good to know!
Charles James (1906–1978) may well be the most important fashion designer you’ve never heard of. British by birth, he achieved his greatest successes in New York, where his genius for color, structure, and line were celebrated by such international style-setters as Millicent Rogers, Elizabeth Arden, and Dominique de Menil. Despite the loyalty of his devoted (and moneyed) clientele, James’s career was marked by dizzying reversals of fortune. Valuing craft above cash, he once spent three years perfecting a sleeve. From the ’40s on, he pursued the high life and financial ruin in almost equal measure. Though James’s final years were carried out in bohemian squalor at the Hotel Chelsea, where he moved in 1964, he remained a cult figure among fashion’s cognoscenti, among them Christian Dior (who credited James with inspiring the New Look), Halston, and Diana Vreeland.