Guru rounds on greedy designers
AFTER seeing the latest Paris catwalk creations of younger British designers, Sir Hardy Amies, couturier to the Queen broke free from decades of discretion yesterday to brand them terrible and unwearable.
Even worse, he suggested, the fashion emperors who hired designers such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen were not interested in selling the dresses. They just wanted outrageous designs to create publicity to help them flog their brand-name stockings and scents.
``It is rumoured, not loudly, but everyone knows it, that the owners of these names don't really want couture business. They want to sell stockings and scent,'' he said. ``They are prepared to spend a lot of money advertising their names and are glad of the publicity which their catwalk shows can generate.''
Sir Hardy, 88, entered the fashion business in 1934, opened his own house immediately after the Second World War and was awarded his royal warrant in 1953, the year of the Queen's coronation.
``Few of the clothes that you see on the catwalk and photographed in the popular press, by designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, are wearable by couture standards. They are not clothes to appeal to a customer prepared to pay the high price of a couture dress.''
The present style of catwalk parade, with its flashing cameras, loud music, strident lighting and supermodels ``is a publicity device and has little to do with the clothes it is designed to present.''
Sir Hardy's own fashion shows are staged at his Savile Row premises before customers only. Celebrities, supermodels and press photographers are not invited. Headquarters does not even issue photographs of the designs, only sketches and descriptions. The couturier has a faithful clientele of more than 200. (The Times, London)