Cocktail dress; of black wool jersey and black silk chiffon: strapless, fitted bodice with panel of silk chiffon that attaches at either side of center front armscye and covers the tops of the shoulders and upper back; silk chiffon cummerbund wraps around waist and attaches with clasp at side; wide full skirt, just below knee length; center back zipper.
Worn by the donor to the Commercial Club of Chicago (founded in 1877) after her husband was made a member.
Blum's Vogue, a highly successful Chicago specialty store carried the work of James Galanos as early as 1952. Galanos reached critical international acclaim by 1957 for his impeccable aesthetic and detailed construction. Worn by Mrs. Philip D. Block Jr., this gown epitomizes the 1950s hourglass silhouette, taking its shape from Christian Dior's postwar fashion revolution, The New Look.