Milan, Sozzani Foundation: Mr&Mrs Clark

January 16, 2023 - April 23, 2023

Mr & Mrs Clark: the iconic exhibition lands in Milan, from January the 16th till April the 10th, 2023

“Mr & Mrs Clark. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints 1965-1974”: the project, happening thanks to the Textile Museum of Prato and the prestigious Sozzani Foundation, arrives in Milan in Corso Como 10.
A high turnout of people for the inauguration, which was held on Sunday the 15th, January 2023. Also there, the Director of the Textile Museum, together with his staff, and the Mayor of the City of Prato, Matteo Biffoni.
The exhibition and the book, edited by Federico Poletti, enhance through various exhibition materials – like sketchbooks and period photos – an important nucleus of clothes designed by the London stylist, all of this coming from the collection of Massimo Cantini Parrini (famous and award-winner costume designer), Lauren Lepire (founder of the Timeless Vixen vintage store in Los Angeles), from the archives of Celia Birtwell and the Clark family.
A story – made up of clothes and pictures – about the Swinging London of 1970s English fashion formed by Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark, one of the first examples of creative couples who worked together complementing each other.

The exhibition

The Textile Museum, in collaboration with the Sozzani Foundation and the Massimo Cantini Parrini Archive, dedicated the first exhibition ever held in Italy to the clothes designer Ossie Clark and his life and atelier partner Celia Birtwell, two absolute protagonists of the London scene and pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s.
With the patronage of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the exhibition arrives in Milan on January the 15th at the Sozzani Foundation.
“Mr & Mrs Clark” tells the journey of this two creatives, exploring both the genius of Celia’s design, who developed prints inspired by nature and the artistic avant-garde, and the talent of Ossie who, with his mastery in cuts and modeling, gave life to sensual and feminine clothes.
Their union, even in private life, was immortalized by David Hockney in the famous painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, (1970-71, kept at the Tate Britain in London), which represents not only a portrait of two stylists but also the manifesto of a new creative class between art and fashion. In this sense, in the preface of the book published by Silvana Editoriale, Carla Sozzani writes: “Ossie and Celia are also the story of a special alchemy, one of the first examples of creative couples who worked together to complement each other in total harmony. Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark are one of those celebrity couples where you won’t ever be able to tell where one’s creativity ended and the other’s began.”
For the Milan exhibition, the volume published and distributed by Silvana Editoriale will be available: “Mr & Mrs Clark. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Fashion and Prints” narrates the artistic and personal partnership of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell through essays, interviews and a rich iconographic documentation. Edited by Federico Poletti, with the artistic direction of Claudio dell’Olio, the volume traces the story of this English couple, who gave rise to an unmistakable style, leaving a mark on the fashion of the period, moving between Mary Quant’s miniskirt and the subversive punk movement of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. With the help of Cristina Giorgetti, Beatrice Manca, Antonio Mancinelli, Suzy Menkes, Renata Molho and Arianna Sarti, the volume not only represents the natural conclusion of the exhibition, but is also an important bibliographic tool to understand the importance of this couple sometimes ignored by the critics.
The distinguished journalist and critic Suzy Menkes, who was one of the first to witness the performances of Ossie and Celia, visited the exhibition at the Textile Museum and declared: “This young couple produced images for a rapidly changing society, creating a new epicenter of design in West London. Portobello Road area was the place where our younger generation started to sow and grow. It was thanks to Ossie’s ability that fashion was pushed forward, by “just looking at a design and turning it into beautiful fabric,” as Celia put it, adding: “with my creative sketching and cutting skills, we have created a brilliant team that embodied the zeitgeist of young people who wanted to escape post-war restrictions.”


Visit the exhibition

Temporary exhibition from 16 January 2023 to 23 April 2023 at the Sozzani Foundation, Corso Como n. 10, 20154 Milan (MI)

Info Sozzani Foundation


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