Los Angeles

James Galanos

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The work of James Galanos rips apart the now-tired dichotomy of fashion/art at the seams by showing that fashion has its own concerns, its own complexities, for which there are few artistic equivalents—trying repeatedly to pattern one on the other will only lead to a bad night’s sleep. Take the simplicity and outrageousness of Galanos’ 1958 coat dress in butterscotch-colored wool and llama flannel (twill weave) by Leseur from the personal wardrobe of house model Pat Jones (now Weiss). Cinched at the waist by an extravagantly oversized belt, only a recent leather example by Martin Margiela comes close to equaling the largesse of this accessory, it shows definitively how elegance is often refusal of the expected. Stunning frocks that might seem to hearken back to artistic sources, the Klimt lily-pad patterns and palette of Evening Dress with Belt, 1969, soon raze such quandaries with the

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