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Basha Gold

Galanos Couture Blue Velvet Evening Tunic Top Pants Suit, 1980s


As Vogue heralded in 1985, “He stands on a special plane in American fashion: his work is compared to the finest European haute couture. His is a self-imposed standard of quality reflected in clothes of exquisite workmanship, sophistication, and dash” (see note). Philadelphia born designer James Galanos is renowned for impeccable details, and this crushed velvet ensemble echoes his keen understanding or material and construction.

Made from soft teal crushed velvet, this ensemble is likely from the 1980s, after Galanos had already acquired a list of faithful customers ranging from Grace Kelly to Nancy Reagan. The tunic style top features smooth shoulder seams that have been heightened internally with silk covered pads. The high neckline frames the face beautifully, with center back ruching adding a soft slouch to the collar. A deep center back hand-set zipper provides gentle fit over curves, with angled welt pockets at hip level.

Full sleeves taper to a sleek fit at the wrist with ruching incorporated into hand-set zippers, which extend elegantly up the forearm. Full cut pants with side pockets close at the side with a hand-set zipper.

True to Galanos, the interior is finished perfectly with a light blue silk charmeuse interlining. Light up the room in this modest masterpiece by adding strappy heels and drop earrings.

Note: Talley, A.L. (1985). Fashion, a Certain Quality: Galanos. Vogue, 175:6, pp. 130, 132, 133.

Size Estimate: XS/S


Hips: 36 inches

Length: 40 inches

Inseam: 13 inches



Shoulders: 15 inches

Sleeves: 23 inches

Bust: 32 inches

Waist: 26 inches

Length: 25 inches



Waist: 24 inches

Hips: 36 inches

Length: 40 inches

Inseam: 13 inches

This 1980s era James Galanos evening pant suit is in excellent condition, and has been professionally cleaned and pressed. Made from silky soft luxurious crushed velvet, the ensemble features a tunic top with gentle fit through the bust and hips. A high neckline is softened by ruching, which integrates with the center back hand-set zipper. Silk covered shoulder pads add smooth fit and structure to this confident silhouette.

Sleeves taper to a close fit at wrists, with hand-set zippers incorporating soft ruching along forearm. Angled pockets are situated at hip level. Full cut pants with side pockets close at the side with a hand-set zipper. The interior of both top and pants are finished with a light blue silk charmeuse interlining. High-quality vintage pieces like this are yours to live in and love while increasing in value every year. It’s never too soon to start collecting them, as an investment in your wardrobe—and in yourself.

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