Stavropoulos beaded evening dress, 1980s
In the 1960s, James Galanos and George Stavropoulos were known for classical chiffon draperies that drew on their Greek ancestry. Stavropoulos became a major American fashion influence after opening a New York shop in 1961. Women loved his couture-quality, ready-to-wear designs.
Inherent in Stavropoulos' creations and design philosophy were the ideas of comfort, softness, and ease of movement. Our surplice-style evening dress softly wraps around the body, leaving a deep open slit in the skirt for ease of movement.
The asymmetrical style combines bias-cut, gold-flecked crepe with floating layers of yellow chiffon. The dress is lined with yellow chiffon. The dress closes diagonally in front with silk covered snaps. Stavropoulos was rightfully known as a magician with chiffon.
The neckline and front opening are embellished with pearls, rhinestones, and silver-lined crystal beads. The narrow shoulder straps are covered with crystal beads and rhinestones. The dress has the high style glamour we associate with the Reagan White House—the scintillating brilliance of the pearls and rhinestones does the trick!
In his teens, the designer made a ball gown for his sister. He put it together with safety pins. It was so successful that he decided that sculpting in cloth was an honorable profession. Stavropoulos later created gowns for Lady Bird Johnson, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and Maria Callas. His ready-to-wear line was featured at Bonwit Teller and at the Martha Boutique, where our dress was purchased.
The condition is almost excellent. The dress is lightly soiled around the hem, as reflected in the price. This would be easy to clean. Alternatively, since the soiling barely shows, you could wear the dress as is.
It measures: 36" bust, 32" waist, 44" hip, and 59" from shoulder to hem.