james galanos

Minimalist Early 1960s James Galanos Couture Larger One Shoulder Black Crepe Long Column Dress

In 1951 a 27 year old James Galanos launched his first label called Galanos Originals. By 1954 he had won a Coty award and the Neiman Marcus award. By 1958 he was producing clothing that could range in price from $200 to $3000, an astronomical price for ready-to-wear for that time period. His ready-to-wear line was made close to couture standards and with a level of craftsmanship that was on par with the French couturiers. Galanos was a master cutter and draper and he used many couture techniques in his work. Grace Kelly was an early fan. He was truly one of the great American designers and his work is held in all of the major museums around the world. He is one of my personal favourites. This is a wonderful example of how he could do perfect minimalist dress. The label inside is the one used from 1954-1963.

This is a dress that is extremely well made with a very high level of construction techniques despite its simple appearance. That alone makes it a fabulous piece for me but it has the added bonus of being a hard to find larger size on top. It is a joy to see dresses made to this fine level of workmanship. The dress is made from a black light weight wool crepe that adds a slight texture over the dress. It has just enough weight to hold the intended shape but feels wonderful once on. Everything about the cut is done to highlight and showcase the wonderful sculptural lines you see. The interior is  a fine black silk and the combination of the two fabrics makes the dress feel amazing once on. The top edge of the neckline is cut straight across and then the fabric extends out into a wide stripe that curves up and over one shoulder. There is light boning inside the bodice to give you some support. It skims over the bust, past the waist and then widens out over the hips to fall to the floor in graceful A-line. There is a seam on one side that extends down from the strap and opens just past the bust to create an inverted pleat. This adds a little visual interest to the dress and is what allows it to open as it runs over the body. It also hides a slit on that side that runs up from the hem. Galanos is a designer who cut for the body not the hanger or a form and his work truly comes to life once on. The workmanship is exquisite and to demi-couture standards. Excellent condition.

Lined in a fine black silk through the bodice with light boning and the rest of the dress is lined in a black silk chiffon. It closes with a hand set side zipper. Hand finishes throughout and silk ribbon finished interior seams. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. 

Bust: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Interior waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21.5 flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from top of shoulder to hem with 2.75" turned under

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD4697

All items are thoroughly checked over before shipping. Unless noted everything in our shop has been professionally cleaned. All sales are final. Overseas clients will be emailed to obtain agreement to our final sales policy before the order is shipped as per our return policy.

Setting up a layaway is super easy and we are happy to provide this service!

Here's how deposits work on a standard layaway:

  • We require three equal payments of the layaway total. You will be invoiced for the first amount upon request
  • payment two of the remaining balance will be billed two weeks from the date of the initial deposit.
  • The final payment is due two weeks after the second payment and shipping will be billed on this invoice as well.
  • items less then $500, or that are on sale, require a 50% deposit with the final payment due in two weeks from the date of deposit 

Read More

We offer flat rate Standard UPS shipping worldwide. All shipping options are displayed at checkout in the pull down menus provided.

Want it faster?

We offer flat rates for expedited and express shipping options - these will also display at check out and can be selected with the drop down menu during the checkout process.

Read More


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.