Thursday, February 9, 2012

Celia Birtwell Fashion Textiles

A couple of weeks ago my mom and I were browsing around at Rainy Day Books and I snapped up this book about Celia Birtwell. I love Celia Birtwell...not a huge surprise considering my long-standing love with Swingin' 60's London fashion. Mary Quant, Foale and Tuffin, Granny Takes a Trip, Biba, Quorom and Ossie Clark are all designers and stores that loom legendary in my mind. Celia Birtwell was Ossie Clark's wife and a brilliant textile designer. Although his name is on the tags, there was very much a collaboration of two brilliant minds.
Above is a photo of Celia and Ossie at work, below is the famous painting of them by David Hockney: Mr and Mrs. Clark and Percy.

After the Ossie Clark label folded, Celia spent a fair few years being David Hockney's muse, as well as a textile teacher in England. (Can you imagine how awesome it would be to get to class and have her as your textile teacher??). In the 80's she returned to design work and started working on interiors fabrics. She didn't design for fashion again until 2006 when she designed a sell-out collection for TopShop.
Celia's sketches. You can see how she designed her fabric with the 3d form of the garment in mind. She really envisioned how it would look on the finished product. Her designs were printed on soft, floating fabric such as satin, silk and chiffon. You can see how they drape and move with the garment. 
Emma Watson gets it. Here she is at a Harry Potter premiere wearing vintage Ossie Clark. 

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