Last night, we ventured down to the creative corner of London, Bermondsey, to attend the talk with Susie Stone, bespoke womenswear designer at the London Fashion and Textile Museum and preview the new Hartnell to Amies exhibition.

As we stepped into the black and white world of the Hartnell to Amies exhibition, we were transported back to a time where style, grace and cut were valued above all else. A time when women wore the dress, rather than the dress wearing them. The exceptional craftsmanship  of both Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies saw the women of the 40s embracing their feminine shape and dressing to suit there body type. Curves were accentuated and flaws where cleverly diminished by the skilled couturiers exquisite use of luxurious fabrics and statorial eye. It was Hartnell and Amies recognition and celebration of post war Britain that propelled them to success. Their continued work with the Royal family saw that they led the way for sustainable luxury for British women.

My idea of fashion is an evolutionary and not a revolutionary one- Hardy Amies

I despise simplicity. it is the negation of all that is beautiful – Norman Hartnell
After touring the fourties, we made our way into 2013 to find out how style reigns superiour over throw away trends. Learning about the process of making bespoke womenswear, and the daily routines of those designing and sewing for Susie Stone, Susie invited us to join her in supporting and championing slow fashion; something we are already very fond of here at MSL.
Susie began her talk by sharing some of the things that inspire and motivate her to provide a service for women that is an investment to their wardrobes, as much as a pleasurable retail experience. Flicking through a slideshow of wonderful, timeless images, she spoke about her ongoing interest and love for Grace Kelly and the infamous film ‘High Society’. We were presented with a clip from the film, whereby leading lady Grace  Kelly effortlessly and elegantly slides off her pool-side attire. It was the way in which she undressed, the way she could so easily pull at two strings on the shoulder of the floor length ivory gown that fascinated Susie. Inspiring her  to create clothing for women that was as equally effortless and chic. Much like Hartnell and Amies, Susie Stones garments last, they are adored and loved from the age of a young prosperous woman looking to define her unique style, to a woman of wisdom and experience, just as Grace Kelly’s iconic swimwear gown is still admired by an audience of today, her designs are timeless.
By Sophie Maguire and Marni Banks
images: Fashion and Textile Museum

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