Extraordinary 1990s John Anthony Couture Deep Bronze Lace & Black Silk Netting Full Skirted 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 is an absolute dream piece. This is the type of dress that you will only ever find in vintage. I really cannot gush about it enough. It is a beautiful and glamorous dress that is red carpet worthy. As good as it looks here it only really comes to life once on. The cost to produce this level of construction now would be sky-high. The level that this dress is made to is a beautiful thing to see. It has all those lovely details that you expect in a couture level garment. The dress combines a metallic bronze colored lace that is fused onto a black silk netting on the bodice and sleeves and then is used for the top layer of the skirt. Under the skirt's top lace layer is a full deep brown silk satin skirt. The skirt is full with built in netted underskirts and the bodice is very elaborately finished. These fabric choices help to hold its intended shape and give it a high glamour feel. The bodice is more fitted and the neckline is cut high. The collar is an elaborate affair with the lace fused onto the black silk netting to circle your neck and run down the front a touch. It is almost like wearing a piece of jewellery. More of the metallic lace is fused over the bodice and circles around the waist where it narrows to a band at the back. The lace there is backed with an extra layer of silk chiffon so that you can wear it without being completely see-through. The sleeves extend down from the shoulders with no seam there to break the eye. At the wrist there is a long panel of lace that follows the curve of your lower arm and goes up to the elbow. It is fantastic and very beautiful. The top is cut to skim over you and then the waist is cinched in. The skirt under that is equally well made. It curves out from under the waist and is wide and full around the hips and front but is not as full at the very front so you get this sleek feeling of volume rather then a cupcake shape. At the back it is far fuller and you get more of that true full skirted feel. I love how the lace layer wraps around the skirt and then separates at the back down the center so you get to see the silk skirting underneath. Inside the skirt is a built in crinoline to help give it shape and volume. Under that is an inner silk skirt so that it feels good against the skin. This built in volume through the skirt technique helps to hold the shape of the skirt and when on the body it poufs out perfectly and stays that way. The hours of work that it would have taken to implement the detailing on this dress is mind boggling. It is extraordinary and the kind of quality and beauty that you will only find with vintage. Made to demi-couture standards. Excellent condition.
The skirt has a brown silk inner lining topped by a built in netted crinoline with a double layer hem. The silk satin skirt is backed in a silk organza and the top lace layer is backed in a silk netting. The lace in the bodice has an additional layer of silk chiffon backing it. It closes with a hidden set zipper at the waist at the back and then hooks to along the lace panel above that. More hooks at the back of the neck which leaves a keyhole slit between the neck and waist. Each sleeve's cuff closes with a series of hook & eye. Hand finished throughout.
Sleeves: approx 22" with no defined shoulder seam
Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from neck to waist
Skirt: 22" from waist to hem
Neck: 14" around
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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