#1613 $1,250Galanos poppy print silk chiffon dress with stole, c.1980
I love the casual elegance of this spectacular evening dress. The materials are sumptuous and the style flawless. The backless bra halter of draped silk crepe—boned and lined for support—falls in soft panels at the sides of the skirt.
The dazzling floral design has a dreamlike quality that carries us along effortlessly like a fish riding the currents; or like an eagle outstretched on the buoyant air of the storm.
The rest of the skirt has 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.
With larger-than-life printed poppies, the full outer layer floats over the underskirt. Each layer is finished with hand-rolled edges. The matching stole features a large gold poppy on a red ground. The brilliant color and tiered design project an exotic, magical aura around the wearer.
The attribution for the unlabeled dress was documented in the April, 2004 Doyle couture auction, when it sold for $1793.
Galanos' work appears in the collections of major museums. In 1998 Fashion Institute of Technology presented a career retrospective of his work. In the 1980s several Galanos evening dresses sold for $17,000 new.
He was the rare couturier whose name was known to the general public: "I was interested in making collections for the public, ready-to-wear but 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.
The condition is excellent. Buy it and wear it!
The dress measures: about 34"-36" bust, 27" waist, 36" hip, and 38" skirt length. The stole measures 44" by 65".