• MAY 06, 2014
  • A Tribute To Charles James; A Dress by Mary Katrantzou

This year, our MET Costume Institute windows on Fifth Avenue will pay tribute to MET Gala honouree Charles James–a master of craft. James is known for applying mathematical precision and architectural vision to his clothing, manipulating the proportions of his garments to create a sculptural effect and uniquely contour a woman’s body, just as Mary Katrantzou uses print to flatter the female form. An interest, almost an obsession, has always surrounded the inner workings of a Charles James gown. One of the greatest couturiers of the 20th century, James proved that the interior of a garment can be as spectacular as the outer. Playing on this, Mary Katrantzou decided to reference one of James' famously displayed toiles, 'The Ribbon Dress'', located at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The sample represents part of the James' design processes from paper to stand. Referencing inner workings was a link between us at Mary Katrantzou and this great Fashion House of the Past. The Mary Katrantzou Autumn Winter 2014 collection showcased various textile developments, one of which was the Toolbox Lace, a lace derived from the interior layout of a workman's toolbox. With a play on the 'workings', a hint of mannequin realness, a harmony and fusion between the past, the present and the future is created. The fabrication and the lace insertion satisfies the Mary Katrantzou aesthetic and signature, while length, construction and working drape tape on the bodice pay homage to Charles James and project a timeless original. The design sits alongside works from Ralph Rucci, Libertine, Naeem Khan, Rosie Assoulin, Giambattista Valli, and Rodarte in the window of the Bergdorf Avenue Fifth Avenue Store in New York. For the first time, these exclusive one-of-a-kind gowns will be available for purchase directly from the window display. Please call +1 212 872 2743 for inquiries. View the windows Monday, May 5 through Monday, May 19.