Following Gaudi’s thought “to be original, return to the origin”, following it down to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire where William Fox Talbot invented the camera, Norman Parkinson photographed eight dresses conjured from pure air and gauze.
This is like an album where every song is a certified banger. From the model, to the frocks, to the photographer, to the photographer he’s referencing, everything is flawless. Except that I don’t own all these dresses.
Whether you believe in star signs or not, this lovely editorial is certainly fun to browse. Pretty happy with my Cancerian Annacat dress, modelled by Stephanie Farrow, but greatly envy the Aries and Scorpio threads.
(Also, please don’t shout at me about the furs. I don’t like them either but it would be weird to leave out Leo and Aquarius. Just pretend they’re fake…)
Ever been to bed in satin or gone to work in lizard, looked through chiffon or wore a cardigan to your knees? Well we haven’t either, but Grandmother might have. The Ossie Clark and Alice Pollock Autumn Collection was full of these new things from old. Quorum clothes have a habit of being way ahead of their competitors and you always have to pay for originality. Even if you can’t afford to buy there they point the way ahead so look hard. There were maxi-length tweed coats in pinks and greens, long suede suits with lizard insets. Skirts and trousers were long and flowing, blouses were in flouncy chiffon or giselle. There were butterfly dresses in flimsy chiffon, with streams of flowing scarves tied to the ankles or wrists. There was a mass of creamy satin made into long quilted coats or glamorous trouser suits. There were satin dressing gowns with matching pants and bra. Also flowing crêpe suits with satin trimmings, tight-knitted jumpers flecked with stripes of bright colours. And more and more….
Sadly some of the prices were wild too but the ideas are yours for the copying.
A perfect example of why the demise of the illustrated fashion editorial was so unjust.
Poppy field morocaine dress with drawstring neck by Ossie Clark for Radley. Plaited suede sandals by Bata.
Flirty little crêpe dresses so irresistibly feminine you’ll never be alone for long.
Anyone who knows me at all will know that *I* cannot resist crêpe, never mind what a fella thinks. This is a stunning editorial, with a model I’m not sure I recognise from anywhere else – so do comment if you can identify her. Featuring two covetable dresses by Ossie Clark but also featuring two by the mysterious ‘Boobs’ boutique label (by designer Linda Warren). I have found mention of a ‘Boobs’ boutique in Edinburgh, but I think it might just be coincidence. Again, holler if you know anything!
Photographed by Roy A. Giles.
Scanned from Honey, November 1971.
Daring slash necked lemon and lime striped Dicel crêpe dress with paste brooch by Linda Warren at Boobs. Suede plaited shoes by Bata. Tights by Mary Quant.
Chocolate brown Dicel crêpe dress with wide accordian pleated sleeves gathered into deep buttoned cuffs by Linda Warren for Boobs. Scarlet and black scalloped shoes by Ravel. Red art deco compact from Universal Witness.
Skimpy jet black halter neck bonded moss crêpe dress with pink and black polka dot fluted bolero jacket by Rosy Bradford for Quorum. Scarlet glacé leather peep toe shoes from Zapata. Flocked red cherries by Adrien Mann.
Button-through bow-scattered gently flaring crêpe dress from Bus Stop. Black sude sandals by Bata.
Slippery satin dress with palm tree printed bodice by Ossie Clark for Radley. Scarlet leather peep toe shoes by Zapata.
The gist of this editorial seems to be that only the tinest breasted ladies can wear the Ossies, but I have to respectfully and fundamentally disagree. The Ossie tunic on the cover was, along with some matching trousers, later chosen as The Fashion Museum‘s Dress of the Year 1969.
Blonde model photographed by Mike Berkofsky.
Brunette model photographed by Steve Hiett.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey Magazine, November 1968.
Fluffy frilly blouse by Quorum.
Tunic by Ossie Clark.
Red chiffon blouse by John Craig.
Ruffled black dress by Francis Ford.
Low, plungey-neck dress in red satin by James Moncur.
I am never sure whether Ossie was actually used more in adverts at the time, or if it just feels like it because I am more attuned to Ossie and Celia’s distinctive styles than other designers. Much like in Cabaret, where Liza Minnelli wears a contemporary Ossie piece amongst her other costumes, here the Ossie is a seamless (metaphorically, obviously) inclusion for a Thirties-inspired aesthetic.
“What are Vidal Sassoon, Barbara Daly and Ossie Clark doing in Vogue studios? Vidal did the hair, Barbara the make-up, Ossie designed the dress … Lipstick matched to the flowers in Celia Birtwell’s printed chiffon. Ossie Clark twined his own gold chain and lizard over the shoulder and, snap, David Bailey. Dress to order from Ossie Clark.”