Superb 1957 James Galanos Oversized Floral Print Silk Dress w Matching Jacket
This is the second time I have has this dress in the shop and this time I found one with a matching crop jacket. I loved this dress the first time and I love it even more this time. 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. 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 a stunning example of his work.
The label on this dress is the one that dates from 1954-1963 and when researching within that time period we found a dress in the Met Museum's collection with the same label and that uses the same technique for the way that the skirt is set into the bodice of the dress. The 1957 dress in the Met's collection was also photoed for Vogue that year. I have included both those for reference and it gives you a great idea of how this dress will look on the body but i think this one is even better with its more bare upper body. In the Vogue's description at the time the skirt was described as being; 'narrow in outline, but with beautiful easy folds from the waist, falling in self contained spirals' which is a lovely way to describe the way that it is set into the dress. I love the bright floral print that covers the entire dress. It gives it a bit more of a tropical feel then the more formal version held at The Met. The fabric is a beautiful light weight silk that is completely covered with the large flower print that you see. The colours in the print are spectacular and combine a bright orange, yellow and green on a black backdrop.The skirt is cut so that it gathers up and into the middle of the dress. This gives it that lovely curved line at the front and the draping down each side that you see. It also creates a touch of volume across each hip which makes your waist look smaller. The bodice is suspended by tiny straps made out of the same silk. The front has a wide set scooped neck and the back is the same. The back of the dress closes with a series of buttons that run from the nape of the neck to the waist with a zipper set under that. It is seriously gorgeous on and gives you curves while feeling very forgiving. Over that pops the simplest little jacket made in a matching printed floral silk. It can actually be worn either way around and I shot it both ways. It closes at the back of the neck and then it's open below that on one side and on the other side it has a slit that runs up the center. You can see how this gives a completely different look and feel to the set depending on which side you choose to wear it. The sleeves narrow in at the wrist with a little zippers for the perfect finish. It's a fabulous addition to the dress and the entire set really showcases just what a genius he was. Excellent condition
Both pieces are fully lined in a black silk chiffon. It closes with a low painted metal zipper at the waist and then has a row of buttons above that. The jacket closes at the neck with hook and eye and each cuff zips to close. The silk is cut on the bias. It appears to have been worn very little if at all.
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from shoulder to waist
Skirt: 44" from waist to longest point of hem
Neck: 16" around
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam and narrowing to 17" at the hem
Length: 17.5" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) F/W 1957 James Galanos Dress in The Met Collection. / (2) Model in James Galanos photographed by Irving Penn for Vogue, October 1957.
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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