Evening dress, James Galanos (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1924–2016 West Hollywood, California), silk, American

Evening dress

James Galanos (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1924–2016 West Hollywood, California)
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mildred Morton, 1961
Accession Number:
Not on view
From an early age, James Galanos knew he was destined to be a fashion designer. Unlike his peers, he chose to build his career in Los Angeles, rather than New York's Seventh Avenue. He is recognized for his exquisite ready-to-wear pieces that are characteristically couture, as they are as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. With his extreme attention to detail and talent with luxurious fabrics, most notably silk chiffon, he created masterpieces worn by ladies of society, actresses, and former presidential lady, Nancy Reagan.

The combined elements of this dress represent Galanos' design philosophy of feminine perfection. The color blocking is indicative of the sixties when bold, bright colors were the rage, not only on the West Coast but across the US. The heavy use of chiffon is a typical characteristic, adding the uttermost quality of femininity. The fine seaming and the closures, all immaculately executed, show the exquisite craftsmanship behind this colorful, flowing gown.