A couple weeks ago I wrote about the style in the 1970s-based, recently Oscar nominated film Inherent Vice. Recognizing the unrelenting wave of ’70s runway nostalgia with the 2015 spring trend reports and NYFW F/W ‘15/’16 buzz, I was prompted to take a look back at the innovator and master of early-‘70s style, Ossie Clark. Hailed as the British answer to Yves Saint Laurent, synonymous with celebrity and youth culture, amassing a reputation that would outlast his label to inspire designers for decades to come. As you follow runways this fashion month, chances are you’ll be seeing a lot of pieces inspired by the Brit designer’s contribution to fashion; the picture of the free post-flower-child waif in the flowing printed chiffon gown, elegant and wild.
Fashion designers, writers and bloggers have pointed out the large emphasis on ‘70s cultural icons like Joni Mitchell, and Patti Smith in runway showings and campaigns over the last couple of seasons. The inspiration works to infuse youthful aesthetics with meaning and a sense of cultured poetry to the pieces, a return to fashion routed in music and culture that doesn’t appear as disposable as modern pop culture derived aesthetics. Dressing the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Twiggy, Bianca Jagger, Jimi Hendrix and many more, Ossie Clark organically cultivated this street cred in the mid ‘60s to ‘70s, a cool brand of which the clientele was already the best PR piece. To this point, far ahead of his time, these Ossie Clark fashion films from 1969 and 1970 show looks that would not be out of place on a runway today and also serve as a fabulous lesson in ‘70s styling.