James Galanos, Silk Organza Beaded Evening Gown, Fall 1957
Evening gown. Silk organza with polychrome glass beads. Fall 1957.
Image Collection: Drexel Digital Museum.
Object Collection: The James G. Galanos Archive at Drexel University
Gift of Mrs. John Thouron.
Tartan plaid was a signature textile pattern for Galanos as early as 1950 when he made the sketch on the right below for “Jimi Originals”, a company he started in 1950 with Mary Scourby (1). In 1957 designers such as Galanos were moving away from the voluminous skirts emphasizing a tiny waist of the “New Look” to a slender column with the focus on the bust, hips and waist. Cutting this gown as a bodice and skirt rather than a continuous column allows the weight of the beads of this organza gown to be somewhat supported. The polychromatic coloring of the beads creates a shimmering version of the green, red and black palette he used throughout his career as in the duchesse satin jacket from 1988 in the image second from the right, below.
Publicity photograph. Tartan beaded evening gown. Harper’s Bazaar, 1957. James Galanos Archive, Drexel University.
1 – Kellen Design Archives. The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York, NY. https://library.newschool.edu/archives/findingaids/KA0066.html