celia birtwell, design iconoclast

celia birtwell muse of david hockney, partner of legendary u.k., swinging-sixties style maker, ossie clark is one of textile design's most important influences of her generation (wow. there's a run on sentence for you). birtwell's strong influence bridged interior and fashion design. bringing the boho chic flavor of the british invasion from rock and roll, through fashion and into interiors.
her name might not immediately ring a bell.
she's not out pandering herself to bravo! for a reality show. she's not selling herself out to target. she doesn't really need to. she, is one, if not THE grand dame of british textile design and fashion.
in the days of paloma picasso, bianca jagger, marainne faithful, and mary quant to name a few, birtwell was the go-to style maker (and to think rachel zoe would be considered this now--cringe).
birtwell is a true, fine artist. a history maker and style creator. she was the reason for the whole rock and roll hippy meets romantic optimism look that prevailed the late 60s and early 70s.
her fabrics are still widely used (my favorites are the beasties prints which are based on a 16th century victoria and albert print - i have my current office swathed in one of them)
she recently collaborated with topshop to re-issue some of her classic fashion designs and scarves. you can also check topshop to see a retrospective video clip of her work and even download groovy wallpaper for you computer.
i'm super excited as i may have an opportunity to meet ms. birtwell at an upcoming show at the suzan fellman show room. what a brush with fame that will be. fellman will be debuting an exclusive line of furniture and home decor inspired by birtwell's work. (open to the public, november 16th)


cotedetexas said…
Is that her fabric behind the scarves? They have rolls of that at this discount place here and it's always stood out there among the rolls and rolls of absolute dreck.
Style Court said…
Excellent post Megan. Hope you get to meet her!
Unknown said…
She sounds awesome. I'm afraid I must admit I don't know anything about her - shame on me. Thanks to you I will now do some research and catch up. Thanks
Just realized I didn't have you on my blog roll - shame, shame again. I've corrected the over site.
Anonymous said…
Great post, love the beasties paper.
The Spicers said…
Love love love Celia Birtwell, but I bought one of her Topshop blouses and my finger poked a hole through the thin fabric just taking it out of the box.

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