c.1969-1970 Ossie Clark Black 'Graduation' Front Plunge Dress
I have had the twin of this dress in the shop before and was happy to find another. It's an early version of what would go on to become one of Ossie's most famous and recognizable designs. A version in moss crepe is held in the Victorian and Albert Museum. Theirs dates to the 1970 collection and is more like the one I am wearing in a past reference photo with the wider sleeve. This version, with its balloon sleeve and fitted cuff is a little earlier and dates to the 1969 collection and is the exact one I am wearing in the more current, seated photo. Together they give you a great idea of how the dress looks like on.
The design of this dress is said to have been based loosely on a graduation gown and yet still retains 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 squared off shape 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 the front gathers under the neckline and at the back it begins right under the shoulder yoking. It cascades to the ground and is balanced by huge sleeves that puff up above each cinched wrist. This dress is not made out of his more standard moss crepe, rather it is a soft, light, wool. This label is from the couture Ossie Clark line and it also has the Jeeves Dry Cleaning, Quorum recommended, tag. I own one of these myself and it will always be in my collection so 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. Excellent condition.
Unlined and slips over the head to wear with attached ties at the waist. Each cuff has two fabric covered buttons at the wrist. The flowing silhouette, waist tie and deep decolletage suit a variety of figures and sizes.
Sleeves: 29.5" but come up when cuffs are buttoned
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: to 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: open and can be defined by the attached tie
Length: 59" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG
Reference Photos: (1) 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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