Name: Cecil Beaton
birth place: London England
birth date: 14 January 1904
zodiac sign: Capricorn
death place: Wiltshire England
death date: 18 January 1980
Biography of Cecil Beaton
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton CBE (14 January 1904 – 18 January 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Oscar–winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre.
When Beaton was growing up his nanny had a Kodak 3A Camera, a popular model which was renowned for being an ideal piece of equipment to learn on. Beaton's nanny began teaching him the basics of photography and developing film. He would often get his sisters and mother to sit for him. When he was sufficiently proficient, he would send the photos off to London society magazines, often writing under a pen name and ‘recommending’ the work of Beaton.
Beaton attended Harrow School, and then, despite having little or no interest in academia, moved on to St John's College, Cambridge, and studied history, art and architecture. Beaton continued his photography, and through his university contacts managed to get a portrait depicting the Duchess of Malfi published in Vogue. It was actually George "Dadie" Rylands – "a slightly out-of-focus snapshot of him as Webster's Duchess of Malfi standing in the sub-aqueous light outside the men's lavatory of the ADC Theatre at Cambridge."
Since 1927, Cecil Beaton started to work for American Vogue regularly and he is known for his fashion photographs and society portraits. Besides working as staff photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair he also photographed celebrities in Hollywood.
In the 1930s, Cecil Beaton returned to England, where he became leading war photographer with the recommendation of the Queen, and also the photographer of the royal family on many occasions, including Duke and duchess of Windsor's wedding.
After the war, Beaton tackled the Broadway stage, designing sets, costumes, and lighting for a 1946 revival of Lady Windermere's Fan, in which he also acted.
His costumes for Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady (1956) were highly praised. This led to two Lerner and Loewe film musicals, Gigi (1958) and My Fair Lady (1964), each of which earned Beaton the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. He also designed the period costumes for the 1970 film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
Cecil Beaton was knighted in the 1972 New Year Honours.
Two years later he suffered a stroke that would leave him permanently paralysed on the right side of his body. Although he learnt to write and draw with his left hand, and had cameras adapted, Beaton became frustrated by the limitations the stroke had put upon his work.
As a result of his stroke, Beaton became anxious about financial security for his old age and, in 1976, entered into negotiations with Philippe Garner, expert-in-charge of photographs at Sotheby's. On behalf of the auction house, Garner acquired Beaton's archive—excluding all portraits of the Royal Family, and the five decades of prints held by Vogue in London, Paris and New York. Garner, who had almost singlehandedly invented the photographic auction, oversaw the archive's preservation and partial dispersal, so that Beaton's only tangible assets, and what he considered his life's work, would ensure him an annual income. The first of five auctions was held in 1977, the last in 1980.
By the end of the 1970s, Beaton's health had faded. He died on 18 January 1980, at Reddish House, his home in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, four days after his 76th birthday
Gorgeously repackaged, this reissue of the classic book presents the iconic photographer’s expert and witty reminiscences of the personalities who inspired fashion’s golden eras, and left an indelible mark on his own sense of taste and style. "The camera will never be invented that could capture or encompass all that he actually sees," Truman Capote once said of Cecil Beaton. Though known for his portraits, Beaton was as incisive a writer as he was a photographer. First published in 1954, The Glass of Fashion is a classic—an invaluable primer on the history and highlights of fashion from a man who was a chronicler of taste, and an intimate compendium of the people who inspired his legendary eye. Across eighteen chapters, complemented by more than 150 of his own line drawings, Beaton writes with great wit about the influence of luminaries such as Chanel, Balenciaga, and Dior, as well as relatively unknown muses like his Aunt Jessie, who gave him his first glimpse of "the grown-up world of fashion." Out of print for decades but recognized and sought after as a touchstone text, The Glass of Fashion will be irresistible to a new generation of fashion enthusiasts and a seminal book in any Beaton library. It is both a treasury and a treasure.
This book offers five decades of Beaton's Royal portraits, capturing, in many never-before-seen photographs, the history, romance, and majestic grandeur of royalty, as well as the human side of the Royal Family
Original name: Charlene Lynette Wittstock
birth place: Bulawayo, Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe)
birth date: 25 January 1978
zodiac sign: Aquarius
Feet size: US 8.5
Dress size: US 6
Occupation: Athlete, Socialite
Languages: English, French
Biography of Princess Charlène
Charlène, Princess of Monaco is a former South African Olympic swimmer and currently wife of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born in Bulawayo Africa and the family relocated to Transvaal Prince South Africa in 1989. Wittstock was passionate about swimming from a very young age and she gave up study to concentrate on competitive swimming and at 18 won the Championship of South Africa for juniors.
In 2000, Wittstock represented South Africa at Sydney Olympics, with her team finishing fifth in the 4 × 100 metre medley relay. Wittstock retired from competitive swimming in 2007 due to shoulder injury.
Wittstock met Prince Albert at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in 2000 and they went public at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
In June 2010, Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock announced their engagement, the future princess's engagement ring (reported to be created by Parisian jeweller Repossi) features a pear-shaped three-carat diamond at the center and round diamond brilliants surrounding it.
Since then Charlene Wittstock accompanied him on many of his official duties and engagements such as the weddings of the Crown Princess of Sweden in June 2010 and the Duke of Cambridge in 2011.
Charlene, who was raised a Protestant, converted to Roman Catholicism for the preparation of her role as royal consort, even though this is not a requirement of the Constitution of Monaco. She was also instructed in the French language and the Monégasque dialect, as well as European court protocol.
On 1 July 2011 the couple were married in a civil ceremony in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace. Charlene wore a powder blue jacket with long dress by Chanel, cocreated by her and Karl Lagerfeld.
And the religious ceremony was held in the Palace courtyard, with the bride wearing white silk Duchesse wedding gown of Giorgio Armani Prive, with a 15-ft veil made of tulle anchored by a "Diamond Spray" tiara by Lorez Baumer that featured eleven encrusted diamond pears. The gown was embellished with 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops, and 30,000 stones in gold shades. It took 2,500 hours to make, with the embroidery taking 700 hours, on 130m of off-white silk.
After the wedding ceremonies, Charlene Wittstock became Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco replacing her mother-in-law, Grace Kelly.
After her marriage, Charlène, Princess of Monaco devoted herself increasingly to charity and humanitarian works and is involved in various organizations: Princess Charlène of Monaco Foundation, Ladies Lunch Monte-Carlo, Special Olympics, Nelson Mandela Foundation, asfAR, The Giving Organisation, and Monaco Against Autism.
“I salute Kevin Richardson and am honored to be the patron of his foundation. In an ideal world no wild animal would be kept in captivity and canned lion hunting should be declared illegal. I willingly lend my influence to rekindle respect for lions and the African wilderness, they so beautifully inhabit – in the hope that this is the ultimate guarantee of their survival.”
On 10 December 2014, Charlène, Princess of Monaco gave birth to fraternal twins Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques.
In 2016, Princess Charlène accepted to become the patron of the South African Red Cross Society and attended the World First Aid Day in Geneva, as ambassador of the event.
Christine Maria Kaufmann (11 January 1945 – 28 March 2017) was a German-Austrian actress, author, and businesswoman. The daughter of a German father and a French mother, she won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for Town Without Pity in 1961, the first German to be so honoured.
Christine Kaufmann was born in Lengdorf, Styria, Austria, then part of Nazi Germany. Her mother, Geneviève Kaufmann, was a French make-up artist; her father, Johannes Kaufmann, was a German Luftwaffe officer and engineer.
Growing up in Munich, Bavaria, Kaufmann became a ballerina at the Munich Opera. She began her film career at the age of seven in The White Horse Inn (1952) and appeared as a lead actress in Der Schweigende Engel the same year, but gained big attention with Rose-Girl Resli in 1954. She achieved international recognition when she starred with Steve Reeves in The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) and with Kirk Douglas in Town Without Pity (1961).
In 1962, Christine Kaufmann met Tony Curtis while filming Taras Bulba, and they married in 1963 when Kaufmann was 18. They had two daughters and divorced in 1968.
After her divorce, Kaufmann resumed her career, acting in dozens of films and tv series, notably the supporting roles in the Rainer Werner Fassbinder films Lili Marleen and Lola. She often worked with German director Helmut Dietl, for example in the satirical television series Monaco Franze (Der ewige Stenz).
Kaufmann married three more times: to television director Achim Lenz (1974–76), musician and actor Reno Eckstein (1979-1982) and illustrator Klaus Zey (1997-2011).
She spoke three languages: her native language German, English, and French. and she enjoyed traveling and moved from one place to another frequently—a pattern that she believed she had inherited from her Circassian forefathers.
In 2014, Christine Kaufmann played Aunt Polly in the German version of American film Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn. It would be her last acting role.
In her later years, Kaufmann was also a successful businesswoman; she promoted her own line of cosmetics products that sold well in Germany. From her 40s until her death, the media often called Kaufmann the "most beautiful grandmother in Germany".She wrote several books about beauty and health, as well as two autobiographies.
On 28 March 2017 Kaufmann died of leukaemia in Munich at age 72, only a few days after she had been diagnosed with the disease.
Capucine (6 January 1928 – 17 March 1990) was a French fashion model and actress known for her comedic roles in The Pink Panther (1963) and What's New Pussycat? (1965). She appeared in 36 films and 17 television productions between 1948 and 1990.
Biography of Capucine
Capucine was born Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre on 6 January 1928 in Saint-Raphaël, Var, France.She attended school in Saumur, France, and attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in foreign languages.
In 1945, at age 17, while riding in a carriage in Paris, Lefebvre was noticed by a commercial photographer. Adopting the name "Capucine" (French for nasturtium), she became a fashion model, working for fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior.
While modeling for Givenchy in Paris, Capucine met Audrey Hepburn and they remained close friends for the rest of Capucine's life.
In 1948, Capucine made her film debut in Jean Cocteau's The Eagle with Two Heads.
In 1957, film producer Charles K. Feldman spotted Capucine while she was modeling in New York City. He put her under contract at $150 a week and took her to Hollywood to learn English and study acting. For the next decade, Charles Feldman would be her main producer.
Her first English-speaking role was in the film Song Without End (1960), a biopic of Franz Liszt where Capucine played Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. And her most successful film was the comedy What's New Pussycat? (1965), which costarred Sellers and Peter O'Toole, and was filmed entirely in France.
After Charles Feldman´s death in May 1968, Capucine's film career never regained its former momentum, and she would begin acting in various TV series since early 1970s.
In 1950, Capucine married French actor Pierre Trabaud, but the marriage lasted only 8 months. Afterwards, she was romantically involved with Charles Feldman and then American actor William Holden. Both love affairs ended shortly and turned into life long friendship.
Capucine moved to Lausanne, Switzerland in 1962, and lived there for 28 years until the day of her death.
On 17 March 1990, at age 62, Capucine jumped to her death from her eighth-floor apartment, having reportedly suffered from illness and depression for some time.
original name: Carolyn Jeanne Bessette
birth place: White Plains, New York, U.S.
birth date: 7 January 1966
zodiac sign: Capricon
death place: Martha´s Vineyard
death date: 16 July 1999
Height: 175 cm / 5'9¨
Weight: 59kg / lbs
Profile of Carolyn Bessette
Carolyn Jeanne Bessette-Kennedy (January 7, 1966 – July 16, 1999) was a publicist for Calvin Klein and the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr. After her marriage, Bessette-Kennedy's relationship with her husband and her fashion sense became the subjects of media scrutiny, drawing comparisons to her mother-in-law Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The couple and Bessette-Kennedy's older sister, Lauren, died in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in July 1999.
Biography of Carolyn Bessette
Bessette was born in White Plains, New York, the youngest child of William J. Bessette, a cabinet maker, and Ann Messina, an academic administrator in the New York City public school system. She had two older sisters, twins Lauren and Lisa.
Bessette's parents divorced when she was very young. Her mother later remarried Richard Freeman, an orthopedic surgeon, and moved to Old Greenwich, Connecticut, while Bessette's father stayed in White Plains.
Bessette attended Juniper Hill Elementary School, where art teacher Linda Bemis recalled her as a shy but ordinary child. At Juniper Hill, Bessette's mother was a substitute teacher.
Raised in a Roman Catholic household, Bessette later attended St. Mary's High School.
At St. Mary's, Bessette was voted by her classmates the "Ultimate Beautiful Person", edging out Haley Miller. During her high school experience, Bessette was described as being part of the "in crowd" and having attended "all the right parties". She had initially started high school at Greenwich High School, but her parents transferred her to St. Mary's because they felt she was not taking her studies seriously.
After graduating from high school in 1983, Bessette attended Boston University's School of Education, graduating in 1988 with a degree in elementary education.
Bessette briefly attempted a modelling career, and hired a professional photographer to take pictures for her portfolio. Although her modelling career did not prove to be profitable, she did appear on the cover of Boston University's calendar, "The Girls of B.U."
After college and until her marriage to Kennedy, Bessette worked for Calvin Klein Ltd., a high-end American fashion house. During her successful career there, she went from being a saleswoman at the Chestnut Hill Mall in the town of Newton, Massachusetts to becoming the director of publicity for the company's flagship store in Manhattan.
While working for Klein in Boston, Bessette was noticed by Susan Sokol, a travelling sales coordinator for the company. Sokol, impressed with Bessette's grace and style, later recommended her for a position dealing with Klein's high-profile clients, such as actress Annette Bening and newscaster Diane Sawyer. By the time she left Calvin Klein, she was the Director of Show Productions earning a salary in the low six figures.
Bessette first met Kennedy in 1992, while he was dating actress Daryl Hannah. Bessette and Kennedy began dating in 1994 and became a popular paparazzi target, and gossip columns detailed where they ate and shopped, and even covered their arguments. Paparazzi often waited outside the couple's Tribeca apartment to snap photographs.
Bessette was introduced to John's uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, in the late summer of 1994. Following the marriage, the senator would tell the press: "You could tell right away that there was something special between the two of them." Bessette moved into Kennedy's Tribeca loft in the summer of 1995, and the couple became engaged later that year. She quit her job at Calvin Klein in the spring of 1996.
Kennedy and Bessette succeeded in keeping their September 21, 1996 wedding a secret from the press, avoiding media onlookers.The ceremony took place by candlelight on the remote Georgia island of Cumberland, in a tiny wooden chapel, the First African Baptist Church. The bride selected the then-little-known designer Narciso Rodriguez of Cerruti for her wedding dress of pearl-white crepe. The groom's older sister, Caroline Kennedy, was matron of honor, and Anthony Radziwill, the son of his aunt Lee Radziwill-Ross, served as Kennedy's best man. Caroline's two daughters, Tatiana and Rose, were flower girls, and her son Jack was the ring bearer. The couple honeymooned in Turkey. (In the summer of June 2019, a video of the secret wedding that took place in the remote Georgian Island was released for public viewing.)
After the wedding, the media attention surrounding the couple intensified, and Bessette-Kennedy often found it difficult to deal with the harassment. When the couple returned from their honeymoon, a mass of reporters was waiting on their doorstep.
John said, "Getting married is a big adjustment for us, and for a private citizen like Carolyn even more so. I ask you to give her all the privacy and room you can."
Bessette-Kennedy was badly disoriented by the constant attention from the paparazzi. The couple was permanently on show, both at fashionable Manhattan events and on their travels to visit celebrities such as Mariuccia Mandelli and Gianni Versace.Bessette-Kennedy told her friend, Carole Radziwill, that the only way to avoid the paparazzi was to leave her apartment at 7 in the morning. She also complained to her friend, journalist Jonathan Soroff, that she could not get a job without being accused of exploiting her fame. Her minimalist "throwaway chic" fashion sense was chronicled by various fashion publications and drew repeated comparisons to her mother-in-law, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
While the interest surrounding the couple continued, Bessette-Kennedy refused to give interviews and turned down offers to appear in fashion magazines. Towards the end of her life, Bessette-Kennedy became more involved with charity work and often accompanied her husband to dinners at the White House (the couple were given a tour by President Bill Clinton in March 1998) and acted as the hostess for parties for her husband's political magazine George.
According to some reports published after their deaths, the Kennedys were experiencing marital problems and contemplating divorce in the months preceding their deaths. The couple had various disagreements, including her refusal to start a family, John’s work on the George magazine where she felt forsaken, and her dislike of John’s publishing partner Michael Berman. According to Vanity Fair, Bessette-Kennedy's "insecurity fueled a need to control and manipulate; her frequent use of cocaine made her paranoid". Moreover, Bessette-Kennedy was jealous of and barely on speaking terms with her sister-in-law Caroline Kennedy, who reportedly criticized the bride for being late to her own wedding and wearing heels on the beach.
However, close friends reject the divorce claims. Robert Littell, who spent the weekend with John and Carolyn a week before their deaths, also reject the allegation that the couple were living apart at the time of their deaths.
In his book, The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years, author Edward Klein claimed that the couple's problems reportedly stemmed from Bessette-Kennedy's difficulty dealing with the media attention surrounding her and the marriage, accusations of infidelity, disagreements about having children, and Bessette-Kennedy's alleged cocaine use. Although Klein is the author of several Kennedy books, John Kennedy Jr. said, when speaking of Klein, "he is a guy who had lunch with my mother twenty years ago and has been dining out on it ever since." Friends of the couple's, including John Perry Barlow and Christiane Amanpour, said that Bessette-Kennedy and Kennedy fought on occasion and that Bessette-Kennedy had trouble adjusting to the intense media coverage, but denied that she used drugs or that the couple was planning to divorce. The couple began seeing a marriage counselor in March 1999 and sought counseling from Cardinal John O'Connor in the summer of 1999.
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy died on July 16, 1999, along with her husband John F. Kennedy Jr. and her older sister Lauren, when the light plane John was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of Martha's Vineyard. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the crash was: "The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during a descent over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. Factors in the accident were haze and the dark night."
After a five day search, the wreckage was discovered in the late afternoon of July 21. The bodies were recovered from the ocean floor by Navy divers and taken by motorcade to the county medical examiner's office, where autopsies revealed that the crash victims had died upon impact. At the same time, the Kennedy and Bessette families announced their plans for memorial services.
Toxicology testing was conducted on the pilot and passengers. All tested negative for alcohol and drugs. In the late hours of July 21, the three bodies were taken from Hyannis to Duxbury, where they were cremated in the Mayflower Cemetery crematorium.
On the morning of July 22, their ashes were scattered from the Navy ship USS Briscoe off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss
by Rosemarie Terenzio
To everyone else, John F. Kennedy Jr. may have been American royalty, but to RoseMarie Terenzio he was an entitled nuisance—and she wasn’t afraid to let him know it. RoseMarie was his personal assistant, his publicist, and one of his closest confidantes during the last five years of his life. In this, her first memoir, she bravely recounts her own Fairy Tale Interrupted, describing the unlikely friendship between a blue-collar girl from the Bronx and John F. Kennedy Jr.
Funny, moving, and fresh, her memoir is a unique account by the woman who was with him through dating, politics, the paparazzi, and his marriage to Carolyn Bessette. Her street smarts, paired with her loyalty, candor, and relentless work ethic, made her the trusted insider to America’s most famous man.
After John and Carolyn’s tragic, untimely deaths on July 16, 1999, RoseMarie’s whole world came crashing down around her, along with her hopes for the future. Only now does she feel she can tell her story in a book that is at once a moving tribute and a very real picture of her friend and employer.
Many books have sought to capture John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life. None has been as intimate or as honest as Fairy Tale Interrupted, a true portrait of the man behind the icon—patient, protective, surprisingly goofy, occasionally thoughtless and self-involved, yet capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness. She reveals what John really had in mind for his political future, how he handled media attention, and the reality of life behind the scenes at George magazine. She also shares how she dealt with the ultra-secretive planning of John and Carolyn’s wedding on Cumberland Island—and the heartbreak of their deaths.
Fairy Tale Interrupted is a deeply loving story and a fascinating adventure, filled with warmth, humor, insight, and five years’ worth of unforgettable memories.
America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.
by Steven M. Gillon
A major new biography of John F. Kennedy Jr. from a leading historian who was also a close friend, America’s Reluctant Prince is a deeply researched, personal, surprising, and revealing portrait of the Kennedy heir the world lost too soon.
Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.’s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy—rather, it’s the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s first family continues to shape the world we live in today.
The Other Man: John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette, and Me
by Michael Bergin
This is the story of a small-town kid who moved to the big city, fell in love with a beautiful, mysterious woman, and found himself in competition with the most eligible bachelor in the world, John F. Kennedy Jr.
Now, for the first time, Michael Bergin reveals the truth behind a life lived in the limelight and a relationship shrouded in secrecy. From his early days growing up in a small blue-collar Connecticut town, to his meteoric rise as fashion icon and television star, to the passion he shared with the enigmatic and complex Carolyn Bessette, this is an inside look at the world of beauty, power, and celebrity.
In 1992, Michael and Carolyn met in a bar in New York City. She was unlike any woman he had ever known -- sophisticated, successful, with bewitching charm and grace. An intensely passionate relationship was born. Not long after, Michael landed the coveted Calvin Klein underwear campaign, and his career took off. The future looked bright, and Carolyn and Michael seemed destined for a long and happy life together.
But it was not to be. Four years later Michael was an international fashion icon and Carolyn was Mrs. John F. Kennedy Jr. -- however, the story doesn’t end there. This is the truth about their lives, a tale full of warmth, humor, heartbreak, and tragedy.
.Above all, The Other Man is a testament to the enduring power of love and a story about the painful choices we make with our all-too-human hearts.
name: Charles James
original name: Charles Wilson Brega James
birth place: Surrey England
birth date: 18 July 1906
zodiac sign: cancerian
death place: New York USA
death date: 23 September 1978
Profile of Charles James
Charles Wilson Brega James (18 July 1906 – 23 September 1978) was an English-American fashion designer. He is best known for his ballgowns and highly structured aesthetic. James is one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century and continues to influence new generations of designers.
Charles James is one of less than a handful of American designers to have worked in the pure tradition of haute couture. He has been described as the greatest couturier of his time by some of the Parisian couturiers of his time. James was most famous for his unique ability to balance the intuition of an artist with the precise technical skill of an engineer.
Life of Charles James
Charles James' father was a British army officer and his mother came from a wealthy Chicago family. In 1919, he attended Harrow School where he met Evelyn Waugh, Francis Cyril Rose, and Cecil Beaton, with whom he formed a longstanding friendship. He was expelled from Harrow for a "sexual escapade".
After that, James briefly studied music at the University of Bordeaux in France before he went to Chicago to work. The utilities magnate Samuel Insull, a friend of the family, found him a position in the architectural design department where he acquired the mathematical skills that later enabled him to create his gowns.
At the age of nineteen, James opened his first milliner shop in Chicago, using the name of "Charles Boucheron", as his father forbade him to use that of James.
“It’s the air that’s sculpted, not the silk; it touches the body in only two or three variable places. The rest of the silhouette you can vary as much as you desire.”
In 1928, James left Chicago for Long Island with 70 cents, a Pierce Arrow, and a number of hats as his only possessions. He later opened a millinery shop above a garage in Murray Hill, Queens, New York, beginning his first dress designs. At the time, he presented himself as a "sartorial structural architect". By 1930, he had designed the spiral zipped dress and the taxi dress ("so easy to wear it could be slipped on in the backseat of a taxi").
From New York James moved to London, setting up shop in Mayfair. He designed the wedding dress for Baba Beaton, Cecil Beaton's sister, for her marriage in 1934. James created a modern interpretation of the white wedding dress, with a raised neckline and divided train. In 1936, he established the company Charles James (London) Ltd., using his own name officially for the first time.
James also spent time in Paris in the early 1930s, working from the Hôtel Lancaster.He showed his first collection in the French capital in 1937. That same year, he created a one-of-a-kind white satin quilted jacket described by Salvador Dalí as "the first soft sculpture" and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum collections.This jacket has been considered the starting point for "anoraks, space man and even fur jackets".In the 1930s, he also invented the Pavlovian waistband that expands after a meal.
Meanwhile, he licensed his fashion designs with American department stores such as Lord & Taylor and Bergdorf Goodman.
James moved permanently to New York in 1939 where he established Charles James, Inc. At the end of the Second World War, he designed a clothing line for Elizabeth Arden.
In 1947, James showed a collection in Paris.
In 1948, Millicent Rogers, one of Charles Jame's most loyal and important clients, organized an exhibition of the outfits he made for her at the Brooklyn Museum, entitled "A Decade of Design for Mrs Millicent H. Rogers by Charles James".
In the early 1950s, James spent most of his time in New York City at his Madison Avenue workshop. He won two Coty Awards, in 1950 and 1954, and one Neiman Marcus Award in 1953. That same year Charles James conceived the "Four-Leaf Clover" or "Abstract" ballgown for the journalist Austine Hearst. It was the dress James ranked as his best creation.This dress weighed no less than 12 pounds and had to be supported by a rigid structure.
In 1954, Charles James married Nancy Lee Gregory from Kansas, 20 years his junior. And in 1958 he retired.
In 1964, he moved to the Hotel Chelsea where he had three sixth-floor rooms for his work space, office, and apartment.
Charles James died in 1978 of bronchial pneumonia.
He is best known for his sculpted ball gowns made of lavish fabrics and to exacting tailoring standards, but is also remembered for his capes and coats, often trimmed with fur and embroidery.
Charles James inspired many fashion personalities, including Christian Dior, who said he was "the greatest talent of my generation". Dior credited James with inspiring The New Look
:In May 2014, concomitantly to the James retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum:Charles James, beyond Fashion, The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced it had signed a license agreement with James's heirs, Charles Jr. and Louise James, to produce new collections, and thus contribute to the brand revival. Two years of legal battle followed, opposing the heirs, who sought to file the brand to the name of their father, against the Luvanis company, which had already registered the brand in an array of jurisdictions worldwide.
In June 2016, TWC withdrew, Luvanis thereafter partnered with James' heirs to revive the Charles James brand. In September 2018, they revealed a new visual identity for Charles James, and put up for sale all the brands rights, which have been consolidated in the previous years