Celia Birtwell at Cecil Beaton's home, Reddish House, in 1971. This photo was taken by him and Celia is wearing an Ossie Clark dress made from her Black-eyed Susan print.
"Celia in Peel Park in her Burberry raincoat," age 15.
Being a very lucky girl, I was sent a copy of the new book on Celia Birtwell, published by Quadrille, to look over. As a long-time fan of her textile prints, it was truly a treat to spend time with this beautiful book. Written by Dominic Lutyens (one of the authors of the truly fantastic 70s Style and Design) in conjunction with Celia, the book is a revealing look into her life. While there was not much information that I was not aware of previously (considering I am a bit of an Ossie Clark obsessive), there are lots of new and intriguing quotes from Celia and friends such as David Hockney.
"Amanda Lear modelling a silk-satin Chinoiserie-inspired print by Celia on an Ossie trouser suit worn with a matching scarf."
Celia and Blanche in her workroom at Linden Gardens.
"Ossie and Celia on holiday in Spain in the late 60s - in Granada (top and bottom) and Malaga (centre). The palm trees she saw there inspired Celia's late 60s print, Petit Palms, shown here in the background."
The book is beautifully designed- overlaying personal snapshots on to full-bleed images of her textiles, and there are often multiple representations of one design (original sketch, fabric and photo of completed garment) which helps to greatly improve ones understanding of her process and the design itself. Most exciting for me, though, are the photos, many never before published, of Celia, Ossie and other well-known friends just hanging out. They are incredibly vibrant and full of life- Celia's innate stylishness, along with her beauty, is enthralling.
Celia photographed by David Hockney in San Francisco, 1973.
"Celia's late 60s sketches including her Cubist-inspired, geometric Plastic Buildings..."
I don't have access to a working scanner at the moment, so please forgive the photos taken on my phone- but I hope that these images help to wet your appetite for this lovely book.
Celia in a Mystic Daisy print Ossie Clark dress at her wedding to Ossie at Kensington Registry Office in 1969. The only guests were his sister, Kay (also in an Ossie & Celia dress), and David Hockney.
Celia and David in Paris, 1970. Photographed by Hockney's then-boyfriend, Peter Schlesinger.
"Celia at Glyndebourne, 1970, photographed by Schlesinger."
"Celia's lovely photographs of model Gala Mitchell in 1969 in a dress combining her prints Golden Slumbers and Michelmas Daisy. Gala was posing in the Kingston garden of Sheila Oldham, former wife of Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones' manager."
"Celia at Paris restaurant La Closerie des Lilas circa 1972. She and Hockney loved eating out together in Paris."
"Celia in her interiors shop (a former marble-cutters') at 71 Westbourne Park Road, London in 1984 before it was redecorated. It opened that year."
All images taken by Laura McLaws Helms of photographs and sketches in the book, Celia Birtwell (2011).
Labels: 1970s, 60s, books, cecil beaton, celia birtwell, david hockney, dominic lutyens, gala mitchell, Ossie Clark, textiles