His studies focused on the Islamic world and the era of the Middle Ages and he was, in addition, an authority on Sanskrit and a curator of medieval manuscripts.
In fact he was British, the quintessential Englishman in New York.
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Although feted and hugely admired within the fashion world itself, his name is largely unknown to the general public.
In keeping with the tradition of the Couture, he was a dressmaker of consummate skill and expertise; never more evident than in his dramatic ball gowns with their sculpted and fitted bodices, voluminous skirts, and intricate draping.
The great Spanish born couturier Balenciaga, a master of form himself, bestowed upon James the following accolade: His equally stellar clientele reads like a roll call of the biggest patrons of twentieth century Haute Couture: Wanamaker, and the DeMenils. In writing this account of Charles James and his life, I was honoured and privileged to have been granted an interview with his ex wife Nancy James.
Miss Nancy Lee Gregory, daughter of Mrs. Nancy had been introduced to Charles by her first husband, Keith Cuerden who also happened to be Britishat the Sherry Netherland hotel. It has been noted that Charles James was a man who was psychologically flawed; his obsessive quest for perfection alienated many of his clients, who would sometimes have to wait for months in order to receive their orders.
He had very polished manners, and speech. He said I was the only person who had ever told him he was shy. Although he could be volatile, I did not see that side of him, as it only occurred in the workroom.
He was an artist, and artists find it hard to completely realise their vision. Charles was perhaps the first person to speak of fashion as art. Ralph Hawels James, and an American mother — Mrs.
Louise Brega James, of Chicago. His early education was received at the Lake Placid Florida School.
He never became an American citizen. He lived in America on a permanent resident visa obtained through the influence of his Aunt Enders -because he gave employment to people without making money himself.
He loved to read the Classics, which is different to the American approach. When he was working, I would serve tea at a certain time in the afternoon, with his favourite Lapsang Souchong tea from Twinings, and toast with ginger marmalade.
He was so proud of his British nationality, that in his will he specified that the British Embassy should be notified of his death. He resigned almost immediately, as the work did not appeal to him, although it is interesting to note that the methods and concepts of architectural design would permeate his susbsequent endeavours in the couture.
From toJames began to make his mark as a fashion designer of note.
In this period, he divided his time between London, Paris, and New York, where he sold his designs to department stores, including the newly established Fortnum and Mason. It was also during and that he worked under the patronage of Paul Poiret, and designed fabrics for French textile manufacturer Colcombet.Published: Tue, 31 Jul Fashion and art are two disciplines that revolve around the same sphere, which is creativity.
The two worlds share a bridge that links the two together. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs..
For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get . Imagine a porcupine lying on the top of the head, that is to say, a bush of hair frizzed from the points to the roots, very high and without powder, and encircled by a . Greatest Fine Art Photographers (present): Best Cameramen of the Modern Era.