With his stardom exploding during an era marked by the free-wheeling fashion scene of champagne, drugs and sexual exploration, Ossie Clark was, indeed, a man of the times. His bold, imaginative designs, as well as his free-spirited company, were craved and cherised by iconic 60’s figures Mick Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor, Yoko Ono, Twiggy, Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix and Bette Davis.
Shortly after Clark’s wedding to textile designer Celia Birtwell, British artist David Hockney — who served as Clark’s best man — painted “Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy”. The acrylic on canvas painting depicts the fashion designer, his bride and their cat… the cat in the painting was named Blanche, but Hockney thought Percy, the name of one of their other cats, made for a more suitable addition to the title.
Clark’s whimsical romantic designs of fairytale ballgowns and dresses dripping with sexuality helped set trendy London ablaze in the 1960s. And, at a time when many high-fashion garments seemed made to be worn once and discarded, Clark’s were widely appreciated for their durable construction and expert cut… giving reason to why many of his designs have survived to become collectors’ items.