Thursday, 10 February 2011

Style Icon II: Sir Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon

Anthony Eden (1897-1977), was the third son of a pugnacious baronet called Sir William Eden who, later in life, used the Cavendish Hotel of Rosa Lewis as his London base; maybe because both of them loved a good feud and they feuded, more or less humorously, with each other and Rosa always had a soft spot for his children, especially Anthony's sister, Marjorie.

Anthony Eden was a very young Foreign Secretary, during the Second World War and, having been kept waiting in the wings by an elderly Churchill, became Prime Minister briefly in 1955-1957. He was especially noted for his youthful style, which included double-breasted waistcoats with single-breasted suits and the revival of the black Homburg hat, first introduced to England from Germany by Edward VII, although largely eclipsed by the snap-brim felt hats which the hatter Scott's (in a building that still stands on the eastern corner of Old Bond Street and Piccadilly), was amongst the first to sell in large numbers in England, from the 1920s. Indeed, even to this day a black Homburg is often called an 'Anthony Eden'.

Here he is dressed for his country house and in Town dress.


  1. Great stuff. Thanks, NJS. I didn't know all the family drama behind his life. I will have to read a biography. Wish more people had greater admiration for his style.

  2. Not at all. I think that the number of film stars and other prominent men, noted in their day for their style, who get coverage now is far too limited. Cary Grant and Fred Astaire are two obvious ones, who continue to get the credit but,ironically, they were self-creations and, in the process, self-confessed copycats.