When Charles James’s “Taxi” dress made its debut in 1932, it was considered the most modern frock to date. Its name reflects the designer’s concept that a modern woman should be able to change in a cab (we’ve all done it). The structure of the garment is a continuous spiral, with the top half acting similar to a Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic 1974 wrap dress and the bottom hinged and held by three hooks. Due to its seamlessness, it was sold in two sizes and meant for a universal fit, thus it was sold for $22 in the accessories department in sealed cellophane packages. This wool knit number flew off the shelves at Best & Co’s. In the later versions, James introduced the zipper for speedy dressing — many historians consider it to be the first fashionable use of the zipper (previously relegated to tobacco pouches), although it can be argued that Elsa Schiaparelli arrived at the zipper a few years earlier.
“Cut in dressmaking is like grammar in language.” – Charles James