Debenhams announced its latest designer collaboration at the beginning of November, along with it, two images. Both maxi dresses, one floral the other monochrome stripes. (Google with happily show you both). The new collaboration with Ossie Clark, the brand; (Ossie Clark the man, was murdered in London in 1996) which is now owned by Alison Mansell Ltd, has St. Martins Collage of art graduate, Nicholas Georgiou, is at the design helm.
Ossie Clark and his wife Celia Birtwell defined the King’s Road style in the late 1960′s. Together they pushed the boundaries of fashion and print-styles and created ethereal, flowing collections that epitomised the psychedelic era.
His story is summed up in the words of a fellow blogger at styleblood.wordpress.com
“In the late 1960s, Clark hit a rich vein for his flamboyant clothing range. The fashion press dubbed Ossie “The King Of King’s Road”. Clark pronounced himself a “master cutter. It’s all in my brain and fingers and there’s no-one in the world to touch me. I can do everything myself.” Clark’s great idol was the famous dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and his love of dance inspired his clothes to be free moving and not to restrict the female form. This style of dressing became quite popular in the 1970s thanks in large part to the popularity of Clark’s clothing. Ossie Clark is well known for his use of muted colours and moss crepe fabric. He also designed shoes, paper dresses, and snakeskin jackets.”
So really, I reckon it’s not so much a Debenhams collaboration with Ossie Clark, it’s a Debenhams collaboration with his name. Still I was excited to see the collection, hoping to find reproductions of the dresses that so many women have adored over the last half century. There were just four pieces from the 95-piece collection there:
I was hoping for more floor-grazing, dramatic, chiffon dresses; I was given a brochure which included an image of this dress…