Galanos silk chiffon evening dress with stole, c.1980
I love the casual elegance of this spectacular evening gown; the materials are sumptuous, and the style is flawless. The backless bra halter, fashioned from draped silk crepe, falls in soft panels at the sides of the skirt. The halter is boned and lined for support. The inspired floral motif walks the line between youth and sophistication.
The rest of the skirt is composed of five layers of silk chiffon; the under layers are red in front and black in back. The four under layers, straight-cut with deep side slits, are attached and close in back with a metal zipper. The full outer layer—with larger-than-life printed poppies—floats over the underskirt. Each layer is finished with hand-rolled edges. The matching stole features a large gold poppy on a red ground.
Galanos' work is included in the collections of several major museums and leading fashion design schools. Fashion Institute of Technology in New York presented a career retrospective of his work in 1998. In the 1980s, several Galanos evening dresses sold for $17,000 new.
Galanos was one of the few couturiers whose name was known to the general public, causing him to change his design focus: "I was really interested in making collections for the public, ready-to-wear. But I wanted to do it in the couture method, where you use the finest fabric, the finest workmanship. The clothes are 95% made by hand, and the rest is a little machine sewing. That's my reputation." His appraisal of his ready-to-wear line is accurate.
Fifteen years ago, if you wanted a beautiful vintage gown, you would have gotten it in a big city. Now, a woman with good taste and the money to indulge it can purchase great couture garments like this one; this is the vintage advantage.
The condition is excellent. Buy it and wear it!
The dress measures: approximately 34"-36" bust, 27" waist, 36" hip, and 38" skirt length. The stole measures 44" by 65".