Charles James (Hardcover)

Portrait of an Unreasonable Man: Fame, Fashion, Art

By Michele Gerber Klein, Harold Koda (Foreword by)

Rizzoli International Publications, 9780847861453, 254pp.

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

List Price: 37.50*
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Inspired by the discovery of long-overlooked interviews conducted just before his death, this is the first biography of the visionary fashion designer Charles James.

Christian Dior described him as the inspiration for the "New Look." Salvador Dal called his work "soft sculpture," and Virginia Woolf exclaimed, "He is a genius."

As George Bernard Shaw tells us, only unreasonable men change the world. This portrait of the life and times of Charles James--winner of two Coty awards, and the subject of a 2014 Metropolitan Museum of Art show--draws on the glamour of Europe in the 1930s, and the dazzle of New York City from the '40s through the '70s as it travels with James from his birth to privilege in England in 1906 and follows his career through his complex and turbulent relationships with exceptional women such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Eleanor Lambert, ending with his penurious death in New York's fabled Chelsea Hotel.

As engrossing as a novel, as dramatic as grand opera, James's story will provoke, rivet, and inspire.

About the Author

The founder of joan vass U.S.A. and vice president of the Liberman Foundation, Michèle Gerber Klein has written about art and fashion for many publications and has served on several boards including the Dia Art Foundation and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.