Look at summer through new eyes. Ossie Clark sees you in shepherdess smocks of voile, in long crepe dresses, reed-thin red or printed by Celia Birtwell. Pattie Boyd looks at it her way. All at Quorum.
Photographed by David Bailey.
Scanned from Vogue, June 1969.
I think this editorial might be one of the first I ever scanned, back in even my pre-blog days. I may have posted it on MySpace (don’t judge me, I feel ancient enough as it is). I’ve been meaning to properly rescan for years, but finally the time seemed right. It is the perfect combination of designer, model, photographer and a stunning use of Pre-Raphaelite imagery.
OSSIE CLARK, twenty-nine, designs clothes that would be right up the street for the woman whose profession is the oldest in the world. There’s nothing Woman’s Lib. here, thank you. His twelfth collection is outlandishly, gloriously and candidly tarty. But tarty in the ’40s and early ’50s sense of dressing: brazen, glamorous, passion-ately female. The cut of the clothes is masterful. The old black magic is there. Jazzy sequins. Star insets. High wedge heels. Ankle straps. Bias cut crepe. Oodles of pleats. Blowsy tulips and full-blown poppy prints. Plus black, and lots of it. You name it—it’s there, superbly executed.
Fabrics include new prints on marocain by Ossie’s wife, Celia Birtwell. Hairdos evoke memories of Rita Hayworth & Co. And contours are as they should be: breasts (bra-less), waists, hips and bottoms are all back in their rightful place — and proud of it. Ossie’s new clothes are as scarlet womanish as they are beautiful and witty. When you wear them you automatically adopt a Monroe wiggle.
Top price for a frock from his collection is £150, but around a fiver will buy you a printed crepe shirt. You may not be able to take this look seriously — but it will probably influence the way you dress next season. For Ossie’s secret as a designer is that his tarty vamps keep chic and never look cheap, jaded, or just plain common.
Photographed here are a selection of Ossie’s new clothes.
All enquiries for stockists and prices to Quorum Wholesale, 6 Burnsall Street, SW3.
Modelled by Kari-Ann Muller.
Hair by Richard at Maximillian.
Shoes by Manolo Blahnik for Zapata, 49 Old Church Street, SW3, from £17.75.
We’ve tried to capture the golden richness and mellow nuances of a well-preserved old oil painting, and create our October face with the new Moody Hues make-up from Revlon’s Natural Wonder collection. Face tone should be warm and tinged with a hint of tan, and we used foundation colour ‘Bisque Beige’, 66p., dusted over very lightly with translucent pressed powder in the ‘Medium’ shade, £1.02. We rouged the cheeks with Cheek Shine in ‘Red’, £1-32. Pursuing the same rustic-toned theme we chose ‘Soulful Plum’ mascara and lashed it on both top and bottom lids, 85p. Eyes are a muted melange of ‘Tortoiseshell’ Eyeshadow Stick, 66p., and the same shade in Lid Lights, the powder version, fading to complementary ‘Minty Green’ powder shadow just under the brows, £1.10 each. We dabbed over the eyelids with ‘Brown Shine’ cream blusher for extra gloss and softness, £1.32. Lips are outlined in ‘Bracken Brown’, 62p.
Model is Ingmari Lamy.
Make-up was applied by visagiste Jean Duval of Revlon, Paris.
The beautiful décolleté dress with huge winged sleeves is in black with a yellow, red and blue feather print, from Quorum, £24.
‘Forties-style hair was dressed by Tina of the Jean-Louis Davide Salon in Paris.
Photographed in the apartment of Karl Lagerfeld, the designer, by Francois Lamy.
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.