Certainly a worthy recipient of the name Lamborghini, just look at the sleek lines and general aesthetically pleasing-ness of it all. Ossie was one of the main proponents of the trouser suit, and this swiftly became one of his most iconic pieces once Twiggy wore the ‘couture’ original. It was also produced for Radley in the first year of their collaboration with Ossie and Alice Pollock, successfully showing that their designs could easily be manufactured more affordably.
It’s a real stunner. From the classic Ossie suit tailoring (often overlooked in favour of the dresses) in champagne satin, to Celia Birtwell’s chinoiserie print trousers. I must confess that the chinoiserie is one of my favourites, it just works so well on satin! Although obviously Ossies are born to be worn, this beauty is certainly a collector’s dream and a rare museum quality piece by one of the most revered designers this country has ever had. Wearable art.
Someone posted a mini questionnaire over at the Vintage Fashion Guild forums about vintage and its popularity. For some reason best known only to my tired but inspired fingers, I actually came up with some answers. I often get bored with talking about it, sometimes the mere mention of the word ‘vintage’ can make me want to crash headfirst back into bed in the morning. Just the word, mind….not the frocks. I’m mainly interested in the clothes and the history – I’m not terribly inspired by ‘trends’ and I often get frustrated by the commercialization of vintage (Topshop vintage, anyone?). But I thought I’d type what came into my head and here are my answers.
Q:how do you define ‘vintage’?
A:The lines are so blurred now, with items just one season old often being referred to as vintage. I personally view something as vintage if it somehow encapsulates an era, or even a small aspect of an era. An old dress is an old dress, but what makes it vintage to me is that it should feel ‘of its time’ and have some meaning and/or history. Like the dictionary says, “the class of a dated object with reference to era of production or use”.
Q:why do you believe vintage fashion is increasing in popularity?
A:Because ‘fashion’ is pretty much dead these days. Wearability is rarely taken into consideration, and neither is the variety of shapes and looks of most people in the world. With vintage, you can find the era to which you are best suited and not fear the bi-annual ‘charcoal is the new black’ and size zero debates. You don’t have to be a slave to what the shops are stocking if you know you can find what you want from vintage.
Q:what motivates people to buy vintage clothes?
A:Freedom of choice, and wide range of choice. Quality construction and high end style, usually without the modern high end price tag. Nostalgia for an era you feel an affinity to. Many people also like the idea that it is also a financial investment, it may increase in value but you can enjoy wearing it in the meantime.
Anyway, I’ve just listed a gorgeous Bus Stop frock over on eBay and there’ll be more goodies to come over this coming week. I’m also lining up some fabulous new pieces for the website, including the iconic Lamborghini trouser suit by Ossie Clark (yes, with a Celia print – hurrah!!) which was famously worn by Twiggy in the late Sixties.