Ever been to bed in satin or gone to work in lizard, looked through chiffon or wore a cardigan to your knees? Well we haven’t either, but Grandmother might have. The Ossie Clark and Alice Pollock Autumn Collection was full of these new things from old. Quorum clothes have a habit of being way ahead of their competitors and you always have to pay for originality. Even if you can’t afford to buy there they point the way ahead so look hard. There were maxi-length tweed coats in pinks and greens, long suede suits with lizard insets. Skirts and trousers were long and flowing, blouses were in flouncy chiffon or giselle. There were butterfly dresses in flimsy chiffon, with streams of flowing scarves tied to the ankles or wrists. There was a mass of creamy satin made into long quilted coats or glamorous trouser suits. There were satin dressing gowns with matching pants and bra. Also flowing crêpe suits with satin trimmings, tight-knitted jumpers flecked with stripes of bright colours. And more and more….
Sadly some of the prices were wild too but the ideas are yours for the copying.
A perfect example of why the demise of the illustrated fashion editorial was so unjust.
Words by Sue Hone. Illustrated by Richard Evans.
Scanned from Petticoat, November 1968.
Flirty little crêpe dresses so irresistibly feminine you’ll never be alone for long.
Anyone who knows me at all will know that *I* cannot resist crêpe, never mind what a fella thinks. This is a stunning editorial, with a model I’m not sure I recognise from anywhere else – so do comment if you can identify her. Featuring two covetable dresses by Ossie Clark but also featuring two by the mysterious ‘Boobs’ boutique label (by designer Linda Warren). I have found mention of a ‘Boobs’ boutique in Edinburgh, but I think it might just be coincidence. Again, holler if you know anything!
Photographed by Roy A. Giles.
Scanned from Honey, November 1971.
An incredible editorial, photographed in and around Nice. I dream of returning to Nice with a wardrobe full of these frocks…
Photographed by Bill King.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, November 1973.
The gist of this editorial seems to be that only the tinest breasted ladies can wear the Ossies, but I have to respectfully and fundamentally disagree. The Ossie tunic on the cover was, along with some matching trousers, later chosen as The Fashion Museum‘s Dress of the Year 1969.
Blonde model photographed by Mike Berkofsky.
Brunette model photographed by Steve Hiett.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey Magazine, November 1968.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, October 1974
I am never sure whether Ossie was actually used more in adverts at the time, or if it just feels like it because I am more attuned to Ossie and Celia’s distinctive styles than other designers. Much like in Cabaret, where Liza Minnelli wears a contemporary Ossie piece amongst her other costumes, here the Ossie is a seamless (metaphorically, obviously) inclusion for a Thirties-inspired aesthetic.
“What are Vidal Sassoon, Barbara Daly and Ossie Clark doing in Vogue studios? Vidal did the hair, Barbara the make-up, Ossie designed the dress … Lipstick matched to the flowers in Celia Birtwell’s printed chiffon. Ossie Clark twined his own gold chain and lizard over the shoulder and, snap, David Bailey. Dress to order from Ossie Clark.”
Photographed by David Bailey.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, July 1974
Plenty of new listings at Vintage-a-Peel (also available on Etsy) at the moment, including a superb 1970s Saint Laurent Rive Gauche silk wrap dress. There’s also a Celia Birtwell-print Radley dress, a Zandra Rhodes-print Hildebrand dress, Ossie-esque Janice Wainwright maxi, a rare James Wedge hat and the loveliest chiffon Jean Varon dress. Enjoy!