Earlier this year, we announced a collaboration between London College of Fashion and Create London, celebrating the life of iconic designer Hardy Amies, and his beginnings in East London. Collaborating partners are curators from the William Morris Museum, Valence House Museum, the White House Museum and local community groups.

Hardy Amies in Cannes in 1939. Image courtesy of Hardyamies.com

Hardy Amies in Cannes in 1939. Image courtesy of Hardyamies.com

This month, the exhibition Hardy Amies: A Dagenham Designer opens, and will display the designs and personal effects of the remarkable fashion designer Hardy Amies (1909 – 2003) at Valence House Museum in Dagenham.

It is a little known fact that the world famous couturier spent his childhood in Dagenham, living nearby in The White House, an 18th century farmhouse, while his father was overseeing the building of the Becontree Estate – then the largest interwar public housing project in the world. Amies is best known as the official dressmaker to the Queen, which he performed for 37 years, from her ascension in 1952 to his retirement in 1989.

Items on display in the exhibition will include the dress Amies designed for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, a Teddy Boy outfit, vintage suits, as well as letters and photographs from his childhood.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Amy de la Haye, Professor of Dress History & Curatorship at LCF, and joint programme leader on MA Fashion Curation, alongside Professor Judith Clark.

Alongside the exhibition, there will be a series of related events will take place at The White House, Create’s new space for art and community activity, and Amies’ childhood home. It opens on 3 December 2016 and runs until 25 February 2017. Entry is free.