Just in time for the recent Eighties revival, SHOWstudio’s 2009 instalment in its Design Download series was an evening dress by Antony Price. Short, boned, and ruched, with asymmetrical ‘feathers’ in two shades of taffeta, the Macaw dress exemplifies the glamour and dazzling construction of Price’s evening wear. The free pattern was part of the SHOWstudio project, Antony Price: For Your Pleasure. (For more on the designer see Chrissy Iley, “Return of the Dandy,” and the Antony Price press archive.)
The designer is best known for his work for performers like the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Duran Duran, and especially Roxy Music. This sketch shows Price’s costume design for the cover of “Siren,” Roxy Music’s 1975 album:
An earlier ornithologically-inspired Antony Price dress, “Bird’s Wing,” is part of the collection of the V&A, and was included in their exhibition, The Cutting Edge: Fifty Years of British Fashion, 1947–1997:
And Tilda Swinton recently wore Antony Price on the cover of Candy magazine (click the image for back view):
Antony Price’s Spring/Summer 1989 collection was shown at the Fashion Theatre, Kensington Olympia, to a soundtrack that included Phillip Glass, Duran Duran, and Peter and the Wolf. The Macaw dress opened a bird-themed segment of the show: after the Macaw there was the ‘Pheasant,’ the ‘Chicken,’ and finally the stunning ‘Bird of Paradise.’
Runway photos from the Spring 1989 collection may be seen in Maria Lexton’s 1991 profile of the designer. The final image (bottom right) shows the ‘Bird of Paradise’ dress:
Fabric requirements: taffeta (with additional shade for contrast); lining; stayflex fusible cotton interfacing
Notions: plastic boning, zipper
Notes/caveats: The pattern has 20 pieces, in 15 PDFs. Because the sheet dimensions are irregular, copy shop printing is recommended.
‘Feathers’ and main ruched piece are cut on the bias. The designer recommends binding boning into ‘quills’ for best results.
See the SHOWstudio submissions gallery here.