There was a little question in the air this past May when The Costume Institute opened its current but soon to close exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion: Would visitors be lured in by a major exhibition's scholarly take on a revered designer despite his being little known outside of hard-core fashion circles?
The answer, as it turns out is a resounding yes.
Faring better than recent high-concept shows at the Met like 2013's Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations and 2012's Punk: Chaos to Couture, this show will end up as the 5th most visited at the Costume Institute in the past 25 years according to the New York Times. Stellar reviews certainly did their part, but word of mouth about the ingeniously designed exhibition that literally takes the viewer inside the designer's lavish gowns is likely what put visitor levels over the top.
If you haven't managed to get yourself to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see it yet, then you still have a few days left to catch it. The exhibition closes on Sunday, August 10th, so get a move on. Luckily, thanks to the completion of the Anna Wintour Costume Center, we won't have to wait until next May for the a new show. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire will open on October 21st. That's about two and a half months away, so mark your calendars.
Charles James: Beyond Fashion through August 10th at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Upper East Side
New Looks: The Costume Institute Cleanses The Palate With Charles James: Beyond Fashion At The Metropolitan Museum