After demobilization, Amies set up his own house in November 1945 at 14 Savile Row, in the heart of London's tailoring district. Staff from Lachasse, Worth, and Miss Gray joined him, bringing their clients and skills and enabling Amies to establish a reputation for all-around excellence. Although nearly forty, he was considered young in couture terms. Amies played on this, promoting himself and his house as vigorous, youthful, and progressive. In 1950 he was among the first London couturiers to set up a boutique line aimed at export buyers, selected provincial retail buyers, and the general public. Within two years the new business was half the size of the couture business.
In 1950 Amies received his first order from the future Queen Elizabeth II. In 1955 he successfully applied for the coveted royal warrant, which he held until his death. Norman Hartnell was still the queen's premier dressmaker but Amies's position at the top of his profession was secure. Designing for the queen gave him international standing, attracted prestigious clients, and guaranteed his own personal acceptability in the highest echelons of society. He later designed for Princess Michael of Kent and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Was this article helpful?