The Best Dressed List, Kansas City-Style

Charles James.

From the 1920s through the 1970s, Kansas City’s Garment District turned out everything from house dresses to evening gowns, machine made to hand-sewn. While the Kansas City Museum is under construction, a new location in the old Garment District at 800 Broadway Boulevard will be exhibiting Dressing Up in Kansas City: Dressed to the Nines from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The museum has a collection of hundreds of garments, but this exhibit focuses on putting your best and most elegant foot forward in homemade gowns, custom-made gowns by local dressmakers, and couture gowns—all worn by Kansas City women for debutante or fundraising balls, receptions, inaugurations, and even a turn as a fairy princess. You’ll see a gown by Charles Worth, the English-born designer of haute couture for 19th-century ladies, as well as one by Charles James, America’s first couturier and an acknowledged master of cutting fabric to fit the female form. Daniel Day Lewis’ character in the film The Phantom Thread was loosely based on Charles James, who married Kansas Citian Nancy Lee Gregory in real life. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed