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Basha Gold

Galanos Orange Silk Plunge Neck Bishop Sleeve Dress, 1970s


James Galanos is widely revered as one of the integral designers in shaping the so-called “American Look”. His designs evoked a sense of casual and effortless elegance that made his garments coveted by women across the social spectrum from the first lady to the home seamstress.

Featuring two of Galanos’ hallmark details at the time, this circa 1971 gown is done in a striking orange silk crepe with a comforting weight and regal bishop sleeves. As a testament to Galanos’ impact on American style, this dress was originally retailed at Marshall Field’s 28 Shop, a premier Chicago department store specializing in high end American fashion in the mid-1900s.

The dress begins with a plunging V-neckline breaks at the bust and is met by a wide band of lightly ruched fabric that defines the torso and creates a slim waistline from which the gathered skirt exquisitely drapes down to the full-sweep hemline. At the hip, there are two meticulously set double welt pockets.

The combination of smooth, ruched, and gathered fabric highlights Galanos’ masterful ability to create interest through simple means. This vibrant dress is not only eye-catching but comfortable and easy to wear making it an ideal contender for your next evening event. A version of this dress can be seen in the WWD clipping in the images above.

Size estimate: XS

Shoulders: 14.5 inches

Sleeves: 23 inches

Bust: 30-32 inches

Waist: 24 inches

Hips: 32-34 inches

Length: 52 inches

At centre front the dress closes with a prominent button placket with large circular buttons. Below the button extension there are two hand-set snaps, three hook and loops, and a matching zip. Inside, the dress is lined in an orange silk chiffon with bound-seam finishes.

In excellent condition, this dress does have two hardly noticeable pinhead marks on the right-front bodice above the chest. Professionally eco dry cleaned and pressed, 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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