Joanna Lumley unveils plaque to fashion designer Jean Muir

The actress and television presenter previously worked for Muir as a model.
Joanna Lumley unveils plaque to fashion designer Jean Muir

By Tom Horton, PA

Joanna Lumley has unveiled a blue English Heritage plaque to late fashion designer Jean Muir.

The actress and TV presenter, who previously modelled Muir’s clothes, labelled her a “completely brilliant” person at an event to unveil the plaque at Muir’s central London showroom and office, where she worked for almost 30 years until her death in 1995.

Muir, who became famous for her elegant designs, employed Lumley when she was 18 to work as a house model.

The designer began her career in fashion at Liberty department store in London in 1950 and worked her way up through the industry before setting up her own company in 1966, English Heritage said.

Lumley, 75, told the PA news agency that Muir had an “enormous influence” on her style and her “way of looking at the world”.

Muir was “like a magnet and she was fun and she was demanding and she was exceptional”, Lumley said.

Jean Muir Blue Plaque
The plaque in Mayfair, London (Yui Mok/PA)

“We all knew what she was like. Slightly scary, completely brilliant and we all loved her,” she added.

She said there was something “classic” about Muir’s “legendary clothes”.

JEAN MUIR
Jean Muir (Neil Munns/PA)

“Many of us who are now very old have still got treasured in the wardrobe Jean Muir things which we might not be able to get into, but we want to have and say, ‘This, I wore’,” Lumley said.

“She was a worker, she was an artisan, she was proud of that,” she added.

“She didn’t want to be airy-fairy, somebody who just did a sketch (and say), ‘Now go and make that up’.

“She knew the shape of a woman’s body, she knew how you bend and how you stand and how your bosom is and how your hips are and she made clothes that fitted women.

“She liked the idea that once you put on clothes from her, you became you and not the dress you were wearing.”

The plaque stands at 22 Bruton Street, Mayfair.

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