All posts tagged: designers

Rate the Dress: 1936 feathers by Charles James

Last week you liked Maria Alexandra much better in the conventional fashions of the 1860s than in Russian attire – she scored a 8.5 for her frothy lace confection, much better than the 6.5 of her first rating. ¬†Perhaps it is the genius of Winterhalter compared to the mere skill of Makarov; you certainly comment more positively on Winterhalter’s version of the outfit! Let’s look at another recognised genius this week, and see if brilliance conquers all, or if even geniuses have bad moments. Noted fashion designer Charles James began his career in the 1930s, and while his genius didn’t peak until the 1940s and 50s, this 1936 evening gown already demonstrates the masterful draping and sculptural aesthetic that James would become known for. Masterful or not, some of James’ more experimental dresses were more challenging than beautiful, and did a better job of showing off James’ ability to manipulate fabric than the charms of the wearer beneath. What do you think of this evening dress, with its boldly patterned feather fabric, muted colours, and …