In connection with the Menil Collection's exhibition A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James, the museum invites you to a panel discussion, Dangerous Ideas: Charles James and the de Menils.
Celebrating the opening day of the Menil’s first exhibition to honor a fashion designer, Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, comes to Houston to discuss the couturier's "dangerous ideas" with Menil Assistant Curator Susan Sutton; Lady Amanda Harlech, creative consultant to Chanel in Paris; and William Middleton, author of a forthcoming biography of Dominique and John de Menil.
With his fellow panelists, Koda – whose acclaimed Met exhibitions include The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion (2009), Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (2012), and the current retrospective, Charles James: Beyond Fashion – will consider the artistry and legacy of James, the first fashion designer to be awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. In the de Menils, James found appreciation not only for his astonishing gowns as sculpture but also for the rococo interior design he created for the family's minimalist house by Philip Johnson.
Image: Dominique de Menil at home in Houston, in Charles James (day suit) and on Charles James (chaise longue). Menil Archives, Houston. Courtesy of Charles B. H. James and Louise D. B. James. Photo: F. Wilbur Seiders.