1980s James Galanos Attributed Demi-Couture Black & Metallic Gold Lace Dress Set
In 1951, 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. That said, his ready-to-wear line was made to almost true couture standards and pieces were made 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 the construction of his work. Grace Kelly was an early fan and he was truly one of the great American designers. His work is held in all of the major museums around the world and he is one of my personal favourite designers. This two piece dress set is just beyond beautiful.
The original owner was friends with James Galanos and the family records indicated that this was made for her by him so it may have never had a label. It is made up of two pieces that are meant to be layered over each other and that is what makes it just opaque enough to wear. Both pieces are so incredibly made that you could easily wear them on their own and either work with the touch of transparency both have or wear something underneath either. This really makes then that much more versatile and extends their wear as a part of your wardrobe. The inner dress is a little weightless slip dress that is made out of a black silk net that has a gold thread embroidered over its surface in little tiny little gold circles. It is suspended from the shoulders by tiny straps and then skims over the body. The bottom part of the hem is finished in a black lace with black cording hand sewn onto it to follow the pattern in the lace. When you layer this under the top dress this bottom part peeks out from under the skirt for an interesting layered effect. The dress that goes over that is even better. It is cut into a little short skater dress silhouette. The collar is high and the sleeves are long. It skims over the bust and nips in at the waist but has no seam cutting across to break the eye. The skirt flares out from there and is very light and swingy. It is very short but the other inner dress layered underneath keeps it from being scandalous. The fabric is a black cut work lace that again has that gorgeous gold worked onto it to add a metallic feel. Under the hem is a panel of gold lace that adds yet another layer. It is just stunning and even better person. The fabric has so much texture and the metallic bits pick up the light perfectly. It is made to demi-couture standards and a wonderful piece. I love it. Excellent conditon
The inner dress serves as the lining. Both pieces have a touch of transparency to them. The outer dress closes with a back zipper and a series of snaps to closes the fabric that sits over and hides the zipper. Each sleeve has a zipper at the wrist. The inner dress zips to close at the back. It looks to have been worn very little if at all.
Shoulders: no defined seams
Bust: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 30" from neck to hem
Collar: 14" around
Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 34" from top of shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS
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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