Jewels in Antony Price circa 1996
I met Antony Price at a party for Elton John at the Embassy Club in London in 1982. I was speechless when he sidled up next to me (without formal introduction), and announced “you must be in my Campden Palace show next week! Practice walking with a rope tied around your knees.” He introduced me to his manager, Rick, instructed him that I would come to the shop the next day to be fitted, and disappeared as quickly as he’d appeared. I was trembling with excitement and intrepidation – I’d never done a show before.
I sauntered into the Kings Rd. shop the next afternoon. Antony was not there, and Rick obviously did not recognize me from the night before. I was too shy to say anything, so I quickly bought a maroon taffeta frock with a huge bow on the bum (that I couldn’t afford) and scampered out. I wore that dress to the MTV Awards later that year when Duran Duran won a couple awards, so it was not a complete loss even if I did skip lunch for the next six months to pay it off.
The Wedding Dress influenced by My Fair Lady
A year later we bumped into Antony again, and he enquired as to why I never showed up for the fitting? “How typically Piscean of you” was his reply when I explained. It was the summer of our infamous after hours parties to which Antony became a frequent participant – which in turn led to his designing my wedding dress (that was more like trying to dance with a rope tied around my ankles than walking with one around my knees) amongst many others. Antony was present the evening that I decided in a drunken stupor that everyone needed grilled cheese sandwiches (I have no idea why, or how I managed not to burn the entire place down), but when I reappeared with a plate full of burnt offerings he quipped “Oh look! Mum’s baked a cake!” Everyone fell about laughing.
The Crocodile Dress
All of Antony’s dresses had fabulous names like the crocodile dress – a moss green lace number that was short in front, but had a long detachable train, the dog-tooth Mommy Dearest suit, and the sexy red siren Jessica Rabbit dress. I’ve saved every last one of them, lovingly packed away for the day there is a lifetime retrospective for the old dear.
The Mommy Dearest Suit
Normandie Keith told me that when a mutual friend bequeathed her Antony Price dresses to her recently, they actually discussed how “no one could wear Antony like Julie Anne.” Certainly one of the most flattering compliments anyone has ever given me considering Antony has dressed everyone from rock royalty to real royalty. He has a gift for making women irresistible to men, and vice-a-versa with his mastery of tailoring and foundations in addition to his endlessly inspired designs.
The Jessica Rabbit Dress
Making something more appropriately elegant than those drunken grilled cheese sandwiches for a dinner party this week made me think of Antony. I’m not sure if it was all the lace frocks he made me through the years, or molding the baskets into shape (I’m sworn to secrecy on his process) that influenced me more? Those were heady days indeed.
“Oh look, Mum’s baked a better cake”
Why not dress your next dinner party up with these completely edible yet elegant salad baskets?