He may not be a household name such as previous Costume Institute honorees like Alexander McQueen and Miuccia Prada, but James' advances in pattern making have turned him into a force of his own. James counted silver-screen sirens like Austine Hearst, Millicent Rogers, and Dominique de Menila among his adoring fans, transforming them into walking marvels of moving, organic architecture. Gowns had names like "Four-Leaf Clover," "Butterfly," "Tree," "Swan," and "Diamond," and morphed red carpet dressing into an art form resembling the precision, symmetry, and grace of sculpture — traits that still defines modern-day progressive design.
Naturally, we're fascinated to see how today's vanguard fashion thinkers — Rodarte, Hussein Chalayan, and Charlie Le Mindu, to name a few — will interpret James' legacy for next year's Gala. We're picturing Rooney Mara in a sinuous Givenchy column resembling a shadowy steeple, Lady Gaga and Le Mindu partnering up to reinvent the biomechanical limits of the human form, and Miley Cyrus latching onto any designer who will agree that invisible bandage wrap qualifies as bleeding-edge draping. Actually, nix that last idea and put Tilda Swinton in something stunningly statuesque instead.
In any case, James receiving the Costume Institute — and Gala — treatment is a victory for true designers everywhere. We're psyched to see his pattern making take on new relevance in a generation of creatives yearning to find the sweet spot between technology and the human touch. (Huffington Post)(Huffington Post)