If you have the opportunity to visit the exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum (closing August 10), don't skip the small room devoted to the designer's archives. James was clearly aware of his place in fashion history and made sure to document his influences (including Jules Pascin, Kees von Dongen and Christian Berard) and opinions on his contemporaries ("Illustrative Designer-Artists whom I abhorred and thought in their pretention to represent fashion disgraced it: ERTE").
Here are a few of the bodies beautiful he would have liked to have dressed – "…Some I could have but did not":
Massive elegance; great style.
Princess MARGARET ROSE.
Born a fairy princess to charm and court discipline; become [sic] sad with time.
Mrs William BUCKLEY New York.
Miss Lana TURNER
Beautiful and far greater actress than recognized.
Miss Greta GARBO New York
Need I say?
Top photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
"Butterfly" Ball Gown, ca. 1955Brown silk chiffon, cream silk satin, brown silk satin, dark brown nylon tulle
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Fund, 2013 (2013.591)