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Detail of Fashion sketch 1973 Photograph of Diane Radley Photograph of Twiggy Detail of photograph of Penelope Tree

From 1965 to the mid-1970s the famous and the fashionable wore Ossie Clark. Mick and Bianca Jagger commissioned clothes from him. Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree modelled his designs for top photographers David Bailey, Norman Parkinson and Helmut Newton.

While celebrities were frequent customers, ordinary Londoners also coveted Clark's designs. Many recall the wonderful feeling of wearing an Ossie Clark outfit. One said recently,'When I bought my Ossie Clark dress it was quite expensive . . . but it was so beautiful, so feminine and made me feel special.'

David Hockney painting - Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, David Hockney, 1970-1 Acrylic on Canvas

A portrait of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell by David Hockney. As Ossie Clark's wife, textile designer and muse, Celia often wore their designs. In this painting she wears a dress softly shaped to flatter the figure. Red bands of fabric wind around the arms in a technically complex pattern.

Reproduction of Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy courtesy of Tate Picture Library ©Tate, London 2003

Sketch - Mick Jagger jump suit

Fashion sketch 1973

Mick Jagger became a client of Ossie Clark's in the late 1960s. Clark then made some of Jagger's stage costumes, like this pythonskin jumpsuit designed for the Rolling Stones' 1973 tour. It was intended to unzip onstage. Mick Jagger's wife Bianca, who could afford the most extravagant designs, also became an important client.

Pen and ink on paper
Lent by Celia Birtwell

Ossie Clark wedding dress for Diane Radley

Wedding dress 1971

Ossie Clark said of wedding dresses,'The most vital part is the back'. Here the back features dramatic fan pleating falling from a raised waistline. Clark designed the dress for Diane Radley, daughter of Alfred Radley who owned the Ossie Clark label from 1968. The wedding took place in a synagogue, so the dress had to be traditional with long sleeves and a high neck.

Photograph courtesy of British Brides.
Photographer Barry Lategan

Snakeskin and fox fur coat designed for Twiggy

Coat 1969

Ossie Clark designed this coat for Twiggy's 1969 New York tour. Made from snakeskin lined with fox fur, the coat encapsulated the glamour and excess of celebrity life. The photograph shows Twiggy wearing the coat on a trip to Paris in the same year.

© Justin de Villeneuve

Penelope Tree, model and Clark client

Ensemble 1969

The photograph shows Penelope Tree, fashion model and Clark client. David Bailey was the photographer. Many top photographers worked for Vogue and their regular coverage of Ossie Clark's work helped build his reputation. It also brought him to the attention of an even wider audience.

Photograph courtesy of Vogue.
Photographer David Bailey