January 26, 2021

The Work of James Galanos Focus of a New Exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum

HIS TIME IN THE SUN: Ten months after his death, James Galanos will be the subject of a new exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum.
For more than 50 years, the designer amassed a clientele that included Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Rosalind Russell and Diana Ross. The designer died last fall at 92.
Born to parents who had come to Philadelphia from Greece, Galanos pitched in with his three sisters at his parents’ restaurant. After that service-oriented start, Galanos moved to New York following high school hoping to enroll in a fashion school led by Russian stage designer and costumer Barbara Karinska. Due to a delayed opening, he scrapped that plan to take classes at the Traphagen School of Fashion. Eight months later Galanos decided more hands-on experience was needed.
He officially entered the world of fashion by way of Hattie Carnegie in New York working as an assistant. The several years that followed led to posts like assisting Robert Piguet in Paris and later working as a part-time sketch artist in Columbia Pictures’ costume department under the guidance of Jean Louis. The way Galanos told it, the hiring was “out of pity,” although understatement

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