george halley

Spectacular 1960s George Halley Couture Pink & Gold Silk Chiffon Dress w Rhinestone & Velvet

George Halley started at Charles James who said of the young designer that he 'was a genius at draping'. By the time Halley opened his own atelier in 1966 he was well on his way to fame. He won the Coty Award in 1968 and his work is on par with couture. He is one of my personal favorite designers. In 2015 I included him in my list of: The 10 Designers to Add to Your Vintage Collection' for Harper's Bazaar, saying; 'If you want old school glamour and to feel like Hollywood royalty, look to this under-the-radar label outside of vintage circles... A Coty Award winner in 1968, Halley was one of the great American Couturiers and his work always feels grand and elegant. Think polished silk and fused velvet's and embellishments that have a touch of the Grand Old South to them. Silhouettes to look for are his sweeping ball gowns and hostess gowns. Rich fabrics and rich colors are used with a master's hand. Feathers, crystals, hand painted fabrics and fine workmanship are all things to expect from a George Halley gown. Slipping one on instantly makes a girl feel special and important. These are the showpieces and while you should expect to pay for the quality and beauty of what you get they are absolute jewels'. The best of his work are the pieces that show his love for Old Hollywood glamour combined with his love for over-the-top opulence. Women's Wear Daily called him 'a designer in a lovely world of his own'.

This dress is spectacular in person and the camera does not capture the depth created by that the extensive applique work that is layered and fused on top of the silk. A George Halley design always starts with the fabric and he chose some of the best that were available. For this dress he has used a silk chiffon that has a soft washed checked pattern onto it that looks like it was painted on. It combines a soft pale pink with a pale green and a greyish colour that covers the entire dress. The pattern changes size in areas and it is really interesting to see. Onto that silk in the same three shades, but a little more saturated, is an ultra soft fused velvet. The velvet creates a floral pattern that covers the entire dress. Then there is a layer of gold thread that intensifies that pattern. This also allows the dress to catch the light in a perfectly subtle kind of way. Tiny gold beads and sequins have been added onto the bodice to emphasize the pattern even more. He also scattered prong set rhinestones in a variety of sizes and shapes over the sleeves front and back of the bodice. This adds yet another incredible layer of embellishment to the dress. The bodice is cut to skim over you to the waist and it has a high neckline with a banded collar that is also covered in the embellishments and gold thread. Each sleeve is long and narrows down to a simple zipped cuff. The waist is seamed but cut on the more loose and easy side. If you wanted to cinch it in and add shape you could add a belt or sash. The skirt is gathered in along the sides and around the back and then falls to the floor. It widens out as it near the floor and there is a surprising amount of volume in it. As you move, this gives the skirt incredible movement around you. The dress is impeccably made to demi-couture standards with hand finishes throughout. In person the gold has a bit more of an impact then how it photographed and it catches the light when you move. This is a remarkable dress that would be impossible to replicate in our modern world. This is almost certainly a one-off and a wonderful find. Excellent condition with a small note below

Fully lined in a hand set pink silk. It closes with a hand set back zipper and each sleeve has hidden set zipper. Some minor grubbiness along the inside of the collar and some fading to the inner lining near one arm. The zipper stick a little bit. Made to demi- couture standards

Sleeves: 23" ad 13" around the upper arm
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Total length: 60" from waist to hem with 3" tunrned under the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED


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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.