C O NT E NT S
THE MAN 1-2 EARLY LIFE 3-4 WORLD WAR II 5-6 PROFESSIONAL LIFE 7-8 THE ABC OF MEN‘S FASHION 9-10 NO.14
SAV I L E
11-12 C L I E NT S & A C H I EV E M E NT S 13-14 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 15-16
NA M E Sir Edwin Hardy Amies BORN 17th July 1909 DIED 5th March 2003
Originaly born, Edwin Amies, he was a British fashion designer who was known for his wit and his irascible nature. He was the founder of Hardy Amies Ltd in 1946. Born in London, his father was an architect and his mother was a saleswoman for Madame Grey and Madame Durrant. It was not until his teenage years that he used his motherâ€™s maiden name Hardy. Arguably most famous for dressing Queen Elizabeth II, Amies was made a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order in 1989.
EARLY LIFE & P R E -W A R
Amis was Born in Maida Vale, London in 1909 and educated at Brentwood School in Essex until 1927. He had always wanted to be a journalist and although it was his father’s wish for him to go to Cambridge University, his father helped him on his was by arranging a meeting with the then editor of the Daily Express, R. D. Blumenfeld. On the suggestion from Blumenfeld, Amies went traveling. He spent 3 years in France and Germany working as a customs agent and a Englishlanguage tutor, becoming fluent in both languages. On his return to England, Amies became a sales assistant at a ceramic wall-tile factory enabling him to secure a trainee position as a weight machine salesman in Birmingham. Amies simply got into the fashion world through his mothers contacts and his flair for writing. His first job was at Mayfair couture house Lachasse, thanks to a letter he had written about a dress to a retired French seamstress. He became the managing director of Lachasse aged 25. At the age of 28 he had his first major success, which was a Linton tweed suit in sage green with a cerise overcheck, named ‘Panic’. This was his debut into Vogue. By the late 1930s, Amies was designing the whole Lachasse collection, with his second celebrated design ‘Made in England’ – a suit designed for Mildred Shay.
He Left Lachasse in 1939 and joined the House of Worth in 1941.
â€œThis officer is far tougher both physically and mentally than his rather precious appearance would suggest. He possesses a keen brain and an abundance of shrewd sense. His only handicap is his precious appearance and manner, and these are tending to decrease.â€?
Amies Training Report Major General Colin Gubbins
M I L ITA RY WORK
Due to Amies language skills, he was called to serve in the Special Operations Executive. The SOE – also known as ‘the Baker Street Irregulars, Churchill’s Secret Army and Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare – was a little known about organization that conducted espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance across occupied Europe against the Germans, Japanese and Italians. Amies was posted in Belgium, working with resistance groups. He adapted names of fashion accessories for use as code words, as well as organizing sabotages. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, however, he irritated his superiors after he arranged a Vogue photo-shoot in Belgium 1944, post D-Day. Amies was integral to Operation Ratweek, which assassinated and eliminated double agents and Nazi sympathizers in Belgium, however, Amies diclaimed any knowledge of the subject. Amies would have his British Army uniform tailored on Savile Row. He was knighted in Belgium in 1946, made an Officer of the Order of the
â€œA man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.â€?
THE ABC OF MENâ€˜S FASHION
Amies had regularly written a column in Esquire and eventually published a book, The ABC of Menâ€™s Fashion, in 1964. The book was an expression of his strict male dress code, including information and direction on everything from brogues to bowler hats and anything in between.
The book was reissued by the Victoria & Albert Museum in July 2009.
NO.14 S AV I L E R OW
The tradesmen and seamstresses have a separate entrance to the clients – whose entrance is flanked by twin stone obelisks. No. 14 is the original location of Hardy Amies Ltd. American actress
The house was a place to entertain
Virginia Cherrill, later The Countess
as well as work and served its own
of Jersey, a client of Amies when he
signature martinis – with a twist of
had worked at Lachasse, funded the
orange rather than lemon.
purchase of No. 14. In 1946 Amies founded his own couture fashion
Amies was Vice-Chairman of the
house in the heart of English Bespoke
Incorporated Society of London
Tailoring. The brand quickly became
Fashion Designers between 1954-56
known for classic, beautifully tailored
and then Chairman between 1959-60.
clothes for both men and women. The restoration was very ad hoc and
Amies was one of the first European
No. 14 was filled with a mix of old
designers to produce ready-to-wear
and new furniture. William Haines –
clothing when he collaborated with
interior designer – brought an Eastern
Hepworth & Son, designing a range of
influence that has survived into the
modern era. Fashion history was made in 1962
It is one of the most original buildings
when Amies staged the first men’s
on the street architecturally, having
ready-to-wear catwalk. The catwalk
not been extensively altered like
did not only make history for this but
many of the others. Amies created
it was also the first show that music
his workshops in the basement and
was played and that the designer
the attics, with the impressive first
accompanied the models on the
floor as a fitting room and a place for
catwalk. ‘Man’ was held in the Savoy
presentations and receptions.
C L I E NT S & PAT R O N S
Q U E E N E L I ZA B ET H I I 1950–2002 Awarded the Royal Warrant as Official Dressmaker in 1955 Held the Royal Warrant until 1989, however, the house of Hardy Amies was still designing for her under design director Jon Moore until 2002.
E N G LA N D W O R L D C U P T EA M 1966 Specifically for captain Bobby Moore.
PAT R I C K MA C N E E 1961–1969 As super-spy John Steed in The Avengers
B R IT I S H O LY M P I C S Q U A D 1972
O X F O R D U N IV E R S ITY B OAT C L U B LONDON ST O C K E X C HA N G E L O R D S N OW D O N P ET E R S E L L E R S D AV I D H O C K N EY
R O NA L D R EA GA N
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Amies possessed the exact qualities that director Stanley Kubrick wanted to design the costumes for his film. Whilst being set in the future, Kubrick desired a timeless aesthetic compared to any other depictions of the future at the time. They did not always see eye to eye on set as ‘Kubrick thought he was the designer and Hardy thought he was the director’. The slim-fitting suits, worn without neck-ties and eye-catching space stewardess uniforms with eggshaped helmets that reflected their conservative values became crucial to the films aesthetic. The film was deemed ‘culturally, historically and aesthetically significant’ by the United States Library of Congress, in 1991 and was selected
for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Designed by William Haines, Hardy loved the idea of having his initials displayed in his office space, in the salon and on all the furnishings. Although not directly inspired by the Art Deco period the HA monogram has a Deco essence. The monogram was used extensively throughout the house, from the seats of the salon chairs to the carpet and wallpaper. It is used today on leather goods and fabrics for a whole new generation, with plans to upholster the leather furniture in the stores with embossed hides.