Beyond Love with Met's Beyond Fashion Exhibit

charlesjames1Today I am memorializing fallen veterans by eating grilled ribs and drinking gin and tonics (??); It seems my traditions have strayed from the true meaning of the day. Friday I was memorializing a veteran of a different sort.  I finally had a chance to view the Charles James, couture veteran, exhibit at The Met.  It was very dark and serious in the Anna Wintour Costume Institute (as my above pic of James's Four Leaf Clover Gown attests).  All that was illuminated were the gorgeously rendered gowns.  With the help of animation and robotic arms the viewer was given the chance to see how each gown was constructed and to marvel at what appeared to be fashion architecture.  I've done my share of sewing (using patterns of course) and gaped openly at the tailoring in general but specifically admired (and was baffled by) how none of his seams constituted a straight line.  Everything was curved and sewn anatomically which, in my mind, attributed to the unique way his dresses "stood" and draped.  Also notable was his melding of many different fabrics and colors.  Silk faille, satin, shantung, and velvet abounded in reds, emeralds, pinks, oranges and myriad shades of brown (which I rarely see in a gown these days).  This method of layering texture and color resulted in some exquisite pieces (again I refer you to the above Clover Gown).

I spent two hours pouring over about twenty gowns and could've easily spent another two.  But my very patient husband was waiting and so was our lunch at The Dutch.  It occurred to me later, though, that the combination of glamorous fashion and the quintessential french fry was a memorial of yet another sort: the perfect day.