Alice Pollock – Breaking into the big time

1970s, alice pollock, british boutique movement, ossie clark, petticoat magazine, quorum, radley, Richard Davis

Photograph by Richard Davis

Alice Pollock is twenty-seven. She and Ossie Clark are regarded as one of the most inspired pairs of designers in England. Their Quorum range can uually be counted on for style, originality and incredible appeal. Yet it wasn’t such a long time ago that they’d never even heard of each other and she had never even dreamed about designing clothes.

“Before Quorum I’d done lots of things but I suppose could mainly be called a film assistant. I worked with Tony Richardson and Orson Welles. I had this ambition to own my own company, so I formed one to make chairs. They weren’t very successful so I started designing clothes. I suppose they seemed more lucrative.

“That was when I got my first break. I’ve had several. All of them were terribly important. I couldn’t have done at all well without them. But the first break was getting the first range of clothes photographed by Queen. There were ten garments. It was marvellous publicity. It helped us get established and was tremendous. The next great break was meeting Ossie.

“A friend of a friend suggested we meet one day. He just walked through the door, a quiet, dark little man, nothing like the Ossie Clark we know today. I thought he was too much. We were like twins. That was incredible. But for ages we were living hand to mouth. Though Quorum had a good reputation we weren’t making it financially. But we were really lucky. Last year Ossie made a deal with Radley Fashions who took us over. that was another break. Things have been marvellous since then.”

Scanned from Petticoat, February 1970

Please do check out Vintage-a-Peel for pieces by Alice and Ossie.

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