Reviews of the Book

Reviews for Michele Gerber Klein’s new book Charles James: Portrait of an Unreasonable Man: Fame, Fashion, Art:

“James seems to have met, befriended, loved, or reviled most of the 20th century’s great fashion and style makers, from Paul Poiret to Antonio Lopez, and this book is a who’s who of those glittering, fascinating characters. The impossible Mr. James emerges as one of the most compelling of them all.”

The Cut: “Michèle Gerber Klein examines the brutal, brilliant perfectionism of Charles James, known as ‘the grand master of American fashion.’”

The New York Review of Books: “This reader was actually rationing his reading time so that the enjoyment would be prolonged as long as possible.”

Publishers Weekly review:   … the book focuses “on his relationships with industry insiders and socialites, such as Anne Armstrong-Jones and Dominique de Menil, both of whom served as James’s muses, Klein shows how James “set the standard for style in the Western World” for mid-20th-century haute couture. ” It also states that “James spent his last years writing letters to his former friends and associates—a handful of which are excerpted here. The result is a juicy account of the influence of an often-overlooked figure in the history of fashion.”

The Kirkus review:   “A luscious exposé of a game-changing designer who revolutionized the fashion industry” and also says “Klein pushes the biographical genre by writing about her subject through the stories of those who surrounded him. Refreshingly, the result is neither a chronological nor traditional biography. ”

Review from Beyond Fashion Magazine: “The book […] is a perfect description of Charles James’s life and work through his own and other people’s eyes, it gives you an unbiased perception of how much his revolutionary designs had influenced fashion throughout the 1920’s to the 1970’s…”