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Charles James: Beyond Fashion at the Met Gala

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The Met Gala took place last night at New York City’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art. Celebrities and fashionistas mingled during a preview of the recently renovated Costume Institute’s new exhibit on fashion designer Charles James (1906-1978). The exhibit, “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” features ball gowns, coats, and designs by the illustrious 20th century Anglo-American designer who revolutionized the presentation of the female form with his daring, sensual gowns. Video animations illustrate the sculptural quality of the remarkable designs. Quotes by Charles James on fashion, philosophy and life decorate the mirrored walls of the exhibition and give the viewer a true sense of the personality of this fashion giant who remains influential in the fashion world even today.

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First Lady Michelle Obama was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday morning along with Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, artistic director of Conde Nast publications and benefactor of the new Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Met. In attendance at the evening's Met Gala were Sarah Jessica Parker, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, designer Ralph Lauren, Beyonce and Jay Z, David and Victoria Beckham, Charlize Theron and Sean Penn, and Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield and several other celebrities. For a fantastic look at all the fashions, check out Vogue’s website.

While the celebrities dressed their best at the Met Gala last night, more casually dressed museum members get a sneak preview Tuesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 7, which also happen to be member double discount days. Members get 20% off purchases at the Met Store and online. The usual member discount is 10% off.

The exhibition’s corporate sponsor is AERIN with additional support from Conde Nast. “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” at the Met opens to the public on May 8 and runs through August 10. Be sure to visit this wonderful exhibit if you happen by the Met this summer. An excellent catalogue of the exhibition is also available for purchase in the Met Store and online. For more information, check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website


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