Skip to content

Charles James: Genius Deconstructed

Start Date 11 October 2011
End Date 16 April 2012
Venue Chicago History Museum
Location Chicago, USA
Curator Timothy Long
Designer Daniel Oliver

Step into the creativity, passion, and haunting obsession of couturier Charles James. While living in Chicago in the 1920s, James launched his career and established a loyal clientele. In the decades that followed, his dresses enchanted the fashion industry, but surviving examples of his work are so rare that his genius is not widely understood. To get inside James’s mind, Museum staff sought to uncover the secrets held by some of his most iconic pieces. We studied them. Turned them inside out. Sketched, photographed, X-rayed, and recreated them. We deconstructed James. Now, it’s your turn.