Mr. and Mrs. Clark: Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell Fashion and Prints
The first ever visual book on the iconic Swinging London designer duo beloved by Hendrix and Jagger and painted by Hockney, whose vibrant hippie style defined 1960s fashion
The intense artistic and personal partnership between Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark left an indelible mark on London fashion during the period between Mary Quant’s miniskirt and the subversive punk of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Celia drew prints on light crêpes, silks and chiffons, and Ossie transformed them into clothes that immediately conquered the international jet set. From Brigitte Bardot to Liz Taylor, everyone was fascinated by their fashion. Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg. Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bianca Jagger and Marisa Berenson are just some of the people that Ossie Clark dressed.
This publication—the result of extensive research undertaken for an exhibition at the Fondazione Sozzani in Milan—weighs the import of both designers’ contributions equally; Clark’s shapes and cuts would not have had the same impact without Birtwell’s bohemian prints inspired by nature and the artistic currents of the day. Featuring approximately 40 dresses displayed in chronological order, the volume tells the story of the duo’s evolution from the Quorum boutique in Chelsea to the heights of Swinging London, through period photos, editorials, memorabilia, sketches, design reproductions and an exclusive interview with Birtwell, as well as interviews with Lauren Lepire (owner of Timeless Vixen) and the model and singer Amanda Lear.
British fashion designers Celia Birtwell (born 1941) and Ossie Clark (1942–96) began collaborating in 1966, married in 1969 and had two children together before divorcing in 1974. Although his brand went bankrupt, Clark continued to design throughout the remainder of his life; Birtwell took a long break, returning to fashion in the early 21st century.