Antony Price is a London fashion designer who is best known for glamorous evening wear and suits, and for the seventies icon of the cap sleeve t-shirt (trading under the Plaza label for the premium price of £6, this was quickly 'ripped off' by numerous other manufacturers). Price has collaborated with a number of musical performers, including David Bowie, Steve Strange, and Duran Duran. but is best known for his close working relationship with Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, whose respective 'looks' were defined by Price's designs.
Antony Price’s pulpish vision is of woman as a femme fatale of the most sophisticated, predatory and artificial, part harridan part mannequin. This came to the fore in the images created for Roxy Music – he has been credited as the chief illusionist of what he dubbed “the Roxy Machine” and the female archetypes he created in the Roxy cover girls reflect an aesthetic which was to emerge in his later work for women.
The manner in which Price dressed – or in many cases, undressed – the Roxy girls served to define the band’s trademark pop retro-futurism. From the first cover, his obsession with a certain brand of 1950’s glamour, half Hayworth half Vargas, linked the band intrinsically to rock history, while the interpretation of these nostalgic sources projected into the future - arguably transforming Roxy Music into as much an aesthetic as musical experiment. Bryan Ferry has spoken of himself as functioning as a pop artefact , and dressed in Price’s acid suiting, tightly-waisted and square-shouldered, he was transformed into an archetype – Barbie doll meets action man .
While working for Stirling Cooper in 1967, Price designed the clothes for The Rolling Stones' 1969 American Tour. He was the stylist for Roxy Music's first eight albums, as well as the classic album cover for Lou Reed's Transformer. The back photo is not, as many suspect, Lou posing with an erection, but a model with a cucumber down his trousers, wearing a pair of famous Antony Price 'Arse' pants, created by running horseshoe seam across the outline of the haunches. When customers complained of the baggy crotches of trousers in her 'Pirate' collection, Vivienne Westwood retorted 'Well go to Antony Price then!' His self-declared trademark design is a spiral zipped dress in ciré satin, created for the label Plaza in the late seventies. This was worn in a Harpers and Queen feature in 1979 by Amanda Lear, who was also the Price-dressed covergirl for Roxy Music's 1973 album For Your Pleasure
Price worked under the labels Stirling Cooper, Che Guevara and Plaza in London before launching his own label in 1979. Stirling Cooper was situated in London's Wigmore Street, with a famous oriental interior designed by Price and Jane Whiteside, and Plaza on the King's Road. Price had his own-name shops in South Molton Street and on the King's Road, and also operated a shop called 'Ebony' in the 1980s.
In 1983 Price staged a 'Fashion Spectacular' at London's Camden Palace, combining fashion and music, and allowing the public to purchase tickets. In 1985, continuing to live up to his own declaration that 'I'm not a fashion designer... I'm in the theatrical business,' Antony Price created a spectacular outfit for Fashion Aid, and conceived a show-stopping presentation of model, client and long-standing friend Jerry Hall emerging from a black velvet box. The outfit, consisting of a bolero and dress with lampshade peplum in metallic and red French silk lace over lamé. Price has said of this outfit 'it wasn't the chicest or most subtle garment, but when Jerry moved under the lights she looked like a Siamese fighting fish in a vast blue tank.'
Antony Price received the 'Glamour' award from the British fashion Council in 1990, and was profiled in British Vogue the same year. In 1998, Antony Price collaborated with milliner Philip Treacy on clothing for his show at London Fashion Week, and continued to collaborate on subsequent Treacy shows in London and Paris. In 2000, Antony Price created evening gowns constructed of carpet to feature in the advertising campaigns of British carpet manufacturer Brintons, a commission previously undertaken by Vivienne Westwood. In 2000 he also created clothing for Glenalmond Tweed, along with 25 other British designers including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Margaret Howell.
Today Antony Price continues to work from his home in the English countryside, creating made-to-measure clothing for an elite clientele, including the Duchess of Cornwall. He was nominated for the British Fashion Council's 'Red Carpet Designer' award at the 2006 British Fashion Awards, and a small range of his clothes sell in London boutique A La Mode.
Antony Price was featured in the influential fashion magazines POP and BUTT in Spring 2005. In December 2006 Price was photographed by David Bailey for British Vogue alongside Christopher Kane, whose hyper-feminine bandage-wrap dresses can be regarded as a natural successor to Price's bombshell looks. Price has worked with The Hon Daphne Guinness in developing a range of key shirt and tailoring designs for her eponymous clothing line which is currently sold in London's Dover Street Market.
In 2008 Price has collaborated with The Look Presents - run by Max Karieof Soho boutique Shop At Maison Bertaux and Paul Gorman, author of The Look: Adventures In Rock & Pop Fashion - on Priceless, a new capsule collection of suits and other menswear for Topman. The debut range will be stocked in the UK from October 2008 and at Topman's new outlet in New York from November 2008. Priceless was launched to the Britishmedia at a dinner and party attended by Bryan Ferry, Pam Hogg, Nicky Haslam, Peter York and others at the legendary Mayfair nightclub Tramp in July 2008.
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