Iconic c.1969 Ossie Clark 'Bridget' Black Crepe Plunge Front Wrap Dress
Ossie Clark once told an 18 year old Marianne Faithfull to go back into the dressing room and take off her bra and knickers. ‘How do you expect me to go out like this?’, she asked him, and he replied, ‘You're meant to be able to lift your dress up at any time, and pull down the top, and just have sex.' ....That little story pretty much sums up the attitude of wearing an Ossie Clark. They are sensual, sexual and yet still utterly beautiful. He as a master cutter and his main line clothes were made at a Couture level. He could cut freehand and was one of the first designers to source clothing from the past to use as inspiration but his designs were always uniquely his own. He was relentless in making the female body look as good as he could and did what it took to achieve that. He once told the Sunday Times ‘I don’t care how much anything costs as long as it’s beautiful.’ The period of his work between 1965-1974 was pure fashion porn and will never be equaled.
Ossie named all his couture dress and this one is known as the ‘Bridget’, said to be named after Bridget Bardot who was said to be a regular at the Quorum boutique. The design is first mentioned in the book on Ossie by Judith Watt as part of the 1968 collection but variations of it were photoed up to 1973. A tulip print was captured on Marianne Faithful herself. Variations of this dress also appeared in Vogue UK and a floral version landed on a young Anjelica Huston for a Selfridges ad.
The dress is made out of a satin backed, black crepe, that wraps with a low and wide plunge at the front. The sleeves are a puffed capped and the front and back gather into the yoke across the shoulders. It wraps with long ties at the waist and has a padded waistband. The skirt is very full with yards of fabric in its construction. A series of tightly spaced knife pleats run down each side. These were a signature hallmark of this particular dress. The dress is in overall excellent condition but does have a note concerning condition to review below.
The fabric is self backed. It wraps to close and ties with the attached ties. It is labeled a vintage UK 12. There is some slight fading across the upper shoulders and the back of the collar. Where it is makes it a non-issue when its on but it is there. Being solid black re-dying is a potential option if this bothered you. These are so rare the effect to the value is minimal. The wrap style should allow it to fit a variety of sizes.
Slightly inset shoulders: 13"
Bust: to approx 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 11-13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 40" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
Reference Photos: (1-2) Martha Hunt in Ossie Clark from Shrimpton Couture, Cannes, May 2018. / (3) Model (Camille Neviere) in Ossie Clark from Shrimpton Couture. Photo by Angela Y. Martin. (Styling: Ulia Koles. Hair & Makeup: Larissa McCourt). / (4) Model in Ossie Clark for Quorum, Shot by Henry Clarke, Vogue UK, September 1971. / (5) Anjelica Huston (right) for Ossie Clark, Cosmopolitan, May 1972. / (6) Marianne Faithfull, 1973. / (7) Pattie Boyd in Ossie Clark. / (8) Credit unknown.
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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