PREVIEW: Hardy Amies: A Dagenham Designer, Valence House Museum

This December, the Valence House Museum in Dagenham will present an exhibition looking at the life and career of the fashion designer Hardy Amies from the 3rd December until the 25th February 2017. 

The exhibition highlights the fact that the world famous couturier spent his childhood in Dagenham living nearby in The White House, an 18th century farmhouse, while his LCC architect father was overseeing the building of the Becontree Estate.

Amies is best known for being the official dressmaker to the Queen, which he performed for the last 37 years, from her ascension to the throne in 1952 all the way through to his retirement in 1989.

Highlights of this new exhibition include the dress Amies designed for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, a dress and jacket of the brightest fuchsia pink. Alongside this will appear a Teddy Boy outfit Amies made in collaboration with high street retailer Hepworths, on loan from Brighton Museum. There will also be vintage suits on loan from a local collector, as well as tailoring from Amies’ own wardrobe most of which he designed himself, on loan from UAL’s Central St Martin’s archive.

Also on display will be a variety of letters and photographs that will reveal details from the designer’s childhood, as well as film footage to highlight the displays.

The exhibition will be held at Valence House Museum in Barking and Dagenham. The exhibition is being co-curated by Create London and Valence House Museum, and will feature a series of related events at The White House, which Create is transforming into a new space for public art and communal activity.  It is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hardy Amies: A Dagenham Designer will be open at the Valence House Museum from the 3rd December until the 25th February 2017. Entry to the exhibition is free and it will be open daily from Tuesday to Saturday (10am-4pm) 

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