#ThrowbackFashion Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James, England, 1934

Wedding dress, 1934
Charles James, born 1906 – died 1978

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1786_jpg_l

Miss Baba Beaton wore this dress when she married Mr Alec Hambro on 6 November 1934. It is an early example of the work of the designer Charles James. It anticipates later developments in his style, particularly his approach to complex cut. The beauty of the design lies in its deceptive simplicity and the designer’s complete understanding of the potential of the fabric.

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1751_jpg_l

Darts and seams shape the smooth ivory satin, which clings and drapes around the body in order to enhance the graceful figure. James said, ‘all my seams have meaning – they emphasise something about the body’.

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1753_jpg_l

Circumference: 66 cm waist, Circumference: 84 cm bust, Circumference: 68 cm diaphragm, Length: 150 cm overall, Length: 40 cm to waist, Width: 40 cm centre back, Width: 42 cm shoulder to shoulder, Length: 62 cm sleeve, over, Length: 52 cm sleeve, under, Circumference: 80 cm hips, Circumference: 18 cm wrist

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1752_jpg_l

 

Silk satin, trimmed with wax orange-blossom, cut on the bias

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2006BF2896_jpg_l

Although he was born in Britain, James worked as a milliner and custom dressmaker in New York between 1924 and 1929. In 1929 he opened premises in London. During the early 1930s he travelled extensively between London and Paris, establishing a Paris branch in 1934. Like Elsa Schiaparelli he was a friend of the Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and made use of Surrealist influences in his designs.

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Here are some creative projects that inspire me in Victoria and Albert Museum Archive. You can see other projects on my Pinterest or on my #ThrowbackFashion.

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