1970s James Galanos Soft Pale Grey & White Floral Print Silk & Silk Chiffon Caped 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 acknowledged as a Haute Couture atelier he certainly was producing clothing with many of the hallmarks that define couture. This gave him the reputation of being known as one of the 'American Couturiers' and women flocked to buy his creations. The label on this dress is the one used between 1963 and 1977 giving us a window into when it would have been made. It is a gorgeous dress and even better on an actual body.
The dress is constructed from a very unusual fabric combination that gives it the soft and romantic feel that you see. The base layer of the dress is a lightweight silk that is printed with the floral print that covers the dress. That layer is then covered and attached at all the seams with a layer of white silk chiffon. The creates a soft washed filtered effect over the print and softens it. It is a technique that would have been very expensive and time consuming to execute. He then did the same to the interior of the dress which is remarkable because no one would know expect the person wearing it. This inner layer acts as a lining and it is also completely attached at all the seams. The entire dress was then cut on the bias. As the white silk chiffon moves over the middle layer in the small way that it is allowed by the bias cut, you get this pretty and romantic diffused feel to the print. It is such a simple but extremely clever way to create an illusion of softness. The dress is cut to skim over the body and then it flares out from the hip with the back of the skirt cut slightly longer then the front. The skirt has more fabric in it then you would at first think. It falls in a more sleek way when you stand still and then when you move and it flows around you and you realize just how much fabric is there. All of the seams are set vertically and all of them are done by hand. Around the neckline sits an attached panel of silk that floats over your shoulders and arms. At the back it curves around and behind the body for a beautiful capelet feel. It is a very romantic feeling dress that is even better on. Excellent condition with one small note to review below
Fully interlined in white silk chiffon. 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 very faint marks on the front of the cape. Please see the photo after the shot of the label. It looks to have been worn very little if at all 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
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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