Frederick Fox, Milliner to Royals, Dies at eighty two

December 27th, 2013

Tim Graham/Getty Photographs

Frederick Fox, revealed in 1993, with a hat produced for Queen Elizabeth II.

Frederick Fox, who was 9 when he started planning hats for his mom and sisters to wear to church in their small Australian cattle city and grew up to turn out to be milliner to Diana, Princess of Wales, and Queen Elizabeth II of England, died on Dec. 11 in London. He was eighty two.

His loss of life was verified by a spokesman for Brown, Fenn Funeral Directors of Suffolk.

Mr. Fox was one of the principal hat designers to the royal family in the final third of the twentieth century, when royals and the thoroughbred horse racing set had been among the only reliable patrons for the type of high-style millinery artwork he practiced.

Commencing in 1970, he made more than 350 hats for Queen Elizabeth — stately hats, hats for the seashore and hats for visits to the United States Congress, all of them needed to satisfy a queen’s requirements: perfect propriety, photogenic aptitude and excessive comfort and ease (because they typically experienced to be worn all working day).

Right after Diana Spencer married into the loved ones in 1981, Mr. Fox made hats for a young style — flying-saucer-formed hats, tiara hats and modified pillbox hats — that aided restore hats to acceptance in women’s fashion right after their ten years-prolonged exile in the informal-use many years of the counterculture.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and the actress Joan Collins have been between his greatest-recognized nonroyal customers.

Mr. Fox’s trademark talent, admirers stated, was to mix whimsy and propriety. His “pink bells” hat, which Queen Elizabeth wore in the course of her silver jubilee celebration in 1977, is typically cited as an illustration. A pink turban embellished with a cascade of twenty five pink bell-formed pompoms symbolizing her 25 several years as queen, it was Mr. Fox’s most photographed hat, by his own account, drawing about equivalent amounts of observe to by itself and its wearer.

Patricia Underwood, a British-born American hat designer, stated Mr. Fox’s ideal hats mirrored his character, which she described in an interview as “very courtly and suitable, but with a excellent, impish feeling of humor.”

Frederick Donald Fox was born in Jerilderie, New South Wales, a farm and cattle-ranching neighborhood in the Australian outback with a inhabitants of about seven hundred, on April two, 1931. One particular of the youngest of Lesley James Fox and Ruby Elliott Fox’s 9 children, he produced hats for his mother and 5 sisters, slicing apart their outdated discarded hats and reconstructing them in styles of his possess, utilizing rags, feathers, ribbons, bouquets and straw.

From 1949 to 1958 he apprenticed for top milliners in Sydney, Australia. At 27 he moved to London, exactly where he located a task with the milliner Otto Lucas, whose clients integrated Greta Garbo and the Duchess of Windsor. Soon after doing work in many other salons, he began planning hats for Hardy Amies, the queen’s dressmaker, in the mid-nineteen sixties.

Mr. Fox’s longtime companion, Murray Arbeid, a trend designer, died in 2011.

Mr. Fox informed an interviewer that prior to attending his 1st fitting at Buckingham Palace to satisfy Queen Elizabeth in the late 1960s, his employer, Mr. Amies, explained the rules: “Don’t contact the queen, really don’t ask concerns and really don’t switch your back.”

When the day came, Mr. Fox explained, “The queen was standing at the finish of a prolonged space. I superior, did my chat and my thing. When it was time to depart I was rooted to the location. I believed that if I walked backwards I would tumble in excess of the home furniture or a single of the corgis. Her Majesty spotted my predicament and turned her back on me.”

The queen’s again, he described, was her way of giving him authorization to leave.

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