Evening dress

Designer: Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)

Date: 1952

Culture: American

Medium: silk

Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. A. Bernatschke, 1955

Accession Number: 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.