john galliano

Iconic Fall 2005 John Galliano Black Silk Bias Cut Dress w Plunge Front & Lace Trimmed Cap Sleeves

The twin of this dress was worn by Anne in 2006 for her character's big scene where she attends the Met Gala near the end of the film. It is an iconic piece and I love it. John Galliano began his own label in 1984 and he was instantly a bit of a 'boy wonder; in fashion. He was British Fashion Council Designer of the Year in 1987, 1994 and 1995. In 1991 he made his Paris catwalk debut. In 1995 he was asked to head Givenchy and then went to Dior in October of 1996. Unlike many designers he kept his own label going as well throughout the years at both those houses. His work, especially the bias cut pieces that he did, have a feeling of the decadence and abandonment of the twenties and they are beautifully cut. They marry Old Hollywood with the minimalist spirit of the nineties and early 2000s and the results are stunning. This is an amazing example of his work from the Fall 2005 season and it is gorgeous. This dress was a piece made for production for retail but it has all the things we love about his work presented in a chic and minimalist package.

The dress is gorgeous. It definitely takes inspiration from the bias cut couture pieces of the 20s and 30s. The seam work and simplicity of this dress is stunning to see and it is even better on an actual body. It is made from a beautiful black silk that has a muted satin finish. It has that that same light in weight feel that the best of the 1930s pieces did that were made from similar fabrics. Like those liquid dresses of the thirties this is also cut on the bias. It is cut to flow over the body and skim its way over the bust, waist and hips as it falls to the floor. The neckline is finished with a wide band that curves around your neck and swoops down and across the front. That swooping plunge is slightly set to the side and there is a small hidden hook to hold it in place. If that hook is left undone the plunge becomes deeper and I took a shot of that for you. Pretty seaming through the bodice gives it a slight bit of shape until it meets the dropped waist line. The waist is detailed with three bands of pleating that wrap horizontally around you. It is set wider on the side where it buttons and then narrows down on the other side on a slight slant. That bit of an angle there is a clever way to add length through the body. The skirt flows down to the floor, skimming over the hips, and then flaring out as it reaches the hem. The flaring shape is achieved by the bias cut of the fabric rather then extensive seaming. This gives you a ton of movement around the lower skirt when you walk or move. It also adds to the hourglass shape the dress has. It is all done so that it sits in a certain way on your hips and then that in turn affects how the entire dress sits on your body. The sleeves are incredible. They are sat in a little cape like panel that curves around you. It starts at the front and curves over your shoulders to give you that little cap sleeve feel and then it continues around the back in a dropped curved. The edges are finished with a fine black floral lace. I love how the lace is set into the silk of the panel to follow that pattern that is in the lace. At the side the dress is finished with one of his signature rows of tightly spaced button and loop closures. This becomes a design detail in themselves and it is these subtle little details that Galliano put into his dresses that make them heads above other pieces. I have seen this dress shown with a velvet floral belt piece that sits on one hip and you could easily add something to get that look if you wished. The dress is spectacular. Excellent condition.

Unlined and closes with the buttons down one side. Tagged a Galliano FR42, GB14, US8. The bias cut fabric does have some stretch. The measurements below give you the comfortable range the fabric has when lying flat. The rubber label was reattached just to the side of the original holes after it split during the cleaning process. A common occurrence with this label. It is in its original supermodel length. The bias cut should allow it to fit a range of sizes

Bust: 17-21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Dropped waist: 14-15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18-22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 18" from neck to dropped seam
Total length: 61" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4753

Reference Photos: The Devil Wears Prada, 2006.

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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.