Antony Price

Emily M. Orr

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA074

Born in 1945 in Yorkshire, England, Antony Price learned to sew from his mother and made clothes for his sisters as a young boy. On the family farm he constructed drystone walls, an exercise that the designer has identified as influential in his understanding of shapes and voids and one that would later inform his pattern making. In 1962, he began studying art and design at Bradford School of Art before switching to the women’s wear fashion course for his remaining three years. He learned to cut patterns based on photographs of work by Balenciaga and Givenchy. Price then continued his education under Professor Janey Ironside at the Royal College of Art in London, where he completed two years in women’s wear and a final year in menswear.

Following his graduation in 1968, Price found financial success in the commercial sphere without having to compromise his erotic and body-conscious fashion aesthetic. He designed menswear and women’s wear for London stores: Stirling Cooper on Wigmore Street, Che Guevara on Kensington High Street, and the boutique Plaza. Price’s popular models of the early 1970s included broad-shouldered and tight-waisted jackets, a vest T-shirt meant to visually widen the shoulders, and a snug cap sleeve T-shirt. His sexually charged menswear drew attention from the music scene, such as in 1969, when Mick Jagger wore his “Ziggurat Trousers,” which were designed to emphasize the crotch and lift the rear. Price also held a part-time job with the film, theatrical, and television costumiers Berman’s & Nathan’s, where he was able to indulge his artistic imagination.

In 1974 Price met Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music. The designer styled the model Jerry Hall as a mermaid on the cover of the 1975 album Siren, which marked the first of many collaborations with Roxy Music: he designed all eight Roxy Music album covers, stage sets, outfits for the girls on tour, and suits for Ferry. His high-impact looks were modeled by other rock musicians including Steve Strange, Duran Duran, and David Bowie. In 1983 at London’s Camden Palace and in 1984 at the Hippodrome he staged so-called Fashion Extravaganzas, which were theatrical celebrations of fashion and rock music open to the public.

In 1979 Price founded his eponymous label and opened a shop on King’s Road in Chelsea. Price’s suggestive women’s wear was coined “result wear” by journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter when she handed him the Glamour Designer of the Year award in 1989. As the designer has explained, his designs are made by a man for a man and have an unmistakably sexual character. His female clients have included Joan Collins, Cher, Diana Ross, and Anjelica Huston. Price continues to work on wedding dresses and private commissions—which include outfits for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. In 2007, the British Fashion Council nominated him as best couturier behind John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood. From 2008 to 2010 he developed four successful “Priceless” collections for Topman.

Antony Price, Spring/Summer 1988 Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Bracewell Michael. Re-make/Re-model: Art, Pop, Fashion and the Making of Roxy Music, 1953–1972 . London : Faber & Faber, 2007.

Find in Library Flux J.Antony Price.” In Contemporary Fashion , edited by Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf and Richard Martin , 2nd edn. Detroit : St. James Press, 2002 .

Find in Library Fury Alex. ““Anthony Price: For Your Pleasure”.” ShowStudio, February 2009. .

Find in Library Mower Sarah. ““Leader of the Glam”.” British Vogue , March 1990: 286–289 .

Find in Library O’Hara Georgina. The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers . London : Thames and Hudson, 1998.