Incredible 1990s John Anthony Couture Gold Lame Mesh Beaded Dress w Beaded Choker
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.
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 entire dress is made from a light gold lame mesh and then it has been extensively beaded. The cut of the dress is fairly simple. The bodice is more fitted and the neckline extends up to a choker collar that wraps around your neck. It skims over your waist and then falls to around mid-calf to ankle depending on your height. The halter cut neckline leaves your entire upper back bare. It really has that feel of those fifties bombshell dresses to me in cut. The base fabric is a gold lame that is soft to the touch He has used the same fabric without beading to line it and this gives it an extra depth and metallic feel that you don't normally get when you just use a single layer backed in silk. The dress is entirely covered in thousands of floral beads, tiny little beads to add dimension and gold tube beads that form little leafs around the flowers. It is incredible and very elaborate. These are scattered over the entire dress and then the collar and hem are densely covered in the same bead work as the rest of the dress, but done so that there is no fabric showing between the beads. This dense coverage gives the feel of wearing jewels at the neck and adds weight to the hem so that it fall perfectly no matter how you move. A gold pipe bow with extra long ties sits at the back for a little detailing. 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. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Made to demi-couture standards. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in the same gold lame fabric as the exterior. It closes with a hidden set zipper down the back and the collar snaps to close. Hand finished throughout. The fabric has slight stretch.
Bust: to 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5-15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 54" from base of neck collar to hem
Neck: 13.5" around and 2.5" high
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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