james galanos

Ethereal 1970s James Galanos Pale Grey & White Floral Print Silk Dress

James Galanos was known as the designer that could rival the French in terms of construction and design. He launched his atelier in 1951 and though he was never a designer that was formally made a couture house he certainly produced clothing with many of the hallmarks that define couture, thus giving him the status as being known as one of the 'American Couturiers'. 

The dress is constructed from a very unusual fabric combination that gives it that ethereal feel. A layer of a beautiful lightweight silk  is covered with a layer of white silk chiffon. This is done both for the outside and the full interior. The unexpected luxury of this would not even be able to be economically done now. The three layers are completely attached at all the seams. The print is on the innermost silk layer. The entire dress is cut on the bias and as the white chiffon moves over the inner layer in the small way that it is allowed, you get this pretty and romantic diffused feel to the print. It is such a simple but extremely clever way to create an extra layer of softness. The print runs over the entire dress and as it is on a body and it moves it just gets prettier. The dress under the attached cape is very simple. It is cut to skim over the bust, waist and hips and then flares out on all sides to the hem for a pretty volume when you move. The back of the skirt is cut slightly longer then the front. The skirt actually has a lot of fabric in it, falling softly and in a more sleek way when you stand still and then really moving and showing how much is there when you move. All of the seams are vertical and have been done by hand. This vertical seaming really helps to add to the feel of length the dress has. Around the neckline is an attached caped panel of the same silk & silk chiffon. Here the fabric is finished in the same way as the body of the dress with that same attached layer of weightless silk chiffon on the top and then it is also finished that same way underneath. This floats over your shoulders, arms and then curves around and behind the body for a beautiful caped effect. The lightness of the silk there gives it a billowing effect when you move and walk that is stupendous. A really lovely and romantic dress that is even better on the body and in real life. Excellent condition with one small note to review below

The innermost layer of the silk chiffon as per the description above acts as the lining. It closes at the back with a hand set metal and nylon zipper and a silk covered button and loop at the back neck. Hand finishes throughout. I see two teeny marks on the front cape. They may come out with another round of cleaning. Please review the photo after the shot of the label. It looks to have been worn very little otherwise.

Bust: 17-18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 56" from neck to front hem, 58" to the back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3404

Reference Photos: Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.