Celia Birtwell is a legendary name when it comes to fashion, print and textiles. In the 60’s and 70’s she created the beautiful, iconic prints that adorned the clothing designs of her husband, Ossie Clark. These were the styles that totally dominated the era, worn by Twiggy, Marianne Faithful, Anita Pallenberg and Patti Boyd amongst others. Vintage dresses designed by Clark and Birtwell are now highly sort after, Kate Moss famously wore one the day before her wedding to Jamie Hince, but if you can’t afford a vintage piece, the good news is that Celia has collaborated with high street store Next on a collection that certainly brings to mind the beauty of the hippie era, with trademark prints and exquisite cuts in the form of maxi dresses and skirts, beautiful blouses, and even the odd mini or two.
I took a trip to Birmingham’s Bullring earlier this week, and saw some of the collection in the flesh, although it has to be said it is far more extensive online. The pieces are just what you would expect from a Celia Birtwell collection (she has previously collaborated with Topshop and Uniqlo), that is, it is full of floaty fabrics and prints that range from small and discreet, to loud and ostentatious. The styles are also flattering, empire style maxi dresses which are also stretchy in fabric, wrap styles that bring to mind that Kate Moss dress, and lots of floaty blouses that will look equally good tucked into jeans for a more fitted look, or worn loose and flowing over denim cut offs as we turn to Spring.
The collection has a definite Spring feel to it, although there are some longer sleeves and darker shades more suitable to Winter. Florals are the main source of print, although there are some dotted pieces too. The overall feel is of a lovely, retro inspired collection that still has a modern touch, almost vintage without the mothballs!
You can view the entire collection here.