Chic 2000s John Anthony Couture Multi Layer Silk Chiffon Backless Ruffle Plunge Dress
John Anthony is an award-winning American fashion designer best known for simple, elegant clothing with a strong sense of chic. His work veers towards minimalism, with sharp tailoring, striking evening wear being his signature. He is renowned for his cutting and tailoring. From the day that he launched his atelier in 1971 his design philosophy is a fusion of function and purpose. The function is his logical, wearable approach; the purpose, his pared-down ideas. As a designer, he considers it his job to make things easy for the customer. He designs with focus and a narrow palette for both day and night, so items can easily intermingle. He uses natural fabrics and is noted for contradictory daywear fabrics in his evening collections. In the early 70’s he was one of the first designers to promote the idea of easy-to-travel clothes that resist wrinkling. By 1976, he was showing soft, liquid separates in muted colours that became his trademark and received 2 Coty awards, one in 1972 and one in 1976, as recognition. His 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 did, and still do, retail for over $10,000. His work is a personal favourite of mine and I am thrilled to begin to offer this second round of a dozen exclusive pieces and samples that John pulled from his own archives.
This dress is absolutely stunning. It is very light in weight once on the body and is made from the most beautiful silk chiffon. Bias cut silk chiffon is incredibly hard to work with and for this dress he has layered it with each layer falling perfectly over each other. The innermost layer is a black chiffon, then the middle is a deep purple burgundy and the very top is a deep steel blue. When layered over each other this gives the dress its unique colour and I love how you can see the different colours peeking out at the side with the ruffle. Once on, the front halter plunges with those same three layers of silk chiffon used to create a ruffle that follows the edge of the halter and give the front a soft and feminine finish. The back is equally incredible. The front halter curves up and over the shoulders and hooks to close behind the neck. The back is left completely bare under that and I love the curving cut of the sides. A braided belt wraps around the waist and closes at the front with two sparkling jet bead encrusted domes. The skirt falls from under there using the same three layers of silk. These wrap around you and then are set in a ruffle down the one side, This ruffle detail curves down and around to meet the hem. The ruffles hide a very high opening at the side so when you walk you will see a mile of leg. The silk is so light that your slightest movement causes it to float around you. To keep it from being completely scandalous he has hand sewn in weights along the side seam of the longer hem side of the skirt that keep it in place so you get movement through the skirt but it doesn't fly out so much that you are not covered. Just genius. Excellent condition.
Fully lined as described above and closes with a hidden set side zipper. Hand finished throughout. On the underside of the base ruffle layer there is a small area that looks like a glue on the fabric. You don't see it at all when on but mentioned for accuracy. There is also a very small amount of the same on the inside of the bust area. Please see the photo after the label shot.
Bust: no true side seams
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 47" from waist to longest point of the hem
Side opening: 38" from longest point of hem up
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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