Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ossie Clark: British Fashion Genius?

I am just back from an afternoon in Manchester to see the latest exhibition at Platt Hall Gallery of Costume.
Ossie Clark, a British fashion genius, 1967 - 1977 is a small but perfectly formed retrospective of his iconic design career.

Born in Cheshire and trained in Manchester before moving to London to study at the RCA, Ossie and his wife Celia Birtwell were central figures of the "Swinging Sixties".
 I found there to be a lot of similarities between Clark's designs and those of Laura Ashley and Biba, who were both at their peak around the same time. Details like yoke shoulders, high waists, long, gathered sleeves and 1930's style bias cuts and panelling appear again and again.
 For me, what really sets Clark's work apart from the rest are the prints, designed by Celia Birtwell, 
The bold and colourful patterns are unmistakably her's and make the dresses something really special. Perhaps a retrospective of Celia next time is in order?

You can catch the exhibit until the 20th July.

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