When this luxurious satin gown fell into my hands I had to find out – Who is Tony Chase? What I found was a designer with heart…”I don’t design for cardboard models with straight, thin bodies. I design for women with a past- women who’ve had children, who’ve known pain, women with big hips, and big thighs, who are too tall or too short. Real women…Their guts, their souls are in these dresses”. He helped his customers – (many are in the entertainment business), see that true beauty is not a perfect size 8. His dramatic, fanciful designs sparkle with Hollywood glamour.
Chase grew up in New York, started sketching at 4, and at 14 had redesigned an old muscrat coat his grandfather gave him, to wear himself. He studied sociology rather then art or design in college which helped him to think in terms of people and their needs. At 20 he left college for an acting career, including a bit part in Moses (starring Burt Lancaster). Eventually he returned to New York, waiting tables to earn the money to start designing furs. His first couture line was launched in 1982. “His clothes were sleek, shimmering silhouettes of the deco age and they could be worn by all women”. The above is from the Reading Eagle June 2nd, 1984.
Victoria Principal, Morgan Fairchild, Liz Taylor, Bette Midler, and Dolly Parton are just a few of his many clients. His dresses have sold from $2,000 to $6,000 and up. ‘Says singer and Chase customer Patti LaBelle: “Tony designs for women of substance with lots of curves. I do have a lot of curves, thank God, and he knows how to accent them. Instead of making clothes for models, he makes them for women.” Says fellow singer Jennifer Holliday: “I trust his opinion. If he says something looks fabulous, I feel untouchable.”‘(from People, March 10th, 1986) “I got attention from women who wanted to get attention,” says Chase. “I knew how to turn heads, and that’s what celebrities want.”
This is pretty funny- also from the same issue of People -One celebrity who wanted Chase’s designs was Mick Jagger, but the two parted company after a while. “I told him his T-shirt rock ‘n’ roll image was tired and to forget it,” says Tony. “I was going to make him half man and half animal but he got scared and went back to the tried and true.”
Tony Chase was also a writer- his book- Fashion Therapy: A revolutionary program for looking your best by loving and accepting yourself- is available at Amazon. To read more about Tony Chase-http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20093130,00.html http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1955&dat=19840602&id=xA4iAAAAIBAJ&sjid=h6cFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6000,580460
Tony Chase gown at CTMercantile on etsy http://www.etsy.com/listing/75645594/satin-gown-tony-chase-evening-gown-high
Tony Chase designed hundreds of Country Singer Dolly Parton’s gowns, including the turquoise one she wore to Oscar night in 1990.
Dolly in a Tony Chase gown