A protégé of Hardy
Amies, Ian Thomas was an unassuming designer whose other main
passion was riding and showing hunters. He assisted Norman Hartnell
with the embroidery on the coronation robes, and continued this
tradition of intricate workmanship when he founded his own fashion
house in 1969.
He was known for his restrained elegance and the relaxed style of his flowing chiffon dresses, which captured the more fluid fashions of the 1970s. He made the Queen both day clothes and glamorous dresses for grand occasions.
One of his finest creations was designed for the Queen's tour of Australia in 1974. The yellow evening dress and cape of bright yellow silk-chiffon, embroidered with sprays of wattle, the national flower of Australia, was not worn as the Queen returned early to England as a general election had been called. The dress was later worn on several state occasions.