If I called you, and said “send me your measurements, and I’ll have a drop dead gorgeous couture gown made just for you, but the catch is – you can only have it, if it fits like a glove once it is made,” what would you do?

The spectacular wedding dress Antony Price made for me
Would you know how to take your own measurements properly? Stop dreaming, it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, I’m far too stingy, but it is handy to know how to measure yourself in case the opportunity arises, as it did for my friend Madame X.
Modeling an Antony Price
She’s going to be a bridesmaid this summer in Chicago. Problem is, she lives here in Los Angeles, so the bride-to-be called her asking for her measurements. Madame was flustered, ” why would the alterations department of a department store measure me if I’m not buying the dress from them?” she urgently emailed, “do you know a good tailor, Julie Anne?”
Antony Price at work
“Not in Los Angeles (home of the t-shirt and jeans set), but I do know someone in London that can help.” Antony Price is one of the last bastion of fashion designers on the planet that knows how to make a garment from sketch, to pattern, cutting, and sewing. Sadly, it is a dying art. Most designers today create their sketches, then computers and factories do the rest. Precious few left alone with a sketch pad, chalk, muslin, fabric, scissors, needles and thread can produce a well tailored outfit. Couture is threatened with extinction.
Jewels on the town
So, who better to call for instructions than Antony? A man I adore for his often peculiar but fabulous observations on life and the amusing, highly descriptive words he chooses to convey his message.
The inspirational hibiscus
When we were on holiday together years ago, Tone, who takes his inspiration from nature, sat intently admiring a hibiscus. After several minutes he casually remarked “God must have been having a very good day when he designed that one.” Those words immediately conjured up an image of God (in the classic biblical paintings sense) sitting on a billowing cloud with an enormous sketch pad, designing the world and all living creatures within it. I remember it whenever I see something particularly beautiful. I also still have the goddess-like ensemble that resulted from that very flower (if only it still fit, long sigh).
Wearing the hibiscus inspired ensemble
I got a little sidetracked there, now you must remember we have been friends for many many years, Tone would never speak with a client the way he does with me. We do not mince words with each other. This is the email I sent Madame X in reply. Sorry if you find the language R rated, it was just too funny not send exactly as he directed.
Subject: Measurement instructions according to Antony Price, verbatim

Wearing bra and knickers only -

1). Hip : Measure around the largest part of the bum, tape should be level, and the fattest part should be directly across from your punanny.

2). Waist: Do not suck it in! Just measure around your waist with your tummy relaxed, and tape sitting snug to the skin without pulling in tight.

3).Bust: Around the tits – under the arms, over the nipples and down into the valley. Be sure the tape is not sagging in the back or the measurement will be off.

4). Body length: Back of neck to waist. The top of tape measure should be at that bone at the bottom of your neck where it meets the spine, then making sure the tape is snug against the curvature of the back, measure from neck to waist.

5). Dress Length: You will need to measure waist to knee, or waist to floor depending on if it is to be a cocktail frock or long gown. Be sure you’re wearing heels if it is floor length – the ones you intend to wear with the dress.

Call me if you have any questions. Hugs, Jewels xo

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  • March 21, 2011
    4:34 pm

    Excellent use of "punanny". Old school!Susan Woodcock Lindahl

  • March 21, 2011
    4:35 pm

    "Yeah, I had to Google it. :::facepalm::: I guess I learned something new today."Terry Munson

  • March 21, 2011
    4:36 pm

    Have no idea if I spelled it correctly, but it did make me laugh

  • March 21, 2011
    4:41 pm

    That is to funny!!! I love it!! Straight to the point!

  • March 21, 2011
    4:56 pm

    After experiencing a "formal" fitting for a bridemaid dress this past weekend…I was mortified. Thank you for bringing laughter to that experience!Margo Nunez

  • March 21, 2011
    4:57 pm

    That's brilliant!Lane Morris Buckman

  • March 21, 2011
    5:42 pm

    I have to look punanny up too.;)Aesea Neassa

  • March 21, 2011
    9:44 pm

    Okay, [blush], I had to look it up too. I had a feeling that's what it meant, now I know for sure. Hmmm wonder if that's a topic to bring up at the next "ladies who lunch" or with my doctor when I see him this week? Well, now I know a new word and how to take my measurements. Who said you can't learn something new once you reach a certain age?

  • March 22, 2011
    12:26 am

    I adored your wedding dress, in fact I tried one on in a similar style when I was getting married, but decided on a different style in the end. I didnt have the confidence to wear it so didnt buy it. You looked absolutely gorgeous!Rachel Day

  • March 22, 2011
    12:28 am

    I did put an R rating in the title to warn you all (I can FEEL your blushes). Maybe it loses it's humor in print? Antony just has me in stitches the way he says things.

  • March 22, 2011
    4:38 am

    oh how i do love a good use of the word punanny LOL …Brilliant Jewels!!!!

  • March 22, 2011
    2:20 pm

    I was rolling laughing……Antony Price, classic suits and yes the way he designs is a dying art..such a shame.

  • March 22, 2011
    2:23 pm

    You know, I always wanted to know the proper way to measure myself because I always think that some of the gals in the department stores sorta phone it in :) Love this!

  • March 22, 2011
    5:13 pm

    Not to worry! Blushes aside, the topic was one we all need to know about. I'm surprised I hadn't heard that word before, working with young adults for almost 10 years taught me a lot. But, this word is from a designer that these kids would not even know about, much less have any clothes designed by him. Thank you for another wonderful life lesson told in the truest fashion according to Antony.

  • March 22, 2011
    11:50 pm

    Sweetie one!!!Giuliana Iannotta

  • March 22, 2011
    11:51 pm

    fantastic colour….Steffken le Bon

  • March 23, 2011
    12:32 am

    This one may be my favorite blog of yours so far.Melinda LaBarge

  • March 23, 2011
    12:36 am

    Why thank you kindly Melinda – more fashion posts on the way, since the food I'm cooking right now is all diet food. Remembering fabulous fashion moments helps keep me on track.

  • March 23, 2011
    3:03 am

    I love that Urban Legend compares punanny to vajayjay! The old meets the new!

  • March 23, 2011
    4:38 pm

    Haha great blog! Sadly if I measure myself I'd die thinking of the results! I wouldn't fit in any Antony Price dress! ;)Isabel Ortiz Bernad

  • March 23, 2011
    4:38 pm

    beautiful dresses !Scar Lette

  • March 23, 2011
    4:44 pm

    Hey you can share some of your knowledge on how to make diet food taste not like sludge.Carmen Hoehne

  • March 23, 2011
    4:44 pm

    Boring old grilled fish or chicken with a ton of vegetables, and a very small amount of whole grains.

  • March 23, 2011
    4:45 pm

    Pretty dress… I too am trying to get back into my skinny clothes sucks…I feel your pain.Carmen Hoehne

  • March 23, 2011
    9:24 pm

    I will take the skinny and the dress. mxxMikki Pallas

  • March 23, 2011
    9:24 pm

    Hey…the dress is great because you wears it, not the opposite!Giuliana Iannotta

  • March 23, 2011
    9:25 pm

    I thought you looked lovely in the red/black ensemble holding the cupcake! Whatever you wear, you always make it a personal statement, no one else would look the same in a similar outfit. You should give lessons on how to make a statement with what you wear. You always look appropriate in what you are wearing, it's clear that you own the clothing and not the other way around. Does that make sense? I sometimes feel that clothing I try on just isn't me, it's trying to make me into someone that I'm not. You never look that way. You always look wonderful whether it's casual or elegant, you make a statement.Ruthee Mac

  • March 23, 2011
    9:28 pm

    Thanks Ruthee and Guiliana – I've loved clothes since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I've always had a strong sense of what things felt right to wear depending upon my mood more the occasion – trust me, I got it wrong sometimes to.

  • March 23, 2011
    9:31 pm

    Look at that pix of you! Magnificent!Denise Vivaldo

  • March 23, 2011
    9:31 pm

    Such a Doll…….Stuart Drexler

  • March 23, 2011
    9:32 pm

    sheesh woman that looks like an Anthony Price! and God you look amazing, waist, smile, legs and cheeky grin all thrown inMarella Oppenheim

  • March 23, 2011
    9:32 pm

    I love the imagine of God sitting on a cloud with a sketch pad… I think its probably very true…Giorgi Centeno-Antinori

  • March 23, 2011
    9:34 pm

    Me too Giorgi, and it is an indelible impression that came to mind often in the majesty of the African bush.

  • March 23, 2011
    9:45 pm

    Well if I may add you certainly (in all the pictures I have seen) made it look effortless and easy to look so good in those georgeous clothes! I guess thats the key anyways :)Christy Miller

  • March 23, 2011
    11:37 pm

    Those instructions had me in stiches .. I learned what punanny was from Rap lol xo Great post beautiful Funny lady xo

  • March 24, 2011
    12:16 pm

    Terribly funny, but most informative…….great work, I love it!Aussie Mum

  • March 24, 2011
    11:55 pm

    Jewels every post is like a chapter in a great book! Entertaining as always. Wowsa what a figure on you!! Cupcakexo