Fashion designer Charles James once went to a sex club – with a prince
One story not included in “Charles James: Portrait of an Unreasonable Man” by Michèle Gerber Klein is the time that the debonair British-born fashion designer was taken to a seedy sex club — and had a great time.
At Wednesday’s book signing at Rizzoli, Harold Koda — who curated the 2014 James show at the Met’s Costume Institute — said Klein had enough stories about James for a sequel.
“All the lurid and salacious stuff — maybe it’s the stuff that couldn’t be proven — is missing,” Koda said.
Publicist R. Couri Hay — who befriended James during his lean, last years at the Chelsea Hotel — recalled at the dinner later at Bouley Test Kitchen how one night Prince Egon von Furstenberg took him and James to a place in the Meatpacking District.
“It turned out to be a sex club,” Hay said. “Charles disappeared into a back room, and we were getting worried, but he came back with a smile.”
Hay recorded 40 hours of James’ recollections that he shared with Klein and donated to the Met, along with more than 200 of James’ drawings.
Describing James’ lifestyle, Klein said, “He lived in hotels a lot. He ordered from room service and he didn’t pay his bill.”
The crowd included Adelaide de Menil, Freddy Eberstadt and costume designer William Ivey Long, who said he used to type angry letters for James because James didn’t own a typewriter.
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