At the Textile Museum in Prato: Mr and Mrs Clark. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965 -1974

Women in flowers by Beatrice Brandini

A glimpse of the Mr and Mrs Clark exhibition. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965 – 1974

In the largest cultural center in Italy dedicated to the enhancement of art and textile production, the Textile Museum of Prato, in collaboration with the Sozzani Foundation and the Massimo Cantini Parrini archive, an exhibition is staged (until 8 January 2023), dedicated to Ossie Clark.


Ossie Clark dress


Glimpses of the Mr and Mrs Clark exhibition. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965 – 1974

It is the first exhibition ever held in Italy so far, dedicated to the designer Ossie Clark and his partner in life and creativity, Celia Birtwell, two protagonists of the London pop culture scene of the sixties / seventies of the twentieth century.


Ossie Clark dresses


Ossie Clark dress

The exhibition, curated by Federico Poletti, presents a series of unpublished dresses characterized by the iconic prints of Ossie and Celia.

Glimpse of the Mr and Mrs Clark exhibition. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965 – 1974

Ossie’s dresses have an unmistakable style, the flower power, and are incredibly current, although cuts and shapes are reminiscent of the thirties. With their prints, the bias cuts, the play of colors and transparencies, they are testimony to that lightness and madness of Swinging London, between the miniskirts of Mary Quant, the Beatles, Twiggy, Kings Road and Carnaby Street.


Ossie Clark dress


Ossie Clark dresses

In the exhibition there are the precious sketchbooks of Clark, but also those of Celia Birtwell, two creatives who by meeting have enriched their personalities, nourishing and complementing each other, the talent and genius of the other Ossie had attended the Royal College of Art of Manchester, Celia the Salford Art School of Manchester, where she graduated in Textile Design.

“In art and fashion the role of the muse is often encountered: Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark are one of the famous couples where you will never know where the creativity of one ended and that of the other began.”  Carla Sozzani, President of the Sozzani Foundation.

“Ossie’s shapes and cuts wouldn’t have had the same impact without Celia’s prints.” Federico Poletti, curator of the project


Glimpses of the Mr and Mrs Clark exhibition. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965 – 1974

Ossie Clark dress, alongside a reproduction of a work by David Hockney

Ossie Clark Label


Celia Birtwell sketches

We find the clothes with the patterns that have become cult, such as those of the 1969 Lamborghini Suit, the Monkey Puzzle print, Candy Flowers, Mystic Daisy, etc. etc., a really complete and interesting selection to understand the style, materials, printing and sewing techniques, developed by Ossie and Celia.


Ossie Clark sketches

Ossie Clark sketch

Photo by Jim Lee, dress by Ossie Clark

The exhibition highlights an important group of clothes, in all 40, designed by the London designer and partly from the precious collection of Massimo Cantini Parrini, the famous Italian costume designer, multiple award-winning and repeatedly nominated for the Oscar.

Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell photographed by Norman Bain in London

The exhibition opens with a photo of Celia and Ossie embraced in a portrait of the Norman Bain, from 1967, which summarizes their personal and professional bond in one shot. In the video interview with Celia Birtwell, she says: “Ossie was able to encapsulate my imaginative designs and make them real… Ossie was perhaps the first to put music in a fashion show, to involve models of different ethnicities, who danced during the show. An avant-garde, multicultural phenomenon that gave birth to an entire movement.


Paper dress

Overview of Paper dress


Sketches by Ossie Clark

The last part of the exhibition is the wardrobe which includes 10 paper dresses, a perfect representation of the sense of cultural and social renewal that was pressing in the 1960s. The new generations became the most assiduous consumers of these colorful and cheap clothes, capable of conveying the political and cultural messages of the time.

“I am thrilled with this project which is meant to be a celebration of his life. It is important to keep Ossie’s flame burning so that his work is not forgotten Professionals and students can learn a lot from his modeling and his style … “ Celia Birtwell, Ossie Clark’s wife and author of prints and fabrics

Ossie Clark

For those who love fashion it is an exhibition not to be missed, but also for anyone who loves beauty and history.

Good life to everyone!



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