ossie clark

Amazing 1970 Ossie Clark 'Graduation' Deep Front Plunge Maxi Dress in a Red Moss Crepe

This is one of Ossie's most famous and recognizable designs. Its twin in a black colour is held in the Victorian and Albert Museum. The caption on their dress reads: "This dress has the simple, flattering lines of a classic Ossie Clark design. Its flowing silhouette, waist-tie and deep décolletage suited women of most shapes and sizes. This style was very successful when the Radley label produced it. Radley made it in printed fabrics as well as a range of coloured crêpes." The history behind this label is fascinating. In 1968 Ossie Clark was designing his own couture line and also designing pieces for Alice Pollock for her Quorum Boutique. The Radley company approached Alice to find out of she could convince Ossie to design a top of the market collection that they would produce and sell to various boutiques and department stores. He said yes and dresses like this were the result of that collaboration. These early 'ready to wear' pieces were never produced in vast quantities making them a collectible and valued part of Ossie's history. 

The design of this dress is said to have been based loosely on a graduation gown and then he combined that with the flow and drape that he was known for. His signature sexuality that he worked into his pieces is displayed in that ultra low front plunge. That plunge deepens into a deep V that is cut right down to the seam at the empire waist. An attached tie wraps around and ties to give you some the shape and it keeps the plunge from moving. The skirt flows from under the front gathers set under the base of the neckline. At the back it falls from under the shoulder yoking. It cascades to the ground from there and is balanced by the wide cut sleeves. This dress is made from his signature moss crepe and this fabric has beautiful movement. It is also in its original supermodel length. I have the twin of this one myself and have had it for years and it will forever stay in my own closet. I can tell you from personal experience that it is a dress that you will wear over and over and easily goes from day to night. I have included some past shots of me wearing my personal black one so you can see how easy it is to wear. Great overall condition with notes below

Unlined and slips over the head to wear with attached ties at the waist. Soft padding in each shoulder. There is a soft variation in colour throughout the dress and an area near the hem that is a touch lighter in colour. Some tiny pinholes here and there throughout the dress including on the end of the sleeve, near the seam on one side and near the hem. Grubbiness at the hem and the hem was let down at some point. This all gives the dress a slight intentional distressed feel that works. I have priced it even lower then I have others in the past by quite a bit as it is perfectly wearable and actually looks great once on because these are all minor. Please see the photos after the label shot for some areas. The flowing silhouette, waist tie and deep decolletage should work a variety of figures and sizes. Tagged a vintage Ossie UK 14

Sleeves: 24"
Shoulders: no true seam"
Bust: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist-hips: open
Length: 59" from neck to front hem, 64" to the back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD4376

Reference Photos: (1) 1974-76 Ossie Clark Dress from the V&A Collection (2 & 3) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

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