ossie clark

Fabulous c.1969 Ossie Clark Red Moss Crepe Dress w Bishop Sleeves, Button Front & Pointed Collar

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. Dresses like this were the result of that collaboration. Even with this early version of 'ready to wear' the pieces that were made were still never produced in vast quantities and certainly nowhere near whet we think of today as RTW as far as quantities.  I have had black versions of this dress in the shop before and always love finding one of these. It is a classic Ossie design and one of Ossie's most famous and recognizable creations. A similar version in ivory is held in the Victorian and Albert Museum. Lily Sullivan also wore a version and you can see how it is transforms once on the body. Both of those fully button tot eh neck bit this one has a more V front and then has the buttons underneath that. I have included those shots here to give you an idea of just how fabulous the dress looks like on.

The design of this dress seems so simple when you see it on a hanger and yet it has that perfect flow and drape that he was known for. His signature sexuality that he worked into his pieces is displayed in that low front plunge that can be made even lower if you choose to wear it more unbuttoned. I love his pieces that button down the front. You feel covered, but he still somehow manages to make them feel extremely sexual. The buttons have been covered in the same red moss crepe as the dress is made from. They run from the bottom of the V neck, past the waist and down the top part of the skirt. The dress has it original matching fabric tie that wraps around and ties to give you some added shape and definition through the waist. The skirt flows from under there to cascade to the ground. It skims over the hips and then widens out quite a bit by the time it nears the hem. There is a wonderful amount of volume that flows around you when you move. I love that the back is cut slightly longer then the front. This is balanced out by full bishop cut sleeves that puff up above each moss crepe covered buttoned cuff. I own one of these myself and it will always be in my collection and I can tell you from personal experience that it is a dress that you will wear over and over. I absolutely love his red moss crate pieces. The colour is so good and it just makes a fantastic impact. This one is in wonderful condition to which isn't always the case with the red pieces. It easily goes from day to night and is sensational on the body. It is in its original uncut supermodel length which is hard to find with many Ossie pieces you now see out there for sale. Excellent condition with one small note below.

Unlined and slips over the head to wear with it original tie belt for around the waist. It buttons down the front. Each cuff has a fabric covered button at the wrist. There are two very light marks near the front center seam about 16" down from the final button. They are very light and where the skirt starts to get volume so not really seen when on but are visible when it is laid out flat. Please see the photo after the label shot. The red is a bit brighter then how it photoed. It is better in person. Tagged a vintage Ossie Clark UK 10

Sleeves: 28" but come up when cuffs are buttoned
Shoulders: 14.5"
Bust: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12-13" flat across from side seam to side seam and can be defined more by the tie belt
Hips: 16-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 61" from neck to front hem and 66" to the longest point of the back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD3692

Reference Photos: (1) 1969-1974 Ossie Clark Dress in the V&A Collection.  /  (2-4) Lily Sullivan at the Inaugural Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) Ball in Sydney, February 2018.

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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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.