john anthony

Prettiest Fall 1981 John Anthony Couture Moss Green Silk Chiffon Dress w Hand Beaded Detailing

John Anthony's business was all done on a made-to-order basis. That means that each piece is the only one that exists or in the very occasional circumstance that there are similar pieces only a very limited amount of pieces were made. And to make things even a little more special.... the pieces I have in the shop come directly from John's archive. He is one of the great American couturiers and he was known for his sharp tailoring and striking evening wear. He launched his atelier in 1971 and he quickly rose to fame, winning a Coty award in 1972 and then again in 1976. This dress is one of two pieces I have from his Fall 1981 collection today and both are the original samples from his archives. No photos were found of the runway presentation of either of these two pieces but we did find a series of photos of pieces with the same beadwork so you can get an idea of how beautiful they are on the body. 

The fabric this dress is made out of is a beautiful light weight silk chiffon in a moss green. Onto that is a dense application of beads that are set in vertical rows that cover almost all of the dress except for the one sleeve and shoulder. This is done deliberately and acts as a part of the pattern of the dress. All of the beads have been applied by hand and are set in perfect little rows onto the silk. This makes the dress glimmer softly from every angle. The cut of the dress is simple and it is an incredibly easy dress to wear and is very flattering on the body. The neckline is a simple scoop and closes with a hook and eye at the back of the neck above a keyhole. The bodice is cut to skim down over you to the waist. The waist has no seam to break the eye and is cut loose and easy to give the dress a slight caftan feel through the body. The skirt falls to the floor under that in a swoop of fabric flaring out a touch as it nears the hem. Each sleeve is cut slightly different from the other and I love this little interesting detail. One sleeve is completely covered in beads with the cuff gathered and folded into a rolled finish. The other sleeve is a single layer of the silk chiffon and the cuff on that side has been lightly stitched inwards a touch so that you get a bit of a puff above the cuff. All of the work on the dress is all done by hand and the workmanship is fantastic. It is gorgeous and falls like a dream once on the body. Excellent condition with a minor note below

Fully lined in a second layer of the same fabric and it closes with a hook and eye above a keyhole at the back of the neck. I see the tiniest little pull in the fabric near the neck and there are minor missing areas of beads here and there. Please see the photo after the label shot. Note that the rolled sleeve is just tacked in place. I think that was done for the runway show and that it could be unrolled so the lengths match. I left it as is since it is how it was received and photoed. 

Sleeves: the rolled beaded sleeve is 25" as it is now and the chiffon one is 28". The upper arm is 16" around
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4569

Reference Photos: (1-6) Fall 1981 John Anthony Ready to Wear Advance Preview.  /  (7) Fall 1981 John Anthony Runway.

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