Sunday, May 25, 2014

A DAY OF FASHION....CHARLES JAMES AT THE MET


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. 

45 comments:

  1. This collection and the day is heaven on a stick. And you are making me now reach for my frequent flyers points list, to plot and plan if I have enough to get back to this most glorious of city... I would love to see this exhibit !!! Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. Fantastic post Mistress... I too love NYC... I am saving these favourites of yours for my next visit, which will be next month. While not in fashion I love to see the work of legends.

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  3. William and I saw the exhibit a week after the Met Ball, and it was so stunning! I loved how they showed the inside and out of his dresses with modern technology. I also loved his thought process through his sketches. He is a genius designer! And was that huge dress form of roses not spectacular ?Thanks for sharing your day. The Café looks so neat too. We love a Stephen Starr establishment.

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    1. I thought that was a nice touch too! We should all go now a Stephen Starr tour!

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  4. yes, I see you were having a very taxing work week there. you bitch,lol!

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    1. Listen, it is very taxing my travel plans, now don't you have some planning to do for me?

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    2. I swear, the Mistress does indeed have the best job ever!!!!

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  5. Another superb post! - Your pictures the exhibit are wonderful. Felt like I was there with you. I hope to go see it though. The Caffe Storico looks particularly delicious, so fresh and light with the high ceilings and chandeliers and the white and lemon colours. Loved the plates as decoration. Looks like a very nice day, I soooooo need your job!!!!

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    1. Me Too, Just for a month I would love to be in the Mistress's shoes.

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    2. Perhaps you two and Cali Boi can all take over once all my vacations set in!!!! AND yes Bryon go, these pictures don't do it justice.

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    3. I would love to spend just a week in your shoes. Then maybe we could finally see your junk!!!!

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    4. See his junk? Have you been on Guys with I-phones?

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  6. Boy, Project Runway sort of pales by a far comparison doesn't it?

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    1. I haven't watched since season 4. Except for snippets of the show since, I d say a sorry comparison. What happened to the real creative ones?

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  7. WOW! Now that is stunning fashion my friend! I have seen his iconic design, but don't know I knew the designers name. Looks like a wonderful day, as always. Sharing this post with friends who are New York bound month. Strange, it does seem as if everyone is going to NYC, except me. Sorry you didn't see your good friend Anna!!!!!

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    1. THANK YOU Magpie, and if they have question they are more than welcome to email me.

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  8. Never been to NYC but Id love to , with you of course! I love seeing thing through your eyes. This is so stunning, I can see how it could be exhausting taking it all in. Are you sure you can't take me under your wing?

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    1. Well, there may be things I wouldn't want to blind you with!!!

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  9. Just one more reason were glad we are moving to your area...1hr 15 mins to the NYC!!! This looks spectacular!!!! And Café Storico is beyond chic. Harrisburg has some nice restaurants, but not like this. You lucky dog!

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    1. And if one takes the train travel, one can sit in the bar car and soak in the 45 min ride!!! See.... I look out for y'all!

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  10. Very interesting, and beautiful clothing, I have seen his dresses in photos and one exhibit, and although they are beautiful in many respects, I am not sure why we should admire such stiff construction after decades of progress towards ease, softness and the natural body. But Halston, a designer of some of the most fluid clothing of our time, was a great fan of James's so there must be some link to explain the paradox. LOVE the look of Café Storico.

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  11. Looks like you had another great day out, I would agree, I need your job too. And that Bloody Mary is calling my name.

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  12. Thanks for sharing this!!! What a stunning showing. Have you ever been up to the Roof Garden of the Met Museum. It's one of those places many of us never think to go when we're wandering up and down Museum Mile, but it's definitely worth the effort after spending a few hours exploring the museum. Café Storico is going on my list of must try's! Nice post Mistress.

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    1. Yes, it's stunning. My good friend Mame and I soaked the views in during the McQueen show.

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  13. Are you SURE this isn't your closet were looking at????

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  14. Since the kids are all out of the house and loans paid off, it's amazing what we can now go about doing!!!! Wee headed to see this in July and can't wait!!! Very nice preview! I wouldn't mind having that white satin down town jacket there!! When were at the Met we head to THE Campbell Apartment Bar for drinks before going back to our hotel of choice. Check it out sometime. I think you'd like like.

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    1. Hi Lucille! I will have to check that place out. I love me a nice drinking establishment.

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  15. I have a thing about planes and this is the only way I am going to travel to see this, so I'll join you any time you are going!!!! So thanks for posting this excellent show. I would gladly wear any of these to a Casa event!

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  16. So fabulous Mistress. I'd love to have all this fashion in my closet! It's so amazing to see how low key we women dress now. This whole post makes me miss New York and the days with nothing to do but see where the day takes you.

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  17. Amazing! I loooove Charles James' work.
    Thanks for letting me vicariously see the exhibit! :)

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    1. Hope your doing well honey! You would so have loved it!

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  18. Ughhh what i would do for that black and white gown!!!

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  19. Such gorgeous clothes, such a gorgeous setting, such yummy sounding cocktails and yummy waiters.
    It's a great day, no?

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  20. I was there yesterday, and upon walking in , you know it's going to be a good show when you see that huge dress made of flowers!!!! Great post and a wonderful show as always by the Met. Makes me wonder with Wintour's name of the institute now, will the shows get even more fabulous? How many waiters did you hit on?

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  21. What another superb post! I love P-Town, but I never get to see anything like this!!! Could you imagine some of these in drag numbers? One would bring down the house . All those dinner plates in that café give me some ideas for my kitchen.

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  22. Were the dresses identified as to who wore them? I remember seeing some of his work at the Kent State fashion museum and the names of the women added a nice dimension. Yoiu can't deny the technical quality of the dresses.

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  23. Looks like another great show. I wish the gowns were in room setting though, the venue looks very dark, or is it me?

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    1. Agreed that the presentation seems lackluster - particularly given what the Met has at their disposal. The rooms do look dark, C.J. was a genius though - the gowns still looksimply amazing.

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    2. I loved the exhibit, but would agree that the atmosphere was dark. The only thing I can figure was to showcase the gowns.

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  24. I'm totally devouring this post... love the fashion!!!

    BTW - What an awesome team building field trip... see, you are a sweetheart!

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  25. Ok, I NEED TO GO SEE THIS!!!! What a beauiftul "classic Mistress" post!!! What fashion!!! The only thing to make this any better would have been a guided tour by Anna herself. The place you ate looks sooooo fun! Loving the chandeliers

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  26. I always enjoy the Met! Could explore there halls forever, and still seem to see things I missed. The show looks incredible. What a treat to see it. The man knew his fashion and what a interesting background he had.

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  27. Fantastic post... Very interesting , and beautiful clothing.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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