When I was searching for my own wedding dress, ‘The One’, that almost made the cut, was made from an Ossie Clark original vintage pattern, from a shop called Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. If you ever happen to be in Brighton, check out H&H, it’s an amazing shop selling vintage clothes and a selection of wedding dresses. The reason I fell in love with this dress, was it was really flattering for my pear shape figure. Cut under the bust and flaring out, the dress missed out all my problem areas and made me feel a dress size smaller, which is what well cut clothes can do for you. I opted for ‘The Other One’ in the end, because the Ossie Clark dress was seriously low cut and I would have been the blushing bride in more than one sense of the word!

Ossie Clark was born in 1942, he was married to Celia Birtwell, a textile designer, who designed vibrant and expressive prints for Ossie Clark’s designs. If you visit  The Tate, you can see Ossie and Celia in David Hockney’s 1970’s painting, Mr & Mrs Clark and Percy. Ossie Clark’s heyday as a designer was in the sixties and seventies, he designed stage costumes for Liza Minnelli and The Beatles, but generally he was known for his beautiful clothes for real women and that is why his vintage pieces, still stand the test of time so well. Lots of vintage clothes are cut so small, us girls have no hope of getting an arm through, never mind a bottom, but Ossie Clark pieces are different.

Ossie Clark came to a grisly end at only 54 years of age, but his collections live on. His vintage pieces fetch thousands on auction sites and his clothes are hugely sought after. Celia Birtwell is still working today, producing beautiful prints, there are also some vintage Ossie Clark pieces on her website, (but be warned… the prices will make your eyes water)

The good news is… you can buy a bit of Ossie Clark or Celia Birtwell on the high street.

Debenhams have created a collection based on Ossie Clark’s original designs, sadly, I don’t think Celia Birtwell was consulted, but there are a couple of lovely pieces, that are just like Ossie Clark originals. The Black vintage iconic maxi dress which is such a classic black dress, you won’t ever become bored of wearing it and the Ivory woven Shaftsbury blouse which is just a gorgeous blouse. And if it’s a Celia Birtwell print you would like to own, she has just created a collection for Uniqlo which is on sale now, the collection includes, dresses, blouses, trousers, T-shirts, Totes and scarves.

I really would have loved to have seen Celia’s prints on Ossie Clark’s designs on our high street…maybe next year.

ossie

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