In 1937, Anglo-American couturier Charles James created the first high-fashion, down-filled jacket; an early James masterpiece. James meticulously constructed this classically inspired garment around the human form, resulting in a jacket quite unlike the boxy version produced by Eddie Bauer.
Photo of Model Wearing the Jacket
Soft and pliable, it was also dramatically different from James‘ own best known work: gowns as rigid as the hats he designed. The James jacket reappeared in the fashion press decades later. It then gained cult status and also may have inspired a number of New York designers who began to make their versions of the down-filled parka during the 1970s.
Down Filled Evening Jacket by Charles James was photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in July 2014 (Top Photo) and in the Museum at FIT as part of the Exhibit, Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme, which closed January 6th, 2018.
Dubbed the Prince of Plastic by the New York Times, Neal Small (b. 1937) lead a craze in the late 1960s for sculptural lighting and furniture made from plastic and acrylic. “I like to think of it as all part of the new permissiveness,” he commented. ‘I Know that I am being more permissive with myself and the designs I allow myself to make — making fuller, more sensuous things. People are permitting themselves in every area, whether it’s music, with The Beatles and The Stones, architecture or clothes. They are allowing themselves things that please them personally. You don’t have to invest in things forever anymore. Lighting is getting to be an art form.”
Area Lamp (model 1112), 1966 -67 was Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.