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The Ossie Clark Diaries: In Doze Days Hardcover – 22 Oct 1998

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st Edition edition (22 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747539014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747539018
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

22 February 1974. PARIS PARIS PARIS..Dinner with Andy Warhol with David. Buffet rather than a fizzle. Johnny was the hit. Paloma Picasso in an "after Schiaparelli" dress. Yves, Loulou, Nikki, Lagerfeld. Drank too much champagne--David happy."
Ossie Clark was the fashion designer of the Sixties--flamboyant, creative, ethereally beautiful--famed for his snakeskin jackets and feminine, gorgeously romantic dresses. His clothes were all exquisitely cut and fitted in Swinging London by the boy from Cheshire who had always loved to draw--his clients included Mick and Bianca Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Eric Clapton. Together with his wife, Celia Birtwell, who designed many of the fabrics used to make his clothes, Ossie was among the darlings of the social elite. He and Celia were immortalised in hip artist David Hockney's 1971 painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy. A gift to Ossie from Hockney, it was later sold to the Tate Gallery in London in order to finance a house purchase.

Money--the having of it, spending of it, and, ultimately, the lack of it, dominated Ossie's life. A star in the glamorous fashion world of the Sixties, Ossie lived life to the hilt; his lovers included both men and women; his address book was littered with starry contacts--he was, in short, a jet-setter. His explosive diary is full of name-droppings, delicious gossip and, as the years pass, despair. His marriage to Celia foundered over his numerous infidelities, his lack of business sense forced him into bankruptcy, and he could no longer channel his huge talent beyond a few commissions and false hopes and promises. He ended his days in a London council flat which he shared with his boyfriend, who, high on amphetemines one August night in 1996, battered the former icon of fashion to death.

The Ossie Clark Diaries,carefully edited by his friend Henrietta Rous, cover four decades, concentrating mainly on the years from 1974 to 1996. A visual feast, the original diaries were written in different coloured inks, several pages of which are reproduced in the book along with black-and-white photographs of Ossie, his designs, and his friends and patrons over the years. They are immediate, hilarious, and bleak by turns--and superbly capture the spirit of the man and his outrageous times. --Catherine Taylor


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jun. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ozzie's diary not only lets you into his varied life, but gives us a wonderful insight into the decadent world he moved in. He seems to know everyone who was famous and fashionable, David Hockney, the Rolling Stones,everyone who was controversial then, and who's an old biddy now!
He had a strong personality, and was probably someone that you were aware you had to keep on the right side of, but reading his diary made me become tremendously endeared to him very quickly. Throughout the book, his friends in the main stick with him, so I think he was full of bluster more than anything. I once met someone who had been at college with Ozzie, and he said he could cut a piece of leather freehand and stitch a perfect pair of ladie's gloves in an afternoon, and that's a rare talent. When you see the clothes he designed, you can see his massive influence on fashion. He's like John Galliano is now, only without all the good luck.
The diary certainly gives you an idea of a person living their life fully; he didn't suffer from over cautiousness, and just waded into it, not bothering too much about what was round the corner. His life had drastic highs and lows, and the later chapters of the diary are rather sad, but I think that if he'd had longer he'd have been able to turn things round.
Read this book, it's great, and if you don't know who Ozzie was, then be ashamed!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Nov. 1999
Format: Hardcover
At the moment i am doing a project on the ossie clark exhibition in warrington /cheshire. reading this book was very entertaining and gave me lots of backgruondknownledge. My research had shown that he was not really as miserable as he is described in the book. Apart from this ossie clarks life is defenately worth to explore by reading this book. it is a really well layouted and well written book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The Life That Wasn't Enough. 20 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A moving and exasperating account of a life both extraordinary and painfully mundane. Ossie Clark's diaries speak of luxurious holidays and parties with Mick and Bianca Jagger and thier contemporaries; he was the pearl in the oyster of the late sixties and seventies fashion jet set. He was hugely influential, yet lived most of his life as a financial disaster. The diaries detail an intense lifelong rivalry with artist David Hockney, bankruptcy, poverty, dole offices and days without food. He was a man who was actively and promiscuously gay, yet had a lifelong love for Celia Birtwell the mother of his two sons. Clark writes unflinchingly of his drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, depression and failure. His life was a consistent fight with his darker sides yet reveals an incredible ability to seek optimism and joy in life's simpler pleasures. A true product of his time, he was a genius and an irresponsible hedonist.
The diaries come to an abrupt end when Clark is murdered by his boyfriend.
Ossie Clark's diaries provide an intimate look at a life which should have been much greater and far more rewarding than it was.
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