Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
Gray silk faille
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Muriel Bultman Francis, 1967 (2009.300.450a,b)
Always experimenting with contrasts of fit and volume, James molded the bodice front of this cocktail dress to the body with long vertical bust darts, and left the back full to fall into a pleat secured at the waist. Conversely, the skirt front has a structured cantilevered hip yoke that causes it to stand away from the body, while the back is seamed to fit snugly over the hips until liberated by the loose drape of a center box pleat, giving swing to the back.