Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Eye Candy - Charles James, 1940

Starting in 1933, Charles James showed variations on culottes in his collections.  These leg-wrapping garments always caused quite a sensation. This version, from 1940, shows his brilliant "Figure-8" skirt.  While the piece looks like a skirt, you can see how it is actually one pant leg with the rest of the fabric wrapping the other leg and buttoning at the front waist.  The skirt is cut on the bias from a single pattern piece that is shaped somewhat like a kidney bean.  It is paired with a bare midriff top and gold accessories including gold platform shoes.

9 comments:

laurakitty said...

I would love to be able to look that good in that outfit- so chic.

Anonymous said...

have you ever seen a pattern for anything similar? it looks easy to make!

Anonymous said...

What a cool design--perfect for outdoor entertaining during this sizzling summer!

YYZ said...

Oh, that is just truly brilliant! Thanks for sharing the construction of the garment-- I can just picture the (large!) pattern piece and I LOVE understanding how a garment is built. I often mentally deconstruct clothing to imagine how flat pattern pieces have been shaped to create something 3-dimensional. I know that is probably weird...

Anyway, thanks again for this-- I just love that clever, artistic idea: the "figure 8 skirt"!

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I don't think that's weird at all XYZ. It's the first thing I tried to visualize too! James was a genius.

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

Well, despite how I feel about Charles James after the Vogue article ;), I have to agree, this is a lovely ensemble. I just watch "Lovely to Look At" and there were a few similar ensembles in it, but the models were not as slim as this one, yet they still looked lovely.

Jen O said...

What caught my eye is that choli bodice with the twisted front. It's amazing!

nommh said...

Could it be a one-legged skort? Ah, I'm sorry I brought that up, just my frustration, because I think this is absolutely fascinating. Alas, my visualising powers are not up to dreaming up a workable kidney bean. Could anyone help?

Erin said...

How innovative!

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