Debenhams announced its latest fashion designer collaboration at the beginning of November, along with it, two images. Both maxi dresses, one floral the other monochrome stripes. The new collaboration is with Ossie Clark, the brand. Now owned by Alison Mansell Ltd Ossie Clark has St. Martins Collage of art graduate, Nicholas Georgiou, is at the design helm – Ossie Clark the man, was tragically murdered in London in 1996.
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, fashion pieces. As I left I was given a brochure which included an image of this dress…
Longer, yes, what I dreamed of? I dunno. But with 90 stylish pieces still to view I can’t call it. The print on those trousers is pretty fabulous, and will definitely fit in with the rest of my wardrobe.