1970s Ossie Clark Celia Birtwell for Quorum Fan Print Front Plunge Dress
This is a rare example of the work that Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell were doing together in the very early 1970s. It's an early version of what would go on to become one of Ossie's most famous and recognizable designs with that signature plunging squared off neckline. Various versions of these in solid colors are held several museums. I have only seen a couple of these and this one is entirely original.
It is said that the original design of these front plunging dresses were loosely based on the designs of a graduation gown. If that is the case Ossie somehow managed to take that rather conservative feeling piece of clothing and work in the flow and drape that he was known for. His pieces always have a touch of an overt sexuality that became one of his trademarks and here we see that in the ultra low front plunge. This one also has a touch more shape through the waist then we see on the longer maxi versions with that same neckline. On this dress, the plunge dips into a deep squared off shape that is cut to just above the seam at the waist. The waist is banded all the way around with attached ties on both sides. These wrap around and ties to cinch in the waist and it also keeps the plunge from moving. The skirt flows out from there with lots of fabric in it that gives it tons of movement when you move. The sleeves are slim cut and have a row of silk covered buttons at each wrist. The fabric itself is a silk crepe with a deep navy base. Onto this is that spectacular fan print by Celia Birtwell in blue, green, yellow and red. This label is from the couture Ossie Clark line and it also has the Jeeves Dry Cleaning, Quorum recommended, tag. The midi length makes it extra versatile and it is a dress that you will wear over and over, easily able to go from day to night. Excellent condition with a minor note below
Unlined and slips over the head to wear with attached ties at the waist and a side set zipper. Each cuff has three fabric covered buttons at the wrist. There is a small faint mark at the front. Please see the photo after the label shot. Tagged an vintage UK 10. The flowing silhouette, waist tie and deep decolletage suit a variety of figures and sizes.
Sleeves: 22.5" but come up when cuffs are buttoned
Bust: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam and can be cinched in more by the attached tie
Bodice: 15" from neck to waist
Plunge: 13" from neck to bottom
Skirt: 34" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.