john anthony

Extraordinary 2006 John Anthony Couture Black Hand Beaded Runway Dress w Bib Front & No Back

John has dived into his archives once more for me and today I have two more of the dresses he sent for us with one last one to come after this. This is a runway piece from 2006. 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 absolutely extraordinary and so very sensual. It is incredible to see it in person with all of that extensive bead work on it.

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 takes your breathe away when you first see it. The fabric is completely covered in thousand of tiny black seed beads on a black netted base. Like the others this gives the dress a bit of weight but in this case its balanced by the almost weightless netting - we weighed it and even with the light netting it was still about 3 pounds. It is so beautifully made that it balances and glides over the body perfectly. The front is cut in an almost squared off feel with a high neck that is cut across the width of the front. It glides right into the length of the skirt with no break at the waist at the front. Straps extend out from the top of the bodice and glide done either side of the back. The sides and back are left completely bare and open and it is incredibly sexy. When you turn all you see is bare skin. The waist is seamed at the back for a bit of definition. The skirt to the floor and gently widens out as it reaches the hem. On one side there is an incredibly high slit that shows a mile of leg when you walk or sit. And then there is the fabric itself. The beads fully cover every square inch of the dress but the coverage is done in two different degrees of density. This creates these fantastic vertical rows that run over the entire dress. The rows very with one being completely and densely covered and then the next is a row where the beads have a more scattered feel. These than go back-and-forth between the two to cover the whole dress. The more dense areas also create a border across the top of the dress and are what covers the straps. Because the backing is the netting Rose that have only scattered feeling are slightly transparent. This is absolutely incredible and is a almost shocking feel when you are in the light. You of course have control of how see through the dress is depending on what you decide to wear underneath it but that play with the transparencies in the stripes is incredible to see. It is a very special and rare piece. Excellent condition.

There are two attached layers of the netting underneath the top beaded layer. It closes with a low set side zipper at the back and a snap and hook at the waist band. Hand finished throughout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all.

Bust: no true side seams but the front bib bodice covers 12" from side seam to side

Waist: 12-12.75" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 65" from top of shoulder to hem
Slit: 34" from hem up

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-SML

Item# DD4405

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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