The weeks prior to Monday night’s Charles James-themed Met Gala had quite a few of us wondering who, exactly, Charles James was and what happened to the British-American couturier. While the event’s "white tie and decorations" dress code wasn’t interpreted quite as literally as we’d hoped, the interest in James’ signature aesthetic recently hit a record high.
But because timing is of the essence, media mogul Harvey Weinstein’s film studio, The Weinstein Company, has inked a deal to resurrect the Charles James label. Unsurprisingly, Weinstein’s wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, and her brother Marchesa CEO Edward Chapman will serve as the new company’s creative consultants.
"Charles James was one of the most incredible couturiers in the history of fashion, and this label deserves to be a household name in the same ranks as Chanel, Dior and Oscar de la Renta," said Weinstein in a press release. "There isn’t a single designer in high fashion who wouldn’t name him as a major influence. We are beyond thrilled to be spearheading the revival of this brand and bringing it back to the world’s finest retailers."
Weinstein’s comments are, of course, incredibly valid; as one of history’s first couturiers, James’ design style is one that deserves to be revived. On the other hand, a revitalization of the brand had better do James full justice—lest it tamper his legacy which, as of today, couldn’t be more highly acclaimed.
Remember when Weinstein (in partnership with perpetual cash cow Sarah Jessica Parker) revived Halston, once a go-to label for the 1970s party girls of New York? That story ended less than triumphantly: Weinstein sold his share in 2011, and it now serves as a "mid-market mockery" of its former groovy self.
Not to knock Halston, but James is a big, big deal—certainly more renowned than Halston as far as legacy goes. To wit, we won’t let our past suspicions cloud any expectations we have for the reboot, but we hope this one goes well.