john anthony

Spectacular Fall 1988 John Anthony Bias Cut Taupe Silk Chiffon Wrap Dress w Hand Made Lace 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 from his Fall 1988 collection and is the original sample from his archives. We found a photo of a dress on the runway from this same collection with the same cut through the top so you can get an idea of how this will sit on the body. John told me that this dress was made for the runway as well and was edited out once the final line up was done. I love this dress and am so happy to let it have its full moment now. His work is amazing on the body and transforms once it is on and moving. 

This dress is absolutely stunning and it is among my favourites from the pieces he has sent to us so far. It is very light in weight once on the body. It is made from the most beautiful feather light silk chiffon. Bias cut silk chiffon is incredibly hard to work with and for this dress he has layered it with each layer falling perfectly over each other. The dress is made of three layers of the chiffon. The two innermost layers are  unadorned and then the top layer has the black lace detailing added to it. It slips on and zips up at the front and this is all cleverly hidden with a panel that wraps and snaps into place to one side. The snaps continue down under the lace detail on the skirt. The snaps only close it part of the way and a thigh high slit is left so that when you walk you will see a mile of bare leg. The front plunges into a V and there is a caped feeling panel of hand made black French lace that drapes over the shoulders for the prettiest romantic touch. This wraps all the way around the back and I love how it drapes there. The lace at the front curves down and to the side and then trails all the way down the skirt to the hem. A wide order of it is placed all the way around the hem. I love the way the lace is all perfectly and meticulously set onto the silk with thousands of tiny precise stitched done to hold it in place and follow the pattern in the lace. This is couture level detailing. At the back, the skirt extends out a bit past the hem to sweep behind you as you walk. The silk is so light that your slightest movement causes it to float around you. It is very beautiful. Excellent condition.

Made of three layers of silk chiffon as described above and closes with a hidden set front zipper and then hidden set snaps down the side. Hand finished throughout. 

Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: approx 14" from top of shoulder to waist
Total length: 64" from top of shoulder to front hem, 76" to the longest point of the back hem
Slit: 34" from front hem up

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4555

Reference Photo: Fall 1988 John Anthony Runway.

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.