Galanos silk halter & culottes evening set, 1970s
I love the casual elegance of this fluid evening set with its brilliant floral print and Galanos' flawless styling. The ensemble consists of a backless halter top with wide culotte pants. The backless halter design is both ladylike and sexy, cut to showcase your natural assets!
The draped style with minimal construction is lightweight and effortless to wear. The halter falls in straight lines from the ruched collar band to the hip. In the 1960s Galanos was celebrated for classically draped dresses that drew on his Greek ancestry. (Nancy Reagan chose one-shouldered Galanos gowns for two of her husbands Inaugurals.)
Note how Galanos contrasts the exposed shoulders with the covered up neck. We can see why he was known for mastery of enclosure and exposure, using the body as a source of form in design. The halter closes in back with a hand-stitched zipper. The wide-leg pants have a ruched, elasticized waist. The front is marked with the Galanos "F" tag.
Both pieces in the set were made from floral silk damask and lined with silk chiffon. The bold and brilliant floral print is joyous, fresh, and natural: perfect for fall and winter. The Impressionistic modeling of the roses is particularly striking.
James Galanos learned couture methods at the House of Robert Piguet in Paris. Galanos' natural theatrical flair was further developed by a stint in Hollywood with movie designer Jean Louis. Galanos' work is included in the collections of major museums. FIT presented a career retrospective of his work in 1998. In the 1980s, several Galanos evening dresses sold for $17000 new.
When Galanos retired in 1998, he left a void in the world of glamorous evening wear. His clients were a roster of the most glamorous and famous women of the time: Bette Davis, Rosalind Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, and Diana Ross. They loved the signature Galanos combination: sex appeal in an elegant couture package with the highest quality construction and materials
The condition is almost excellent. The elastic in the pants waist is a bit stretched, a very minor problem easy to fix if you want the waist tighter.
The halter measures: approximately 36" bust, 30" waist, 36" hip, 14 1/2" collar
circumference at the neckline, 13 1/2" collar circumference at the top, and 23 1/2" center-front
length from the neckline.
The pants measure: 33" waist (unstretched) and 42" length.