Culture

Mr Mrs Clark Milano

Ossie Clark
by Alain Chivilò

© Alain Chivilò


A very famous painting by David Hockney “Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy” portrayed the duo Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. For the first time in Italy, an exhibition traces their skills in the world of fashion.
“Mr. & Mrs. Clark. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965-1974” in Milan at Fondazione Sozzani, from 16/1 until 10/4/2023, presents the journey of the two creatives and explores the genius of Celia’s design, which developed prints inspired by nature and avant-garde art and of Ossie’s talent, whose mastery of cutting and pattern-making brought sensual and feminine clothes to life.
Along the show, rare memorabilia, magazine shootings, 30 iconic dresses (period 1965-74), unpublished drawings, seven precious notebooks by Ossie and Celia.

Ossie Clark: protagonist of Swinging London, Raymond Clark was born in Liverpool in 1942, the youngest of six children. A graduate of London’s Royal College of Arts, he made his debut in 1964, when he began designing clothes for the Quorum boutique in Chelsea, frequented by the British music and arts scene. He met Celia Birtwell at school, whom he later married. He was killed in 1996 at age 54, leaving behind two children. In 1999-2000, the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery held its first retrospective, which was followed in 2003 by one curated by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Celia Birtwell: born in 1941 in London, trained at Salford Art School in Manchester. She graduated in Textile Design from the Royal College of Art, moving to London in the early 1960s, where she produced her first Op-art style furnishing fabrics. In her prints she studies the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum extensively, particularly the costumes of Leon Bakst and Sergei Djaghilev for the Ballets Russes with references ranging from medieval English tapestries to Cubism and Pointillism. He currently lives and works in London.

by Alain Chivilò