Exquisite 1985 John Anthony Nude Silk Chiffon & Net Dress w Silver Chain Rhinestones and Beads
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 offer this exclusive nine piece capsule collection of pieces and samples that John pulled from his own archives to share with you.
This is a dress that when you see it in person seems impossible to have the level of detail that is does on the silk and netting fabric. It is magical in person. The dress is made from a beige nude silk chiffon through the body and then the upper bust and back are made out of a nude silk netting. It is cut to skim over the body with a suggestion of a waist worked in by vertical seaming. The netting above the front edge of the bodice curves up to the shoulders and then down the back. The back is dipped very low so you see your lower back peek through the netting. Onto the netting is a design that reminds me of coral in the way that it has been executed. A fine silver colour metal thread is first used to create the organic feel of the pattern. Then onto that is a dense application off silver sequins, soft pastel blue beads and rhinestones. These are applied thickly enough that they sit up and off the silk to give a 3D effect. They run over the entire dress and over the netting as well. When this is on the body the effect that this creates is astonishing. I think it is one of the most beautiful textile examples I have ever seen. A long slit up the side allows a flash of leg to show when you walk or sit. It is magnificent. Besides being a very wearable dress for any special evening this would make a stunning wedding choice for the bride looking for something not as traditional or as an option for an event over a wedding weekend. Excellent condition with a minor note below.
Fully lined in a node silk chiffon and closes with a hidden side set zipper. One of the shoulders has a Velcro close to help get in and out of it. There is a very tiny break in the net near one arm hole at the front and two teeny stress areas near seams. Please see the three photos after the label shot.
Bust: the front covers to 16" flat across and the sides are open right beside the bust
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 54" from top of shoulder to hem
Slit: 24" from hem up
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS
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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