Nicola Waymouth in Ossie Clark Dress, photographed by Norman Parkinson, 1971.
S/S 2018 may call for far more inspiration from The King of King’s Road. WSGN, a global trend forecasting company, recently released their bi-annual statement identifying the key retail trends for 2018. Among them are Youth Tonic, Kinship, Slow Futures and perhaps the most interesting, Psychotropical. Racked reported on the findings, citing Psychotropical as their favorite with a still of Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke in the 1998 film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The psychedelic drug-fuelled visual-thrill is exactly what one would envision of the trend. The Fear and Loathing narrative takes place in the 1970s, in the aftermath of 1960s hippie culture, the exact time that this trend calls to. I couldn’t help but immediately think of Ossie Clark’s incredible designs with their stunning cuts, movement and bohemian feel partnered with Celia Birtwell’s incredible textiles and beautiful prints.
The release identifies the trend as: "The Psychotropical trend follows the growth of the experience economy and how the concept of nature will branch out to include virtual reality wonderlands, driving a significant increase in brand activations and collaborations. As the digital will increasingly incorporate the physical, ‘phygital’ will surround design to make it more lifelike and emotionally compelling."
The growth of experience economy makes sense with the blending of tech and real life, each informing the way we experience and share the other. It’s not hard to guess where they got the idea of technology promoting exploration and experiences. Instagram is chock full of travel, adventure and entertainment related posts that spark emotions, opinions and motivate the wants of millions.
The ‘70s have been having a moment for a while but the designs of Birtwell and Clark were definitive of the time. While there have been elements of the flowing dresses, muted tones and post-hippie looks made popular on runways and now on the racks, there’s been a lack of authenticity mainly because if you’re aware of what the trends are aspiring to, the looks on the racks seem gimmicky in comparison to Clark’s game changing creations. There was a movement, literal and figurative, to each of his pieces. Clark and Birtwell defined their decade as a new era in fashion, popular culture and technology approach. It seems their influence is more relevant than ever.
Amanda Lear in Ossie Clark, 1970s.
Ossie Clark. (L)1976. (R) 1970s.
Ossie Clark Editorial, 1970s.
(L) Gala Mitchell wearing an Ossie Clark Celia Birtwell design, 1969. (R) Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell design, photographed by Celia Birtwell, 1969.
(L) Penelope Tree in Ossie Clark by David Bailey, 1970. (R) A model in 'Acapulco Gold' by Ossie Clark, part of a collection of April Fashion by Ossie Clark and Alice Pollock, 1970.
Jane Birkin in a Celia print Ossie Clark outfit, 1967.
(L) Ingrid Boulting wearing Ossie Clark with print by Celia Birtwell. Photo by Norman Parkinson, 1970s. (R) Credit Unknown.
Amanda Lear in Ossie Clark Ensemble, photographed by Peter Ruck, 1968.
(L) Anjelica Huston and model wearing Ossie Clark for Miss Selfridge, Cosmopolitan, May 1972. (R) Marisa Berenson wearing Ossie Clark, 1973.