Queen of prints Celia Birtwell has just launched Grazia Daily’s new favourite online store where you can purchase not only her new designs but also a selection of unique vintage pieces designed by the iconic designer and her former partner Ossie Clark.
Citing the ‘emotional connection & history behind each piece’ as one of the most exciting parts of the venture, the new online shop has been set up by George and Bella Clark, the son and daughter-in-law of Celia and Ossie. Bella says that ‘for years we had customers offering to sell us their original dresses and telling us their wonderful memories of wearing the pieces, but now it makes sense to bring them back to their original home’. The shop has been launched with consultation from vintage expert Cleo Butterfield who together with her husband Mark runs C20 Vintage Fashion, a vast vintage emporium in Devon which specialises in original Birtwell and Clark. The two pictures above and below were taken by Birtwell in 1968 and show the designer's favourite model Gayla reclining in the sort of awesome pieces which are now coming up for sale on celiabirtwell.com.
Now, aside from team Grazia Daily, we BET we know who is going to be first to click on the all-new CeliaBirtwell.com: none other than Ms. Kate Moss. Mosskins has been a MASSIVE fan of Ossie Clark designs and Celia Birtwell prints for years, visiting the C20 vintage warehouse in Devon in a helicopter and choosing pieces for herself as well as selecting items to inspire her collections for Topshop. We want her life. >sigh<
Moss already has a pretty extensive collection of Clark and Birtwell, from heavy tweedy 70’s jackets to lightweight dresses in Birtwell’s signature floral prints. Mark Butterfield is, understandably, hugely complementary about Kate’s ability to wear the designer’s vintage pieces, commenting on one particular Ossie Clark jacket in the fashion biography Kate Moss Style [full disclosure: written by Grazia Daily's Editor] that ‘even though they’re from that 1970’s period, it doesn’t look like a vintage piece, it looks like it was made for her yesterday.’
Each vintage piece comes with a certificate of authenticity as well as a copy of one of Celia’s archive sketches signed by the lady herself. In fact, the website is just the tip of an enormous Birtwell-print iceberg that’s heading this way for winter 2010, alongside the designer’s boutique in Notting Hill and coming ahead of the launch of a Celia Birtwell retrospective book which is due out in the spring.
You can check out the site here or make an appointment to view the collection (as we imagine the divine Miss Moss will be doing). In addition, if you’re lucky enough to have stumbled upon a piece of vintage Clark or Birtwell, you can submit a form to sell it through the site. Alternatively, of course, you could send it direct to Grazia Daily where we promise to take good care of it.
- Alex Butt