James Galanos Silk Dress, ca. 1950
I had a friend who was cleaning out her mother-in-law's closet, and she knew I liked vintage, and she gave it to me.
Well, this is a fabulous dress from James Galanos. Designed in the early '50s, it's what they called the new look, which was started in Paris by Christian Dior. After the Second World War, when there was no longer a shortage of fabrics, they went to all types of excess in the skirts.
There was lots of fullness, and as you can see in this one, they've even added all these pleats to give it more fullness on the sides and the back of the skirt. You can see how the back falls out, almost in a bustle effect. Galanos was born in Philadelphia, he did his design work in California, unlike most American designers, who were working in New York, and he's had many, many, many single-designer exhibits. He passed away in 2016, but kept designing almost until the very end. This dress was retailed by Neiman Marcus, so it has their label, and as well as having the Galanos label inside. In the 1950s, this dress probably would have retailed for about $300. His dresses were quite pricey. He went to Paris to select his fabrics, and always bought the best and spared no amount of yardage to make the right look. And I would put a retail price on this of between $1,000 and $1,200.
Well, that's wonderful, thank you.
It's a beautiful example of his work.
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