Talking to... Antony Price

Moyse, Christopher; 'Talking to… Antony Pri

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I love putting together videos for Roxy... I can play Cecil B. de Mille on a small scale. It’s a bit of old Hollywood.

Antony Price… modern couturier. His shop is a salon, very stark, very simplistic, lit in soft violet. A radically new concept of buying in today’s tendency to mass consumption. The salon has two sofas; the clothes for men and women are displayed on showcards together with illustrations; the approach is personalised, and individual service. Antony Price believes in quality...

'It’s an insult to people’s intelligence to charge them for bad quality; the public has become more quality conscious and it has a right to be so. With the desire for quality comes the desire for service, and that’s what the shop is all about. I believe the public is ready for it.' Who does Antony Price dress? Just about everybody in the world of glamour, rock and media. He trained at Bradford School of Art, where he did a general art course, then moved on to the Royal College of Art where he studied fashion under Janey Ironside. In 1969, he began as a designer for Stirling Cooper, later moved on to Plaza, which he recently left to step up his own independent shop. His clothes are body-conscious, constructed, tailored, and he sells not exclusively to the rock world but to anyone and everyone who wants to dress for the best. 'The thing to concentrate on is the fit - after all, everyone wants to look physically attractive. My clothes do things for people who might not have the perfect body... who does? ...because they’re structured, to support themselves in certain places. The definition of shape changes from year to year and we make it change. How? By moving lines around, shapes around, that’s where highly technical cutting comes in.. Antony Price is above all a technician. He builds stage-sets for Roxy, designed his own shops, designs his clothes. 'What’s different about covering something with cardboard or with fabric? It's all origami.'

How does he see fashion today, in the future? 'Fashion... the word is exactly that. Fashion is becoming a thing for leisure. I don’t think what we’re faced with today is glamour becoming more glamorous and function more functional. By day we need utility: workable, easy-action clothes. We’re never going to see people dressing in wonderful little hats to go to work, much as I’d love it. You have to be able to run for a bus... soon you’ll only be able to take a bus to the city centre because of pollution laws. Fashion is very much influenced by the environment. I rather like that whole thing about looking very functional and business-like during the day and seeing someone in the evening and not recognizing them. That’s what glamour’s all about... it’s really exciting, the whole creation of an image. Rock music is all about image, glamour. I love putting together videos for Roxy... I can play Cecil B. de Mille on a small scale. It’s a bit of old Hollywood… all the glamour and the frocks the posing. I love it... but I only expect people to wear that at night. I make the most practical clothes to wear in the day. I think fashion now is more about colour and fabric than ever before. You have to take away the over-design. Little fashion notes have completely had it, they’re just not important any more. What you’re selling is the quantity of the fabric, cut and finish... design has become stark simplicity.'

Originally published in British Vogue, 1980