james galanos

Fall 1987 James Galanos Extreme Ruffled Swiss Dot & Silk Dress

Galanos was known as the designer that could rival the French in terms of construction and design. He launched his atelier in 1951 and although his atelier was never formally designated as Haute Couture by the French, he certainly produced clothing that met the parameters of couture and he is often referred to  as one of the great American couturiers.

Here, we see that high level of workmanship put into this dress. The body of the dress is made of a light weight black silk that give it lots of music. When the skirt opens up under the hips the volume is created by the addition of panels of fabric inset in a way that the skirt lies flatter when you are standing still and then opens to a tremendous volume when you move. This is topped by the most over-the-top bodice I have seen in ages. It is made from a white Swiss dot netting. The inner bodice is backed in a nude silk that runs straight across at the front and dips down into a V at the back. Onto that base are layers and layers and layers of ruffles that curve and over each shoulder for the most tremendous drama. On a real girl who the dress fits properly you can wear these high as I have shown on the dress form, or wear them off shoulder and allow the volume to go out from each arm. It is an extreme statement piece. This comes direct from the client and the date 8-20-87 is noted on its inner Bergdorf's tag. My client told me that she met with Galanos and he chose this dress for her himself. Excellent condition

The inner bodice is lined in a nude silk chiffon and the skirt in a black silk chiffon. It closes with a back nylon and metal zipper.

Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 46" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3038

Reference Photo: Tatiana Sorokko by Victor Skrebneski (courtesy Tatiana’s private collection)

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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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.