started designing for the Queen in the early 1950s and retired at
the age of 93 in 2003. He was a masterful tailor, who guided the
Queen towards the sharper silhouettes of the 1960s and 1970s.
Hardy Amies designed for the Mayfair couture house Lachasse in the 1930s. After some daredevil wartime experiences in the Special Operations Executive, he opened his own fashion house in Savile Row.
He soon came to the attention of royal circles, and was asked to design Princess Elizabeth's wardrobe for her visit to Canada in 1948; his royal warrant dates from her accession to the throne. He developed a close relationship with the Queen, visiting Buckingham Palace several times a year for fittings.
Hardy Amies's accomplished tailoring makes his outfits look deceptively simple. In fact, the Queen's grey satin full-skirted gown, exquisitely decorated with a fern motif in bugle beads, crystal and pearl, which she wore in 1957 at a dinner given for her at the White House, was as intricately worked as any of Hartnell's creations.
Other notable outfits designed by Hardy Amies include a turquoise-blue shift made for the state visit to Germany in 1965, and decorated with silver embroidery. The Queen wore a pink silk dress and coat for the Silver Jubilee and a Hardy Amies yellow coat on her 60th birthday.