james galanos

Dreamy 1970s James Galanos Blue Brown & Green Silk Dress w Ruffled Waist & Metallic Gold Trim

James Galanos was just 27 years old when he launched his first label called Galanos Originals in 1951. 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. when you convert that to modern dollars and realize that it would be just under 30k for his upper range pieces. Part of the reason for those high price tags was that his ready-to-wear was made to couture standards. Galanos pieces were all produced in very limited quantities in his workshops and his work was as close to couture construction that you could find outside of Paris. Grace Kelly was an early fan and other couturiers looked to his work as inspiration. His work is held in all of the major museums around the world and he is one of my personal favourite designers. 

This is one of my favourite pieces I have seen by Galanos and it is incredibly beautiful in person. The dress is made from a feather light silk and that choice of fabric is what gives it that bit of volume that you see through the skirt. I did not add any underskirts, the shape that you see is all created by the way the skirt is set in and around the waist and the lightness of the silk. Two piped blue silk straps curve up and over the shoulders. The neckline dips in a slight sweetheart at the front with the silk gathered and softly pleated all the way around the top of the bodice for detailing. The silk on the bodice is that same brilliant blue as the straps and it is softly gathered down the sides to the waist. The silk extends out past the waist seam into a edged ruffle that meets a ruffle underneath created by the extension of the silk of the skirt. I love the detailing there that this creates and that underneath the ruffle the waist seam is anchored with a gold braided cording. The skirt has been softly gathered all around the waist and then it open outwards to have the volume and fullness that you see. Four panels of silk have been pieced vertically together to construct the skirt. At the front you see  a deep green panel on one side and a slightly metallic feeling copper brown on the other. At the back both of the panels are the same beautiful blue as the bodice. All of the edges where the panels meet are finished with a hand applied metallic gold cord. Between the green and brown panel at the front the skirt is slit open between the cording so when you walk or move you get a flash of bare leg. The silk is so light  that when you love the skirt billows out around you. Incredible. Excellent condition  

Unlined and closes with a back zipper. Ribbon edge interior seams. Hand finished throighout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. 

Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 16" from top of shoulder to waist seam
Total length: 59" from waist to hem
Slit: 26" from hem up

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD3736

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