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The Glory of Galanos: America’s Haute Couturier

Thursday, May 4

Please join The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum at The Casino for an evening of cocktails and conversation as we welcome journalist and fashion collector David Nash and designer and author Steven Stolman to celebrate the work of America’s beloved haute couturier James Galanos.

This presentation will showcase the work of James Galanos through archival images, fashion-historic references, a display of vintage garments from Nash’s personal archive, and anecdotes from his decade-long friendship with the celebrated fashion designer. Journey from Hollywood’s golden age to the Windy City’s stylish social scene, into the wardrobe of a First Lady and the collections at the Chicago History Museum, as we explore The Glory of Galanos: America’s Haute Couturier.

Co-Chairs: Tanner C. Branson, Stuart Dyer, and Aaron J. Shirley


6:00 p.m. – VIP champagne reception

6:30 p.m. – Doors open

7:00 p.m. – Presentation by David Nash and Steven Stolman

8:00 p.m. – Reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. (Valet parking available. Cocktail attire; jacket and tie for gentlemen.)


Individual reservation – $175
Includes one ticket to this special event

VIP ticket – $250
Includes one ticket to this special event and champagne reception

Presenting sponsors – $2,500
Includes four tickets to this special event, champagne reception, preferred seating, and recognition on event materials; limited sponsorship slots available



From the launch of his eponymous label in 1951 until his retirement in 1998, fashion designer James Galanos (1924–2016) dressed the most glamorous and stylish women of the 20th century. Celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Rosalind Russell, Barbra Streisand, and Diana Ross wore his exquisite designs, while fashion insiders and social fixtures including Gloria Vanderbilt, Diana Vreeland, Betsy Bloomingdale, Denise Hale, Lyn Revson, Iris Cantor, and, of course, Nancy Reagan built entire wardrobes around his impeccably made clothes.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of his 50-year career is that he designed each collection—and produced every garment—from his Los Angeles atelier at a level that rivaled Parisian haute couture—and most certainly the output of New York’s Seventh Avenue designers. The costume collection at the Chicago History Museum also houses nearly 150 works by Galanos, some of which have been proudly exhibited over the years. In 1992, Galanos was the recipient of the first Designer of Excellence Award, leading a long line of exceptional designers to follow in earning this prestigious honor from the Chicago History Museum.


David Nash is a California-based journalist, brand writer, and a regular contributor for Architectural Digest, C, Elle Décor, Town & Country, and House Beautiful.  His archive of works by James Galanos—likely the largest private collection outside of the personal wardrobe of philanthropist Iris Cantor—includes examples spanning five decades, from 1951 to 1998, when the designer closed his atelier. Nash’s decade-long friendship with Galanos was the impetus for starting the collection in an effort to help preserve the legacy of “America’s Couturier.”


Designer and author Steven Stolman has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the worlds of fashion, interior design, and publishing. He has authored seven books, penned countless articles for magazines such as Town & Country, Elle Décor, and House Beautiful, and now helps other emerging designers and manufacturers realize their dreams.  He is a longtime member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) as well as a new member of the Chicago History Museum’s Costume Council.

David Nash © Craig Lee
James Galanos
Steven Stolman
Marilyn Monoroe in Galanos
Spotted lynx fur coat by James Galanos, c. 1969. CHM costume collection, 1983.611.1
"Firebird" dress by James Galanos, worn by Lauren Hutton in Vogue, 1971. Image courtesy of Condé Nast

The Details



4 th

6:00–9:00 p.m.



$ 175

Event Location

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories