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Pure Muir

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Jean Muir

We're filming in Mayfair with style icons.

Could there be a better moment for a Jean Muir revival?  With exceptionally good antennae, English Heritage are honouring her with one of their famous blue plaques, outside her HQ at 22 Bruton Street in London’s Mayfair and we're there to film it.  Carney, Dan and Jake have headed down to Westminster to film the beau monde.  They were joined by speakers who celebrated the life of this exceptional talent.  Joyce Fenton-Douglas, Georgina Ripley and Sinty Stemp spoke before house model and dear friend Joanna Lumley unveiled the plaque and graciously gave up her time to tell us about Miss Muir's life and work.  

Lumley, told the Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong "My first Jean Muir dress was made of blue and white Liberty print silk,” she says. “I was allowed to buy it at discount as it was a model garment and it was the autumn of 1964. I still have it: I can’t fit into it. It had short puffed sleeves and was Empire line and knee length. I still have and wear the odd JM garment, mainly coats.”

"The clothes in themselves do not make a statement. The woman makes a statement and the dress helps." - Jean Muir

In a fashion career spanning more than 40 years, Jean Muir acquired a reputation for restrained, elegant design and a devoted following.  The ultimate practitioner of the LBD (little black dress), Muir is famous for her use of navy and black, but she was also a fantastic colourist. Here the piecing together of the coloured panels are accentuated by her signature top-stitching.  

According to John Knox of John Knox and sons, Miss Muir wanted the darkest navy we had ever produced, rejecting various samples before declaring a cutting of black crepe to be the right shade… It turned out to be a new ‘best seller’, known in the trade as ‘new black’ whilst to Miss Muir it was ‘midnight navy’.

At the forefront of British fashion and design for over 25 years, Jean Muir’s blue plaque adorns the central London address that housed the grand showroom and office of her flagship brand, Jean Muir Ltd, and where she worked from 1966 right up to her death in 1995. She produced eminently flattering, grown-up women’s clothes with a distinctive minimalism that rendered them timeless, and has a loyal following amongst stars including Joanna Lumley and Patricia Hodge.