James, who was born in England in 1906. At the age of nineteen, James opened his first milliner shop in Chicago, using the name of “Charles Boucheron”, as his father forbade him to use that of James.
In 1936, he established the company Charles James (London) Ltd., using his own name officially for the first time. He showed his first collection in the French capital in 1937. That same year, he created a one-of-a-kind white satin quilted jacket described by Salvador Dalí as “the first soft sculpture”.
James moved permanently to New York in 1939 where he established Charles James, Inc. Later Charles James becomes best known for his ballgowns and highly structured aesthetic. James describes fashion as “what is rare, correctly proportioned and, though utterly discrete, libidinous.” James is in the details as well as in the larger shapes. He grants every aspect of his garments — seams, draping, fabric, color — a distinct autonomy, and you see them for themselves and as part of a whole.
James retired in 1958. He died in 1978 of bronchial pneumonia. James inspired many designers, including Christian Dior, who said he was “the greatest talent of my generation”. Since 1982, Charles’ works have been exhibited in the best museums in the world.
Look also: Костюми в Музеї Бенакі (Greek Costumes at the Athen’s Benaki Museum)