john anthony

Stunning 1982 John Anthony Couture Deep Blue Netted Lace & Sequin Strapless 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 offer this exclusive nine piece capsule collection of pieces and samples that John pulled from his own archives to share with you. 

This dress is a little extra special as Janet Jackson wore a later version of the dress for her Today's Black Women cover. I included it as it is always fascinating to see the progression of a design. It also has some similarities to the ivory one we have in this capsule that is made from a similar lace and sequin fabric. The dress is very light in weight and it is made from the most beautiful fabric. A deep blue netted lace is placed over a silk chiffon lining in the same colour.  The lace is then detailed with thousands of deep blue iridescent sequins that run over the entire length of the dress. This allows the dress to catch the light from every angle and it creates the most beautiful effect in the light. It is strapless and the top of the bodice curves down into a sweetheart shape to emphasize the bust. It cleverly closes down the front with a hidden zipper and hidden snaps running under the edges of the fabric. I love how all of the edges follow the curving pattern of the lace so that everything has that touch of romance and detailing. To wear it you just wrap it around you and close the snaps down the front. The snaps run to about the mid-thigh and then below that a subtle slit is created so that you see a flash of leg when you move or sit. The lower hem is set on a curve so comes up slightly at the front and is longer at the back. The skirt is lined in a silk chiffon and this gives it a slight transparency in the light. Very sexy.  I love the little rosette created and placed to one side at the waist for a touch of detailing. No detail is too small with John's dresses. It is incredible. It is wonderful. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in a hand set deep blue silky rayon through the bust and a silk chiffon through the skirt. It closes at the front with a hidden set zipper and a series of hidden fabric covered snaps. Lightly boned through the bodice. Hand finished throughout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. 

Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 9" from the top of the bodice to waist
Length: 46" from the top of the bodice to longest point of the back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD3831

Reference Photo: Janet Jackson in John Anthony for Today's Black Women, June/July 1998.

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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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.