1960s George Halley Gold Metallic Blue-Green & Dusty Pink Lame Dress
George Halley started at Charles James who said of the young designer that he 'was a genius at draping'. By the time Halley opened his own atelier in 1966 he was well on his way to fame. He won the Coty Award in 1968 and his work is on par with couture. He is one of my personal favorite designers. In 2015 I included him in my list of: The 10 Designers to Add to Your Vintage Collection' for Harper's Bazaar, saying; 'If you want old school glamour and to feel like Hollywood royalty, look to this under-the-radar label outside of vintage circles... A Coty Award winner in 1968, Halley was one of the great American Couturiers and his work always feels grand and elegant. Think polished silk and fused velvet's and embellishments that have a touch of the Grand Old South to them. Silhouettes to look for are his sweeping ball gowns and hostess gowns. Rich fabrics and rich colors are used with a master's hand. Feathers, crystals, hand painted fabrics and fine workmanship are all things to expect from a George Halley gown. Slipping one on instantly makes a girl feel special and important. These are the showpieces and while you should expect to pay for the quality and beauty of what you get they are absolute jewels'. The best of his work are the pieces that show his love for Old Hollywood glamour combined with his love for over-the-top opulence. Women's Wear Daily called him 'a designer in a lovely world of his own'.
This dress is very pretty in person and the camera does not capture the depth created by that the gold thread woven into the fabric. A George Halley design always starts with his the fabric that he has chosen. For this one he has used a stunning silk brocade that uses real metal thread in a gold tone that is densely woven through the silk. The color is a soft pastel teal blue green through the body and then the collar, waist and down the sides of the skirt are highlighted with a panel of the same type of fabric in a soft dusty pink. The bodice is cut to be more fitted and has a high neckline and narrows down into the cinched on waist. Each sleeve is long with a wide cuff on that pink fabric. The skirt falls to the floor and there is a surprising amount of volume in it. It widens out gradually as it falls from the waist and is set into the waist with a series of soft folds. This is an attached band of matching fabric in the pink that wraps and hooks to close around the waist. The hidden details are exquisite with each snap covered in silk and set into place by hand. It is made to couture standards. In person the gold has a bit more of an impact and catches the light when you move. This is a remarkable dress that would be impossible to replicate in our modern work. This is almost certainly a one-off and a wonderful find. Excellent condition with a small note to review below.
Fully lined in a hand set turquoise blue silk. It closes with a hand set back zipper, The waist sash and hooks to close. Each sleeve has hidden, hand covered silk snaps. There are some breaks along the edge of the hem, please see photo after the label photo. There is also minor fraying to the edge of the collar . Neither of these notes detract and the gown is extraordinary and very beautiful.
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14.5" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.