Legendary fashion designer famed for his work with pop icons including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Roxy Music and currently with couture clients including the Duchess of Cornwall, Antony Price, studied Art and Fashion at Bradford School of Art from 1961 until 1965.
“I spent 4 years at Bradford Art School. It was the early 60s and an exciting time of Baby Love by the Supremes, Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis. I used to get the train from Crosshills. I did a general art course for a year – metal work, sculpture, art drawing – you could do what you want on Fridays and I chose fashion design. I then did 3 years studying fashion.
Mrs Betts taught me everything I know. She
made us make complicated patterns. A
sewing machine is not considered to be a
glamorous instrument but using a sewing
machine is every bit as skilled as a lead
violinist in an orchestra. I arrived at the Royal
College of Art with a total headstart and
was able to whip my own show together. I
found the Royal totally nepotistic; the tutors
and students were all from Harrow and
Walthamstow. I made the best of it but I was
quite shocked and horrified at the unfairness
of it. I did 3 years and left in 1968.
Fashion is a massive manufacturing industry with huge overheads. To make anything you have to start a small factory. Designing things that don’t exist and inventing them from nothing is risky. Students should be told the horrible truth. Once you turn the drawing into a dress you need an army of people with skill and technical knowledge.
Before I ever studied I was a dry walling expert. I lived on farms all my life and could assess what shape to fit in. I always saw an arts college as a college of industrial design. Fashion sure is industry. It has to be worn and move, allow you to sit down and not wrinkle. It is Boeing wing time. Full on design. I was a real trailblazer. Still am. My rock n roll connections meant that Topman wanted me to design a collection which comes out this year, but I mostly concentrate on couture, one-off specials, made to the standard of Valentino and Dior but for clients who must have something unseen.”
Photograph supplied by Antony Price