Haynes became established as the leading display designer in London (Tommy Roberts – “Mr Freedom”, described as the best in the world!), and in 1970 was invited to design the fashion section of the British Exhibition of Design at the Museum des Arts Decoratif, Paris. Sadly his original designs in Perspex were not permitted by the Fire Officer on grounds of being a potential fire hazard to the museum.
In 1971 Cecil Beaton asked Haynes to design his exhibition “Fashion: An Anthology” at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Beaton had accumulated a breathtaking collection of clothes designed by the most celebrated designers of the 20th Century, and worn by fashion icons such as Mrs Loel Guinness, The Duchess of Windsor, Empress Eugene, Mrs Diana Vreeland and Madame Martinez de Hoz. These included Balenciaga; Worth; Schiaparelli; Vionet; Dior; Grey; Balmain; Chanel; Hartnell; Fortuny; Callot; shoe designers, Vivier & Rayne.
In 1965 Lady Churchill and her daughter noticed a window display commemorating the life of Sir Winston Churchill in a store in Regent Street. As a result, Haynes was commissioned by The National Trust to design and install the Museum Rooms at Chartwell, Sir Winston’s country home. In 1974, The Churchill Centenary Trust commissioned Haynes to design and install the Churchill Centenary Exhibition at Somerset House.
Haynes designed and built exhibitions at the London Museum (Kensington Palace) “Mary Quants London”; The Churchill Centenary Exhibition at Somerset House, 1974; The World Islamic Festival; “Arts of the Hausa”, at the Commonwealth Institute, 1975; The Thomas More Quincentenary Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, 1978; The 20th Century Rooms at the National Portrait Gallery in 1982; Coco Chanel Exhibition at Sotherby’s, Bond Street,1984; Exhibition of Contemporary Applied Arts, Sotherby’s, Bond Street, 1989.
The first combined group exhibition of the work from both Fosseway House and 401½ was held in the art gallery at the Commonwealth Institute in 1980. The catalogue (ISBN No. 0-900906-87-71) was designed by Haynes and the exhibition selection was made by Michael Rowe, Jill Crowley, Diana Harrison and Michael Haynes. The exhibition was organized by Fred Lightfoot MBE. John Houston produced most of the text. for the catalogue.
Other group exhibitions were designed and organized in the Westminster Gallery, Boston, 1981, The Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, 1984, Olympia Arts Fair, 1988. Open days had become a regular feature of both the London and Stow-on-the-Wold studios from 1971. Twice yearly open days have continued to feature in the workshop regular activities.
On the ground floor were the principal reception rooms which provided an opportunity to house a growing collection of work acquired in the London and Stow-on-the-Wold studios. As well as an opportunity to design and make acrylic furniture and light fittings, including chandeliers, doors, a four poster bed, chaise, a collectors cabinet, a drinks cabinet, sofas, arm chairs, dining and hall chairs.
In 1971 Michael Haynes looked for a suitable studio to share with artists and craftspeople and found a charming ex food warehouse at the unlikely address of “401½” Wandsworth Road, in South London quite close to Chelsea and Vauxhall Bridges. The 10,000 square feet Victorian warehouse (built circa 1870) provided excellent rooms for his own studios, and also provided sufficient room to be able to invite arts graduates to work under the same roof.