Exquisite 1960s James Galanos Metallic Green & Gold Silk Dress w Heavily Beaded Bodice
I have only ever seen one other version of this dress that was done without sleeves and that was many, many years ago. I love this dress so much and it is just ridiculously good. It is one of the most special Galanos I have ever had or seen. James Galanos launched Galanos Originals in 1951. He was only 27 years old. 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 covert to modern dollars the top end figure would be about $31,000 today. His ready-to-wear was made to couture standards and on par with the French couturiers of the time. Grace Kelly was a huge fan and his work is held in all of the major museums around the world. He is one of my personal favourites and this dress is an exquisite and very special example of his work.
The label on this dress is the one that dates from 1963-1977 and this is my personal favorite time period of his work. The fabric is a beautiful light weight silk chiffon that is striped with a mix of different shades of green and pinks. Mixed between the stripes are bands of a pale gold metallic thread that is woven directly into the silk. The colours are spectacular and that added metallic thread makes the dress glimmer softly from every angle. The cut of the dress is incredible. The bodice comes down at a V at the front and it is meant to skim over you to the waist. The waist is seamed and you could add a belt if you wanted more shape. The back of the dress is set in a scoop so that you have a bit of skin showing there as well. The bodice is incredible. The stripes in the silk been set on an angle in towards the center of the dress to follow the shape of the neckline. It has been densely and elaborately beaded and embellished in rows to follow the stripes underneath. On some of the stripes there is a combination of handset faux pearls, colored prong set glass rhinestones and crystal rhinestones. Then on other stripes there are those amazing dangling beads that are strung on beaded strands that each end in a gold toned metal open bead mixed with pearls. Because the bead work is all set on strands that dangle off of the dress, the dress has incredible movement when you move. The very edge of the neckline has been hand beaded with tiny gold spiral beads intercepted with green embroidery. It is just incredible to see and it is all done to the level of work that you are only going to find in vintage anymore. The work is all done by hand and the workmanship is fantastic. The bodice has an inner nude lining so that this top layer of embellished chiffon can sit easily over you. It's incredible. The sleeves are equally as fabulous in each is made out of a single layer of the silk and are cut to be very full so that they balloon out over their elastic cuffs. The skirt falls from under there and is gathered in tiny delicate pleats all the way around the waist. This allows the skirt to flare and open out. There is an incredible amount of fabric in it. It's lined with a nude silk that's covered with a green silk chiffon. The workmanship in this dress is incredible and it's just an extremely special piece. It really showcases just what a genius he was. Excellent condition with a minor note below
Fully lined in a silk as described above. It closes with a back painted metal zipper. Elastic at each cuff. There is a teeny bit of separation to the metallic thread on the top of one shoulder. It gets covered with the beads and is stable. The skirt looks like it was let down at some point and there's a very slight bit of a mark where it was previously hemmed. The bottom edge is still hemmed properly so I left it as it could easily be shortened again if you wished but this gives you the full length. Please see the photos after the label shot. Otherwise in remarkable condition and one of the best of his dress as I've ever seen
Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 54" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
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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