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About the ItemCharles James is fashion's best-kept secret. Though largely unknown to the general public, he is one of the fashion world's most admired couturiers. The inventor of American haute couture in the 1930s, James combined the science of design with the eroticism of fashion. His magnificently sculpted dresses celebrated female beauty with carefully engineered boning and padding and an unrestrained use of romantic, luxurious fabric. A difficult, temperamental man, James died poor and underappreciated but his work has continued to bewitch, influence, and inspire subsequent generations of designers.
About the AuthorCurator of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, Richard Martin is the author of various books on fashion, such as Assouline's Versace and Fashion and Surrealism.
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