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Wrong Trowsers

E.S. Turner, 21 July 1994

A History of Men’s Fashion 
by Farid Chenoune, translated by Deke Dusinberre.
Flammarion/Thames & Hudson, 336 pp., £50, October 1993, 2 08 013536 8
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The Englishman’s Suit 
by Hardy Amies.
Quartet, 116 pp., £12, June 1994, 9780704370760
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... lines of ‘Pleased to meet you.’ ‘So I see.’ In essence, Chenoune’s book, like that of Hardy Amies, tells of the rise and near-eclipse of the suit, as evolved from the gentleman’s riding coat, and of the attempts by successive counter-cultures, delinquent and otherwise, to discredit it. In recent times ‘suit’ has been one of the dirtiest ...


Emma Tennant, 20 August 1981

Lenare: The Art of Society Photography 1924-1977 
by Nicholas de Ville and Anthony Haden-Guest.
Allen Lane, 136 pp., £15, May 1981, 0 7139 1418 1
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... the Main Chance, an obvious future divorcee, doomed to mope in C&A while her successor drawls in Hardy Amies. In the absolute stillness of the portraits, group photographs and weddings lay the secret of Lenare’s powers of reassurance. These quiet, well-mannered frescoes could know no Pompeii – but it is surprising to find Frankie Howerd here, and if ...

Flashes of 15 Denier

E.S. Turner, 20 March 1997

Forties Fashion and the New Look 
by Colin McDowell.
Bloomsbury, 192 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 7475 3032 7
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... savings in labour and material could no doubt have been made if Captain Edward Molyneux or Captain Hardy Amies had come up with the mini-skirt, but there was trouble enough on the Home Front without pandering to what Hazlitt, contemplating Regency fashions, called ‘the greedy eye and rash hand of licentiousness’. The Germans had their own clothing ...

Looking for a Way Up

Rosemary Hill: Roy Strong’s Vanities, 25 April 2013

Self-Portrait as a Young Man 
by Roy Strong.
Bodleian, 286 pp., £25, March 2013, 978 1 85124 282 5
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... found only in Debrett.’ Nor does he wince, though the reader does, when the ‘wickedly funny’ Hardy Amies sums up the garden that Strong created in the country as ‘Mr Pooter goes to Versailles.’ It was perhaps the combination of so much self-consciousness with so little self-awareness that led him to concentrate on his appearance, an obsession ...

Darling, are you mad?

Jenny Diski: Ghost-writing for Naim Attallah, 4 November 2004

by Jennie Erdal.
Canongate, 270 pp., £14.99, November 2004, 1 84195 562 0
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... think they were a perfect pest.’ That would be collectively, so to speak. And HM’s couturier, Hardy Amies, outlined his attitude to women: ‘I like them as artistic figures, as a sculptor likes his clay, but on the whole I despise their minds.’ And to class: ‘I am a staunch supporter of the class system. I uphold it out of conviction; it’s the ...

The Wickedest Woman in Paris

Colm Tóibín, 6 September 2007

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins 
by Rupert Everett.
Abacus, 406 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 349 12058 4
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... I had dined at La Coupole in Paris with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger. I had sniffed poppers with Hardy Amies on the dance floor of Munkberrys. I had done blow with Steve Rubell and Halston at Studio 54 . . . Yet everything was a pale imitation of the impact Madonna had as she walked from a car across a sidewalk and into a restaurant. Even before she ...

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