London College of Fashion, UAL is working with Create London to celebrate iconic designer Hardy Amies, and his beginnings in the East End of London. Collaborating partners are curators from the William Morris Museum, Valence House Museum, the White House Museum and local community groups.
Iconic British tailor and dressmaker for the Queen, Hardy Amies lived in Dagenham as a child in the 1920s and 1930s, in what is now known as the White House in Green Lane. His father was a residential agent (or more commonly known to locals as a ‘rent collector’) for the Becontree Estate, built to rehouse residents of East End slums, which remains the largest public housing estate in the world.
Austin Mutti-Mewes, former curator of the Hardy Amies archives visited the BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring course at London College of Fashion and brought in samples of iconic and largely-unseen pieces. The students then worked on pieces inspired by this and presented to Austin and Hadrian Gerrard from Create London.
The project continues until Summer Term 2016 when three winning students may have their work in an exhibition in Valence House Museum, Dagenham as part of the celebration of the overall project and the life of Amies, who returned to Becontree even after he had moved his brand to Savile Row, to observe ‘women’s needs.’
LCF staff and students will also deliver three workshops to students at Barking and Dagenham College as an extension of this valuable project.