Hardy Amies (1909-2003) began his career in fashion at Lachasse in 1934, where he was designer, and after 1935, managing director. During the war he designed British Utility clothing which conformed to the strict fabric saving rules of wartime. He started his own couture house, Hardy Amies Ltd. in 1946, and added ready-to-wear in 1950.
In 1951, Amies designed dresses for Princess Elizabeth’s tour of Canada. After she became Queen, she appointed Amies as the Royal Dressmaker in 1955. Among the many royal and aristocratic ladies, his clientele also includes the actresses Vivien Leigh, Deborah Kerr, the Duchess of Devonshire, Princess Michael of Kent and Barbara Cartland.
Hardy Amies designed Deborah Kerr’s costumes for the 1960 film The Grass Is Greener, in which she starred with Cary Grant. He also designed Tony Randall’s costumes in 1965’s The Alphabet Murders, the costumes for 1962’s The Amorous Prawn, and most famously the costumes in the 1968 cult film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
He went on to become the first women’s designer to start a men’s line in 1959.
Amies was known for his beautiful tailoring, especially in wool and structured silks. The designer was particularly fussy about waistlines on ladieswear, lowering jacket waistlines on women’s suits, thought all elegant clothes should have low waistlines, cut his clothes just above the hip.
Amies sold his business in 2001, and Jacques Azagury was appointed the new designer. Since 2003, the collection has been designed by Ian Garlant.
Written by premierludwig