Jane Birkin in Ossie Clark
Vintage clothing is something I’ve rarely discussed on StyleScoopDaily. That’s in part due to the fact that I admittedly know very little about it, much to my sadness. I really have no idea as to how and why something is categorised as ‘vintage’, how to spot a good piece, and where to find the best. So I’m going to take the effort this summer to explore fashion history and study the relevant archives.
One designer pairing I’ve long been fascinated by though, and typically the names which spring to mind when the word ‘vintage’ is mentioned, are Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Clark and Birtwell became the design team of the 60s, after boutique owner Alice Pollock featured his designs at her shop, Quorum. But Pollock was intent on making changes, so for Clark’s next collection, she commissioned Celia Birtwell to produce new prints and textiles. Soon, his beautiful floaty dresses, featuring Birtwell’s prints, became iconic. Henri Bendel shortly purchased the first collection, and it was not long after until many a copy was on the market.
Today, if you chance upon an Ossie Clark original for a decent price loitering at the back of some unsuspecting dusty shop corner, you can count your lucky stars! The label had an attempted relaunch in 2007, and showed for the 2008-2009 period. However, it unfortunately failed to maintain buoyancy in the economic downturn.
Exquisite Clark & Birtwell designs