Charles James’ “Ribbon”

So if this isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is…

This dress gets its name from the many, tiny pieces of fabric that start at the waist and then spiral outwards, gradually growing into wide panels at the base of the skirt. I want to say that he actually used real silk ribbons (very wide ones) for this dress… but don’t quote me on that one.

Here’s a closer look at the panels (this time from the side); I love how they criss-cross.

James was purportedly the only American to work in the true haute-couture tradition — he personally draped and stitched every dress he sold! His meticulous perfectionism and love for structure meant he turned out dresses that were rather like sculptures, not just beautiful ballgowns. His “Ribbon” (the Met Museum has several variations) is a stunning example of his craftsmanship.


want to see more Charles James drama? Try looking up “Swan”….! 


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