By Andrea Cheng
May 01, 2014 @ 4:21 pm
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As the subject of this year's Met Costume Institute Gala theme, the late Charles James is the designer to know. A full-fledged retrospective exhibition in celebration of his work will open at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in a week's time. The influential couturier was revered by many, most famously by Cristobel Balenciaga, who once described James as "the world's best and only dressmaker," and Christian Dior, who cited James's work as "poetry." It was with a sculptural, scientific and mathematical approach that James was able to craft extraordinary ballgowns that have made a lasting impact, even half a century after he created them.

But the Metropolitan Museum of Art isn't the only one to honor the designer. Luxury costume jewelry brand Miriam Haskell has launched an eight-piece Charles James capsule collection inspired by the designer's techniques and designs. Each creation embodies James's core aesthetic, with hand-wired baroque glass pearls and Swarovski faceted crystal stones, sculptural lines, and architectural filigrees. Split into two distinct groups, the jet-silver pieces are meant to echo the designer's pinning and tucking techniques, while the pearl-crystal ones take inspiration from his ruching and ruffling. Accessorize your gown or fine-tune a fancy look with pieces from the Miriam Haskell x Charles James collection, which ranges from $280 to $4,400, available at