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Woman's Evening Dress

Designed by James Galanos, American, 1924 - 2016. Embroidered by D. Getson, Eastern Embroidery, Los Angeles.

Made in United States, North and Central America


Beads and sequins on sheer silk crepe

Center Back Length: 60 inches (152.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

* Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor (Dorrance Galleries)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the designer, 1957

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Galanos is renowned for his use of bead embroidery, which he conceives as an integral part of the garment. This low-backed evening gown is completely covered with different sizes and layers of precisely placed bugle beads and sequins that create the tartan pattern. Embroidery for the majority of Galanos's designs-including the beadwork seen here-was carried out by D. Getson, Eastern Embroidery in Los Angeles.

Additional information:
  • PublicationBest Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today

    The garments created by James Galanos for his ready-to-wear fashion house in Los Angeles rival the best of haute couture. The quality of construction and painstaking attention to detail both inside and out speak to the skill of his workrooms as well as the designer's own perfectionism. From multilayered chiffon skirts--some made with fifty yards of cloth--to distinctive hand beading, such masterful handling of fabric is the essence of the Galanos style. The perfectly matched tartan plaid of this body-hugging evening dress from 1957 was beaded onto fine bias-cut cotton by the Los Angeles firm D. Getson Eastern Embroidery, which executes most of the designer's embroideries. It illustrates the complexity and beauty of Galanos's beaded fabrics, built up in layers with bugle beads and sequins to create the texture that is a distinctive feature of the designer's style. Dilys E. Blum and H. Kristina Haugland, from Best Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today (1997) pp. 54-55.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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