When it comes to prestigious American designers, there isn't anyone quite as iconic as James Galanos—or "Jimmy" as he was known to his tight-knit circle of elite clients, including First Lady Nancy Reagan and Grace Kelly. The 92-year-old couturier died Sunday at his home in West Hollywood.
During his illustrious career, Galanos earned recognition and racked up countless awards—the Coty Fashion Awards (twice: one in 1954 and another in 1956), the CFDA's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985, and a bronze plaque on NYC's "Fashion Walk of Fame" to name a few—for his lifelong dedication to dreaming up beautiful, breathtaking creations. It's why Galanos was Reagan's favorite designer, having worn his designs before she became First Lady, during (at her husband's 1981 inaugural ball, pictured above, and her first state dinner at the White House), and long after.
"Ronnie liked Jimmy's clothes very much,” Reagan said in a Vanity Fair article, according to the New York Times. "Wearing Jimmy meant never going overboard or to extremes. Jimmy really set the standard."
And even though Galanos was never interested in dressing celebrities, preferring to outfit high society, that didn't stop the Hollywood set from seeking out his designs for the red carpet even after his 1998 retirement. From Katie Holmes to Amber Valletta, scroll through to see nine of his most memorable designs.