Iconic 1970s Ossie Clark for Radley tiered smock maxi dress with gathered cuffs and pussy-bow collar comes up for auction on Sunday night. The print is a black and blue trellis design by Celia Birtwell on ivory crepe. This is a truly unique piece of social history which epitomised the 70s relaxed approach to fashion with focus moving away from structural forms towards a looser, billowing shape and bold graphic prints.
Clark's designs and Birtwell's prints are more collectable than ever, they
look to the future with a mindfully nostalgic eye to the past and are
appreciated as sculptural objects in their own right as well as high
fashion garments worn by everyone from Marianne Faithful to Emma Watson.
low, plunging neckline, bow fastening and slightly longer hem to the
reverse are all signature design features of Ossie Clark's ethereal
creations from the 60s and 70s.
Ossie Clark was an English fashion
designer who married the textile designer Celia Birtwell after meeting in the 1950s. Birtwell talks of Ossie's genius.
'His cut - although he lifted it from the 1930s, he had his own take on
it - even plump women felt pretty in. He didn't dress just the slimmest,
which is always easier. I thought his garments were wonderful. I used
to see [their] construction and the way he'd get excited about how he'd
put a new sleeve in. He was a real artist.'
We've got some great found footage from the time showing this very design!