Well, I have some….but they don’t seem sufficient. The UK fashion industry is giving me anger fatigue. I almost don’t have the strength to express my fury any more.
I fear I may bore my dear readers with my irregular but frequently feisty postings on these things, but if I cannot vent to fellow vintage lovers then….well, who can I vent to?
Yes, in case you haven’t guessed yet….the Ossie Clark relaunch saga.
Imagine my spluttering and gobsmacked face when I heard the news from dear Senti, followed up by reading all the fatuous spoutings of the press about how ‘wonderful’ this was and how so much money was being invested in it.
It continues to baffle me how these people could possibly think these relaunches are a good idea? Please, please do invest money in the British fashion industry. God knows it needs it so badly. But please, please invest your money in new, talented designers with a mind of their own. The true Ossies of this world, if you will.
Ossie himself would have been horrified beyond words to see his legacy thus violated and cheapened by these money-grabbing cretins. I never met the man (certainly my fantasy dinner party guest of honour) but surely the notion of some poor new designer just barely out of their degree show re-issuing his genius creations would have been abhorrent to him.
They speak of the ‘House of Ossie Clark’ as though he were a couture house in the manner of Chanel or Dior. The V&A exhibition may have conferred the title ‘couture’ upon his own label creations, but Ossie was no ‘house’. He was a maverick, a genius with no head for business and a complete lack of consistency in his output. It was only really the guiding hand of Alice Pollock which managed to keep things ticking over, and the creative input of Celia Birtwell which continued to inspire his work.
But this is no re-opening of the ‘House of Ossie Clark’ as they try to persuade us. This new designer, whoever the poor sod may be, will no doubt be simply producing carbon copies of the originals. A puppet designer with someone else pulling the [purse]strings. A la Bella Freud for Biba. And look at how badly that relaunch is doing. This is duplication, as cheap and tacky as the Kate Moss Topshop/Lee Bender debacle. They see the prices vintage sellers get for hard-won and rare originals, and they want a piece of the action. But needless to say, Ossies don’t turn up around every corner…
…so what to do? What to do?? Hmmm……
Yes! Let’s copy them and sell them for the price of an original. Who cares that we’re cheapening the originals and the Ossie legacy?
Well I care. I know it’s crap that vintage Ossies are so pricey, and that not every girl who wants one can afford one. But how is this going to help matters? They’ll still be only for the select few who can afford them, or even get hold of them, and eventually everyone’s bored of Ossie Clark and the magic will be lost. Then it’s a case of why bother taking care of the legacy, the originals, if no one wants them anymore? These ventures are damaging and self-indulgent.