It has been a busy time at work of late, and last week had many things go awry, but with my quiet time now setting in, finally- I decided a field trip was in order last week, so on our quiet day my team and I headed into NYC to see the incredible Charles James:Beyond Fashion exhibit at the Met. I have always loved his designs, and I wish women still dressed like this today at the Oscars, and other events. My hat is off to Anna Wintour who had an incredible Met Ball and used the exhibit as the theme. The ball gowns that showed up were so breathtaking, upstaging Oscar fashion any year.
YES! A dress made entirely of roses
It is in many ways very fitting that Charles James: Beyond Fashion is the inaugural exhibition at the newly renamed Anna Wintour Costume Center. Both James and Wintour share a British background and their bold, historic fashion careers that came to fruition in the United States, and are both unparalleled precisionist in their crafts. This marks my fourth fashion exhibition at the Met, all of which have been stunning and a privilege to see. This one was right behind the gorgeous Alexander McQueen exhibit to me, with a lot of my favorite pieces included in the collection.
James once said “my dresses help women discover figures they didn’t know they had,” a statement both reflective of James’ background studying architectural design and the array of highly sculptural ball gowns on display, transforming The Met into a mid-twentieth century high society affair. I tried to escape wearing one to no avail!!!! James was immaculate in his work, known to spend weeks perfecting a single sleeve and shredding dresses that didn’t meet his highest standards.
Ever the visionary, James is attributed for inventing the infinity scarf and the wrap dress, the latter which he designed for the woman on the go, made to slip into between parties and named the “taxi dress.” James debuted the A-line coat a decade before Yves Saint Laurent walked trapeze silhouettes down the runway. He was the first to use spiral draping and zippers as a design element and embellishment, and introduced an elegant model of down jacket in white satin, described by Salvador Dalías as “soft sculpture.” Praised by Christian Dior as “the greatest talent of my generation,” and by Cristóbal Balenciaga as “the only one in the world who has raised dressmaking from an applied art to a pure art,” James was revered by his fashion peers and a devoted clientele including Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Arden, and Princess Grace of Monaco. A homage, a long time in the making, Charles James: Beyond Fashion introduces a man well known through his legacy to a whole new generation of admirers. The exhibition is on view now through August 10th. If your in New York and are a fashionista check this out, you won't be disappointed. And you know I just had to get one of the book as a gift for someone who couldn't make it.
And I'm hear to tell ya after looking at such beauty and detail, as I tend to really study and take everything in, I was mentally exhausted after the exhibit, so it was off to a place I know I was dying to try, and being a huge Stephen Starr whore....Café Storico!! Stephen most have at least 25 places to dine in Philadelphia, so I knew he opened the Café Storicio and wanted to try it, and it didn't disappoint.
As one new kids on the New York block still, this cheery little cafe is hidden away in the New York Historical Society (which, in itself, is one of New York's best-kept secrets). The lemon-and-white color scheme is refreshingly different from anything else in the city, but it's the dinner-plate decor that really made me chuckle. It's glamorous and yet whimsical at the same time. May be my favorite new place to eat in Manhattan. And judging by the swarms of diners walking in, it's the new favorite of many Upper West Siders. While waiting for our table I enjoyed two Bloody Mary's, which I loved their take on......
followed by an Italian fest......
Of course the waiters all wear suspenders which I find a man sexy in!!!! Café Storico is located at 170 Central Park West.