Decades of the Maxi Dress: Ossie Clark London SS14 Collection

The maxi dress is a summer wardrobe essential – the perfect piece to take you stylishly from beach to bar or a glamorous show stopper for a special occasion, as well as figure flattering and a fashion trend that never goes out of style.

This season Ossie Clark London has a wealth of beautiful bold, bright and vibrant printed maxi dresses. With elements of Ossie’s classic pattern cutting from halter necks to chiffon floaty sleeves and sash to paneled waists. Each maxi dress from Ossie Clark London’s SS14 collection epitomizes ultra retro glamour combined with contemporary twists, as well as following Ossie’s philosophy of showcasing the feminine form.

A Brief History of the Maxi Dress:

In the 1940s, Hollywood starlets and stylish socialites wore brightly coloured long & full-tiered skirts with designers drawing inspiration from traditional Native American and Southwestern designs.

The dress hemline gradually rose from the ankle up during the 1950s and 1960s, from midi length to the infamous sixties mini. The revival of the maxi dress is often associated with the 1970s era however it was actually the end of the 1960s which saw women embracing the colourful flowing maxi dress and leading fashion designers, including Ossie Clark, sending hemlines back down to the floor. The 1960s film Dr Zhivago is often credited with the popularity of the maxi dress, as fans of the film craved the romance of the film’s female star Julie Christie’s flowing gowns.

By the mid 1970s maxi dresses were everywhere and had gained a whole new generation of fans, as women everywhere sought out comfortable alternatives to the mini-skirts, in the form of sweeping paisley to psychedelic prints and designs. In the 1980s maxis were banished to the sidelines with the power suits and shoulder pads taking center stage. The grunge style of the 1990s also saw the romance of the maxi dress overshadowed.

However the mid- Noughties saw the maxi dress back with Kate Moss leading the trend by sporting a stunning maxi dress to a wedding in Ibiza in 2006 and since then the maxi has dominated the international designer catwalks.

Today, maxi dresses are rather more glamorous than the originals. Fabrics used are lightweight cottons, beautiful silks and chiffons, meaning the wearer is cool and breezy. Silhouettes tend to be sleeker and less free-flowing and more refined. Colours are bolder, prints are chic and details are more polished.

Modern maxi dresses can be dressed up or down with the simple change of accessories. For casual chic pair with some stunning bangles and sandals or dressed up with some statement jewellery and wedges.

The maxi dress can work for all shapes and sizes – showcasing your best assets while covering up those insecurities.

Take style inspirations from these fashion icons below who have sported a maxi dress on and off the red carpet. Create your own boho chic look or iconic Hollywood glamour and be sure to turn heads with Ossie Clark London’s SS14 maxi dress collection.

Check out the Ossie Clark London SS14 range at www.ossieclarklondon.co.uk

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