A look back at the Queen’s favorite fashion designers…


As the highly anticipated London Fashion Week season rolls around next week, it will fall during the period of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Some fashion houses – like Burberry – have already canceled their shows, and further reshuffles are expected to be announced.

However, most shows will go ahead as planned, with the British Fashion Council saying: “London Fashion Week is a business-to-business event and an important time for designers to show their collections at a specific time in the fashion calendar, we recognize the work that goes in this moment.

Queen Elizabeth II had a long-standing relationship with fashion and in 2018 launched the QEII Award for British Design – winners are Richard Quinn, Priya Ahluwalia and Saul Nash. The Queen was a strong supporter of British fashion and, with her award, aimed to recognize excellence in design.

Although the award usually goes to a rising star of British design, the Queen herself has opted for more traditional wardrobe choices, turning to the same handful of designers time and time again. Below, we feature some of Her Majesty’s most beloved fashion designers, from dresses that symbolized a moment in history to her most trusted wax jacket.

Hardy Amies designs in 1963

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Hardy Amies

Hardy Amies, an expert designer and tailor, was best known as the Queen’s official dressmaker for 50 years. The two began working together in the 1950s, before the Queen’s coronation while still a princess, on her tour of Canada. In 1955, she named him one of her three official designers, although he relinquished his royal warrant in 1990.

More than just an official dressmaker to the Queen, Amies was an author, tailor and costume designer (as well as an ambassador and Martini connoisseur). He designed the costumes for Stanley Kubrick’s first film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), as well as uniforms for mountain rescue teams.

The designer once said of the Queen: “The Queen has the most perfect manners. She gives you her full attention and never makes critical remarks. The only sign of disapproval is a raised eyebrow… But you get the message.

The dress, designed by Norman Hartnell for the Queen in 195, is also in the archives

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Norman Hartnell

Prior to Hardy Amies, in the 1940s, Norman Hartnell was appointed official dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and then to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. The first Norman Hartnell dress the Queen would wear was that of a princess , when she was a nine-year-old bridesmaid at the wedding of Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott to Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester.

Hartnell’s work was endorsed by the likes of Coco Chanel, while her group of friends included master couturiers Christan Dior and Mainbocher. After an already illustrious career and a vast impact on London’s luxury fashion scene, in 1947 Hartnell was asked by Queen Elizabeth II to design her wedding dress, and six years later her coronation dress as well. .

Norman Hartnell is celebrated throughout history as the man responsible for dressing up some of Her Majesty’s most important moments. Even those who don’t know her name will see her work imagining an image of the queen.

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During his time at Balmoral in particular, one piece of his wardrobe was certain: the Barbour jacket. The English brand – founded in 1894 – has received three Royal Warrants, the first being awarded by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in 1974. Renowned for their wax jackets, Barbour was loved not only by the Queen but by all members of the royal family. family.

Founded nearly 130 years ago, the first Barbour jackets were made from leftover sails and coated in fish oil which, as you can imagine, smelled awful. When he was adopted by the Royals, of course, the smell was long gone.

Barbour prides itself on its timelessness, there’s even a rumor that the Queen has worn the same jacket for over 25 years. It is believed she asked for the jacket to be re-waxed at the time of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and was offered a new one to replace it, instead she asked for her old one.


Burberry announced this morning the cancellation of its London Fashion Week show which was to be held next Saturday. As one of the oldest British heritage brands part of LFW – with deep-rooted ties to the royal family – it’s no surprise the brand chose to “mourn with the nation” rather than to continue his show. Additionally, in 1955, Burberry received a Royal Warrant as the Queen’s Choice “Weatherproof”, and later received a second Warrant from the Prince of Wales as Choice “Outfitters”.

As one of Britain’s most famous and inherently English brands that bridge generations and cultures, it’s perhaps the only brand on this list as coveted by the Queen as it is by teenagers. Her Majesty was pictured most often sporting a Burberry trench coat and scarf.

The Queen front row at Richard Quinn, AW18

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Richard Quinn

In 2018, Queen Elizabeth launched the first-ever Queen Elizabeth II Award, an accolade that recognizes pioneering design talent “who display exceptional skill and originality, while demonstrating value to the community and/or or strong sustainable policies,” according to the British Fashion Council.

At a very special time in fashion history, the Queen herself attended Richard Quinn’s Autumn ’18 show and made the London-born designer the first recipient of the award. Attendees eagerly waited to see who would occupy the velvet-covered seat next to Anna Wintour – they weren’t disappointed, tears flowed as she appeared.

Although Richard Quinn’s designs may not have been a staple of the Queen’s wardrobe, his talent, commitment and innovation were something she chose to honor, just two years old after graduating. Her own tastes and diets may have been with traditional and heritage brands, but that hasn’t stopped her from acknowledging young talent.


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