Pick of this week’s eBay offerings: Radley in Celia print and Biba catalogue scrumptiousness….Posted: April 13, 2008
Once upon a time, I happened across a Radley own-label dress with a print which screamed Celia Birtwell. It was very like her later, crazier prints you see on the later Ossie pieces. I was fascinated, and perplexed because it was definitely a later Radley piece with the ‘girly face’ label. But it was definitely Celia.
I wondered if it was a one-off. But now I’ve found this little beauty, which is exactly the same design of dress, with a totally different print – but also a very distinctly Celia one! I can only surmise that Birtwell remained contracted to Radley after her divorce from Ossie Clark and continued to create at least one collection under their label.
Printed sketchy flowers and squiggles cover the deep plum sheer chiffon of this delicious dress. The gathered waist, the draped faux-wrap bodice and the draped back from the fitted yoke give it a wonderful grecian goddess feel. I love the very subtle effect of the pale topstitching, and the sheerness without lining means you can be as audacious as you like – whether you wear a slip or undies is up to you! And that, is the influence of Ossie!
£38 Starting bid over at eBay
I always get very excited by Biba pieces which were featured in the catalogues of the late Sixties. Perhaps because Biba was often so ephemeral and fast-moving, and not always featured as heavily in magazines of the time as you might think, it’s lovely to see them in situ and be able to date them (and see the original prices!).
This lace blouse was originally part of an ensemble with a skirt (which could be long or short apparently) but clearly is extremely wearable on its own.
In the catalogue’s own description “Spider lace peplum suit. A close fitting waisted jacket with narrow sleeves, buttoning to a high Edwardian neck.” The full suit was £7 7s in 1969.
Starting bid of £45 over at eBay
But that ain’t all…..there’s also a delicious couture label Ossie Clark ensemble, a superb bohemian Janice Wainwright, a super sweet candy pink Jean Varon dress and some other lovely non-designer pieces. Please do go and check it out!