1960s George Halley Panne Velvet Dress w Pearl & Rhinestone Detailing
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 the same one that I had in the shop before and I was happy to have it back from its owner after she had worn it for an event and decided to edit it to make room for more pieces. It was originally sold with sleeves but they had darkened quite a bit from improper storage so she had them removed. I think the dress actually balances better with this new sleeveless silhouette. This is one of those dresses that only gets better as you get nearer to it and start to see the detailing technique that covers the bodice. The dress is entirely hand finished and meticulously made. The fabric is a fine, panne silk velvet. This choice of fabric gives the dress a sleek finish that catches the light beautifully. The base is a deep blue and the off-white print that runs over the velvet gives it a wonderful contrast. On the bodice, various sized pearls are hand set with glass crystals circling their base. More rhinestones follow the curving print underneath. It is very elaborate and well done. It is cut to skim over the bodice and then the skirt flows to the floor in a sleek column with a high slit on one side. Excellent condition with a note below to review
Fully lined in handset blue tissue silk. It closes with a back painted metal zipper. Note that some areas of the off white print in the velvet have darkened on the collar, a spot on the front and on the back of one arm. Please see the photos after the label shot. Priced accordingly. Hand finished throughout. The detailing work on the bodice is all hand set.
Bust: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
High set waist: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice 12" from neck to front center waist seam
Skirt: 46" from front center waist seam to hem
Slit: 18" from hem up
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.
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