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Tailoring

Detail of sketch 1969 Detail of pleating on coat 1972 Detail of coat 1972 Detail of sketch 1971

Ossie Clark's work is commonly associated with the romantic chiffon dresses and Celia Birtwell prints seen throughout this display. However, Clark was also an expert cutter. He executed an accomplished range of superbly fitted classical coats, suits and jackets in wool, Harris tweed, suede and crÍpe. The cut and construction of these clothes demonstrate Clark's extraordinary precision and his understanding of how textiles behave on a three-dimensional form.

In 1970 the French manufacturer Mendes invited Ossie Clark to design a collection for distribution in France.

1972 wool coat designed for the French manufacturer Mendes

Coat 1972

Clark produced this design for the French manufacturer Mendes. Intricate seaming and a precise row of buttons emphasise the restraint of the deceptively simple wool coat.

Wool
Lent by Celia Birtwell

close up of elaborate fan pleating

Coat 1972

An elaborate fan of pleating graces the back of the coat. The fine material and workmanship are hallmarks of the best of Ossie Clark's designs.

Wool
Lent by Celia Birtwell

Suede Jacket 1969

Jacket 1969

Intricate pin-tucking enlivens the surface of this suede jacket. Its linear design is reminiscent of the diagonal patterning seen in men's doublets of the 1590s. The jacket shows Clark's skilled use of animal skins.

Lent by Celia Birtwell

Sketch for a suede jacket

Sketch 1969

Sketch for a suede jacket similar to that above.

Sketch reproduced with kind permission of Celia Birtwell

Sketch for fitted jackets and frilly skirts

Sketch 1971

Sketch of two models posing in fitted jackets and frilly skirts.

Sketch reproduced with kind permission of Celia Birtwell