James Galanos (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1924–2016 West Hollywood, California)
Gift of Thomas L. Kempner, 2006
Not on view
Although Mrs. Kempner's collection primarily comprises items from a handful of couture houses, she was just as likely to find favorite pieces by designers of radically different styles and temperaments. A gown by James Galanos is among a number from this designer to have survived in varying states of conservation. In his generation, Galanos alone could challenge the mastery of the French haute couture. Favored by his clients for his extraordinary tailoring, Galanos also developed a reputation as the master of softly draped eveningwear. Silk jersey and silk chiffon, among the hardest materials to manipulate, were signature elements of his style. The subtlety of his approach is seen in the beautifully worked, asymmetrically disposed panels of his jersey gown.