Rebirthing the Ossie Clark label as a twenty-first-century concern was always going to be a tough one. In many ways, it's the lower-budget British equivalent of the conundrum confronting Halston in New Yorkexcept in this case, the Israeli designer Avsh Alom Gur has at least been given a second stab at it. This season was his first proper runway show, and what was up there only served to outline the difficulties in appeasing the hot (and potentially indignant) emotions roused among the over-fifties who loved Ossie in the seventies, while also trying to pique the interest of new generations for whom the name is only vaguely recognizable.
Oddly enough, some of the better parts of the collectionminimal, fluid dresses, falling from the shoulders in solid colors like damson or graycame over more like last season's Halston than an Ossie homage. True, vintage-reference spotters might have been pleased by the soft grass-green jumpsuit with a bloused waistline and ruffle neck or a shorts version in orange (just enough of them and believably right for now). On the other hand, anyone who owns a treasured Ossie scattered with one of his wife Celia Birtwell's delicately romantic prints would have been nonplussed by the desultory, schematic flowers on Gur's offerings. (It wouldn't be right to want a Celia copy, since she's very much alive and working in her own right. But then, anything done in the name of her late husband surely deserves something with more verve and character, even if it's wholly different.) The fillers in the shape of simple cowl-necked dresses and knits didn't help clarify matters. It's not that they didn't look like Ossie Clarkthey didn't look like anything. At a time when women are looking to make every purchase matter, that lack of identityeither old or newis a problem.