Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. A. Bernatschke, 1955 (2009.300.213a,b)

    Starting with one of his first dress designs, a 1929 body-hugging sheath known as the "Taxi" dress, spiral wrapping around the armature of the body was a signature technique that James used to fashion his sculptural dress forms. The circular top skirt of the two-piece dress falls into multilevel flutes as it spirals around the hipline. The underskirt is a wrap sheath with jersey hip yoke and asymmetrical hemline consistent with the overskirt. The points of the collar, skirt, and back add to the dynamic sense of movement.

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  • Cocktail dress, 1952
    Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
    Tobacco brown silk taffeta, brown jersey
    Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. A. Bernatschke, 1955 (2009.300.213a,b)

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