john anthony

Incredible 2005 John Anthony Couture Runway Sample Heavily Beaded & Sequined Plunge Dress

John has dived into his archives once more for me and today I have two of the dresses he sent for you with more to come. This is a runway piece from 2005. The bead work on it was done by hand by one of the same European ateliers who did beading for many of the Couture houses for this time period. John is one of my favorite American designers and right out of the gate he won the Coty Award for his work. The first time in 1972 and then again in 1976. He designed clothes that were simple and elegant but glamorous. His work veers towards minimalism with sharp tailoring. Striking evening wear was his signature and he is renowned for his cutting and tailoring. It is an extraordinary privilege to have pieces directly from his archives and these are things you will never see again. This one is a work of art and it is just extraordinary to see it in person with all of that extensive bead and sequin work

John's business was all done on a made to order basis. That means the majority of pieces you will find are a one-off, or if there are similar pieces, very few of each piece exist. This personal attention to each dress is clearly seen in the workmanship of his pieces. His work is very expensive and beaded pieces like this sold for over $20,000 and more during this time period. Having this actual runway samples that John pulled from his own archives to share with you is just amazing.

This dress is absolutely stunning. The fabric is completely covered in thousand of tiny deep silver seed beads and teeny tiny iridescent aqua coloured sequins.This gives the dress some weight - we weighed it and it is just over 6 pounds - but it is so beautifully made that it balances and glides over the body perfectly and does not feel unwieldy at all. The front plunges right to the waist with two long triangles curving up towards the neck and hooking at the back. On the inside of each triangle there is a panel of the same fabric sewn down their lengths. These drape over the bodice to create a ruffle that falls from the top of the halter to the waist and gives the front a soft and feminine finish. The back is left completely open as a result so when you turn all you see is bare skin I love that curving cut of the sides as it scoops down. The waist is seamed for a bit of definition and then the skirt falls from under there to the floor. It widens out to the lower skirt and this give it beautiful movement when you walk. The colour is this magical deep aqua and silver mix and the way the beads and sequins are set give it a stunning pattern over you. The way this catches the light is fantastic. It is a very special piece. Excellent condition.

Unlined and closes with a low set side zipper at the back and hooks to close behind the neck. Hand finished throughout. Silk chiffon panel finished hem and edges. It appears to have been worn very little if at all.

Bust: no true side seams
Waist: 12-12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17-21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 15-16" from top of shoulder to waist
Total length: approx 63" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD4399

Reference Photos: Daria Strokous at the 30th amfAR Gala, Cannes, May 2024.

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