It was sad to read in the press over the weekend of the demise of the great fashion house Hardy Amies. Reports in the Guardian and the Times painted a very gloomy picture, but somewhat different from the experiences I remember from when I had the good fortune to spend some time with them a few years back.
The talent throughout the business was outstanding and none more so than in the making rooms. To quote from one of my past clients, the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, “their performance just blew my mind!”
I remember working alongside “Pino” in the tailoring department who had a great rapport with the clients and the workers. He had many years in the trade working on long runs of fashion lines and also in the more intimate setting of the bespoke cutting rooms. This brought an authoritative mix of skills and solutions to the design briefs and his exhortations to “…work to a system!” still ring in my ears along with sound of the old treadle machines.
The company also has many different facets therefore I find Jeff Banks comments in the Guardian a little puzzling when he talked about the brand becoming ‘mumsy’. Bespoke, made to measure and accessories for men and women were all part of the mix. And as far as the 2008 collection is concerned, from its imagery, I am sure that there would be many a consort who would like a ‘mum’ like that on his arm.
If the company is finally broken up, I hope that the next incumbent to fill 14 Savile Row will bring as much to the trade as Sir Hardy.
Photo: thanks to www.elegant-lifestyle.com