1950s Hardy Amies Couture Fine Silk Organza & Lace Dress
The Hardy Amies couture house launched in 1946 and he added RTW in 1950. In 1951 Amies was chosen to design some of the wardrobe for Princess Elizabeth’s tour of Canada. That led to Amies appointment as the Royal Dressmaker in 1955 after Elizabeth became the Queen. He was known for his fine, elegant lines and love of the best of the best fabrics. A signature touch of Amies is a slightly dropped waistline as he thought it was more flattering and elegant.
This is a early example form his couture line and it is exceptional. It would make a stunning wedding gown for the bride who wants to wear vintage but because it is not a stark white could easily be worn as a gown to any event. The construction is entirely by hand and this would date to the late 1940s, early 1950s. It is made from layers of silk. Two layers of a soft grey-white silk organza on top, with a third layer of a heavy silk for the interior lining in a soft taupe grey. The deeper color of the silk interior comes through the layers of the exterior so the gown has a slight grey cast to it that is very soft and pretty. The interior construction is fabulous with boning and structure through the bodice and built in cups. On the outer layer the bodice and skirt are all pleated with flat knife pleats, pressed and sewn into place by hand. I love the expanse of cotton lace that wraps around the skirt for contrast. The bodice is strapless and hugs the body. We see that signature dropped waist so that the bodice is curved and love. From there the skirt builds in volume as it nears the hem with excess fabric all through the bottom hem to create those stunning curves folds. It is truly exceptional and a fine example of his work. It presents well but does have some small flaws. Please review the noyes below.
Fully lined in a grey-taupe silk and closes with a side painted metal zipper with hook & eye and snaps on the layers of fabric over the interior zipper. The bodice is boned and it has built in cups. The hem of the interior skirt has a wide horsehair lining inside the hem line so it falls perfectly. The middle layer of silk has an unfinished hem. The outer hem is hand rolled and hand stitched. An inner waist stay closes with hook & eye. There is yellowing and discoloration to the lower hem and the edge of the hem. There is yellowing to the from inner edge of the bodice and fraying to the inner silk along the inner edge of the bodice. I feel that it is entirely wearable as is or if you wished to, would be a fairly simple job to make some changes to make it perfect again but is sold and priced as being all original.
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10" from top of dress to true waist
Skirt: 45" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.