Our vintage Ossie Clark collection showcases the simple fact that Clark is a remarkable fashion icon. He made his mark in the swinging sixties and was intrinsically involved in the decade’s fashion scene - the era of the mini skirt and swing dress.
Ossie, born in Lancashire in 1942, influenced many designers over the years including Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Sui and Tom Ford, and although he is no longer with us, the essence of Ossie is very much alive in the fashion world today - own a piece of vintage Ossie Clark design and you own a piece of history.
From a very early age, Ossie was wildly creative and would design and tailor clothes for his dolls – a skill that is rare among many, let alone a child. It was just a matter of time until Ossie grew up to be a dominating influence in fashion and gain the respect and admiration of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Mick and Bianca Jagger. He even went on to design the wedding dress of Bianca in 1971.
The success of his degree fashion show at the Royal College of Art in London in 1966, caught the eye of Alice Pollock’s Quorum backer, one of the biggest boutiques of the 1960s, and was immediately snapped up to design and work alongside Pollock. As predicted, his designs flew off the shelves much to the delight of Pollock. However, for his second collection, Pollock wanted Ossie to focus on creating a breath-taking collection with a more organic feel – clothes to discretely flatter the female form, so Pollock commissioned Celia Birtwell to design the prints – a collaboration set to make a mark in history.
Everyone wanted, and still wants, to own a piece from Ossie’s collaboration with Birtwell. The flowing clothes oozed femininity and the prints spoke for themselves, it truly was a match made in heaven – so much so that Clark married Celia Birtwell in 1969 and continued working with her throughout his fashion career making show-stopping pieces time after time.
The photos of Ossie Clark’s designs over the years captured the essence of movement. The 1960s and 70’s were eras of fun, pop art and music and inspired by this, Ossie wanted the photography of his work to reflect his influences and show off his designs to their full potential. Models would stand with hands on their hips to portray the flowing bell sleeves and feet would often be standing apart to emphasize the flare of the skirts, dresses and trousers or be clutched in the hand and pulled to the side.
Here at Open for Vintage, we are proud to present an exclusive collection of vintage Ossie Clark pieces from the peak of his career. Subtle, feminine and flowing – each design captures the heart of Ossie’s love for creating elegant and fun designs that left women in awe of his creativity.