Friday, 2 August 2013

Charity Shop Gold - My Ossie Clark Bargain


 Designer labels, pah! Who frickin' cares what's written inside your clothes? If someone only likes you for the labels you wear they're not worth knowing in the first place.

I know, I've said it often enough but today I'm going to have to eat my words. 


Long before I got into period clothing (as vintage was known as back in the 1970s & 1980s) this David Hockney print of Mr And Mrs Clark And Percy hung on my bedroom wall. As a 12 year old I hadn't any concept of either Ossie Clark or Celia Birtwell, I just liked the cat, the fact they had the same rotary dial phone as we did and that the floor length shuttered windows reminded me of those at my Grandparents' home.


As I got older I discovered the genius of Ossie but never imagined I'd ever own anything myself. I've read of people finding Ossie Clark at car boot sales and jumble sales but that was in fashionable parts of London, not working class towns in the industrial Midlands.


That's until today when I picked up this beauty for an amazing £12 in a local chazza.


I've got to be honest with you, it's not just down to luck and great charity shopping skills.


The lady who'd owned my Ossie and Tuesday's Janice Wainwright from new had me in mind when she donated her beloved maxis, she and I know each other from chatting in charity shops and she'd asked the manager to keep them aside for me to have first refusal. Striking up a conversation with almost everyone I meet certainly has it's advantages!


Even if it hadn't got the Ossie Clark label I'd have bought it - it's one of the most gorgeous dresses I've ever had to privilege to try on.


I bought this dress from the same chazza five years ago (for a fiver) and often wondered if it's also an Ossie. The maker's name has been removed but comparing it to my latest buy the moss crepe care label is identical.

Ossie Clark for Radley moss crepe maxi worn with Mongolian lamb boa (20p, jumble sale), LAMB bangle (free with a perfume promotion years ago), candy coloured platforms (£5, local boutique), massive hair flower (£1, Scope)

If that's not enough excitement I'm catching the train and meeting some fabulous bloggers in another country (Wales!) tomorrow.  I'd better go and dust off my passport!

Have a fab weekend and see you soon!

Updated to link to Spy Girl's Tutti Frutti 52 Pick-Me-Up

85 comments:

  1. It is a completely stunning dress. An Ossie Clark, woo hoo! Labels are of interest if you like the designer and their work, and Ossie is iconic. How kind of the lady who donated this dress and the Janice Wainwright to want you to have first refusal - and you're right, that's not entirely about luck, that's about you being delightful and friendly and chatty. Good for you - nice things DO happen to nice people!
    You look amazing in yellow, the style is SO you, it could have been designed with you in mind. Just fabulous. Hope the other dress is an Ossie too!
    Now get yourself ready for those cheeky Welsh types in Wetherspoons, give the gals a hug from me, and have a great day! xxxxx

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  2. I'm FIRST! I'm never first. So that's a first!
    Love ya! xxxxxx

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  3. OMG!!! The dress is wonderful and it was meant to be yours, it fits like a dream and the colour is fab!!The lady has been very clever to tell that was yours, it's an unique creation that you made even more beautiful with your accessories and your stunning presence!! I always loved the David Hockney's portrait of Ossie and Celia, so cool that you owned a print when you were a little girl! The other dress you bought few years ago is great too and at first sight it looks like a designer's work, it makes me think of Biba, but also Ossie Clark made really similar prints, anyway it's fabulous!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend
    Love xxxxxxx

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  4. Wow, an Ossie Clark dress - how amazing is that. Plus you look totally fabulous in it - love the colour on you, too

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  5. That is an incredible dress! The colour is fantastic and so summery!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  6. That dress is gorgeous -- you wear it as well as it wears you. It also goes to prove the theory of good karma.

    In my world, "period dress" is what you resort to at a specific time each month when you're feeling bloated and your life is a bit messier... color me crass!

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  7. My God! You lucky thing! What an awesome find! It's a stunning dress, I really love the colour. It looks like it fitw perfectly too. But even if it didn't you'd MAKE it fit. The other dress is very romantic and beautiful and by the sounds of it, another bargain. Have an amazing time in Cardiff tomorrow, I wish I was going!!

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  8. OK, take back what I just wrote on your Facebook page. Ossie was indeed a genius at making such feminine dresses but the closest I've ever gotten to one was seeing them recently in the Hippie Chic exhibition. So happy that this dress was saved for you -- and that it fits!
    Have fun in Wales!

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  9. Fantastic find and looks like it was meant for you, simply gorgeous ~ so neat to hear your story tying in the painting, have a great weekend!

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  10. Vix absolute beauty!!!! So pleased for you. Yeyyy!!! For the chazza's we love ya xxxx oh and as for chatting to everyone think you know me well ;) you can never have too many friends xx

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  11. Wow, wow, WOW! What a stunner, both you and the dress! And it fits you perfectly. Incredible! Love your hair and shoes, too. It's all just too divine!

    Have fun in Wales, one of my fave destinations. :)

    XXXXX

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  12. It is a beautiful dress on you in deed. What a great colour. Lucky you for having friends in the right places!

    Enjoy your visit with blogging friends in Wales. Oh, it sounds like such an exotic getaway to my ears and I wish I was there too.

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  13. You look STUNNING in that dress. Good luck sleuthing the mystery dress, I hope it is an Ossie.

    I LUUUURVE reading your blog. Keep those gorgeous posts coming!!

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  14. Oh my goodness how exciting and fabulous. The dress is all sorts wonderful. What a wonderful thing that they were held aside for you, it certainly does pay to get chatting and be nice. Whether it be a fabulous labelled dress like that hello beauty or not, it's nice to be thought of.

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  15. How thrilling is that!
    And how delightful that the previous owner gave you first dibs! There must be some kind of resource you could use to authenticate the other frock.

    http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1250_ossieclark/

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  16. Double treat is that you know the history of the gorgeous dress! It looks made for you! Wonderful score- not the label but everything- the beauty of it, and the quality and style of it. Lovely you are!

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  17. Bloody hell Vix! What a find! I saw an Ossie Clark dress in a Celia Birtwell print in a vintage fair and the seller wanted £700!! You look absolutely fabulous in the yellow maxi and I think you might be onto something with that other floral number. Little fashion tidbit for you - Mr V's mum owned a clothes shop and stocked Ossie back in the 70s. She came to know that couple in your picture quite well and had quite a few stories to tell about him!

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  18. I love that you know the provenance of that fabulous frock. Bet Ossie is grinning down at you in that, going "That's how it should be worn! "
    Z xx

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  19. Looks like it was made for you. How wonderful of that lady to ask them to keep it aside for you.

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  20. What an uplifting post!!! I love that kind of thrilling find! I love that hockney painting too.. I didn't realise the subject was a designer...

    Great to have a bright yellow sunshiney dress like that - how fortunate that you have the figure that can wear it like a dream!
    Happy Days!

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  21. Not at all surprised that you got a wonderful dress to the. Fact you wore a size 12, you look so tiny

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  22. @Ronnie - vintage dress sizes bear no relation to contemporary ones. An early 1970s UK 12 is a modern size 8! x

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  23. Love your new dress, the colour is perfect! Have fun in Wales, hope the weather is lovely for you! :)

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  24. you took my breath away you look so beautiful - well done, you and this dress were clearly meant to be together! x have fun in Wales x

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  25. this dress is totally awesome and fits you like a glove ... to be true, i still don't care that much about the label but i really love the story that the owner asked the people from the store to keep it for you.
    :)

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  26. Lovely dress, so pretty!

    Kisses
    http://www.thetrendysurfer.com/

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  27. It is so great that you got those dresses and that the lady had you in mind because she had chatted to you. You are the perfect owner. Nobody else would do them justice like you do and she can feel happy that they are going to a great home. Happy ending!

    We rarely see you in yellow, but you look great in it. Ozzy Clark is fashion design royalty, that picture used to fascinate me too. That other chiffon dress is beautiful too, wouldn't it be fabulous if you could find a provenance for it? Are there any experts who could give an opinion I wonder? xxxxx

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  28. I am positively GRASS GREEN with envy at your marvelous Ossie Clark score!!! It is a thrill when you find a truly spectacular vintage piece at a thrift store, but if the style doesn't suit you, or it doesn't fit, it definitely dampens one's enthusiasm. This dress looks like it was made just for you! How lovely of that woman to ask for her donations to be set aside for you. It shows how you never know what might come from making even the smallest connection with someone.

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  29. I agree with everyone else.........that dress has just been waiting to find you all these years.

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  30. You need to learn Swedish. I have no words for praises in English available anymore.

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  31. This is an amazing dress and what a nice Lady to let you have first pick, wow!
    I love yellow, it's so stunning, a lot people don't even dare to wear yellow, you with panache, this dress was for you!

    Have a good trip in Wales!

    Ariane xxxxx

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  32. stunning! and absolutely made for you - a match for the ages. xoxox

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  33. Gorgeous dress, it fits you perfectly! I always say "teach me how to shop" but now I have to ask you to take me with you because I never seem to find such amazing bargains! I've never found and Ossie for less than £200 hence why I don't own one. I agree with you though, even if it didn't have his name it would still be a dress worth buying, it's beautiful! xxx

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  34. Oh my GOD you melt my eyes with your gorgeousness!!! The yellow gown is sexy and sassy and who else could wear that but you! The story behind it and the fact that you might own not ONE but TWO....oh you are not eating your words at all you can love certain designers and not be a label whore :) you are far from that my dear.

    I'm just staring now at your green boa and velvet choker, my god the big yellow flower too, you are delicious! Have so much fun with the ladies, you will stop traffic I'm sure.
    LOVEYOUXXXXOOOOO

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  35. That dress could have been made for you Vix, everything about it suits you perfectly, your floaty romantic dress is a real beauty too. How nice that its original owner asked for it to be kept by for you, it just shows how well known and well liked you are by the people around you. I agree that labels are unimportant but you can still get a buzz from finding a great bargain by someone whose work you've always really admired. Have a great time in Wales, I hope the sun shines for you! xx

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  36. Wow just wow, that's all I can say.

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  37. This was so meant to be - I am so happy this dress found you Vix. What a real gem! And gosh Ossie and Celia, I love the story of it hung on your wall! Love the LAMB bangle, I think Gwen would be envious xxx

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  38. It's ok to go all gaga over something special. The dress is beautiful and you've styled perfectly.

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  39. I can't add a THING to what everyone else has already said. It & YOU are gorgeous. And it's true--striking up conversations and creating connections of interest & generosity with lots of people creates a lot of "luck"!

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  40. That is so sweet that the previous owner wanted you to have first dibs. You are so beautiful and such a nice person. She wanted her Ossie to have a nice home. And it now it clearly does.

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  41. Gee, Vix, I saw this on FB - what a find! I'm sure Ossie and Celia couldn't find anyone more worthy and gorgeous for this dress. xo

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  42. I agree that labels are unimportant but isn't it lovely to feel the quality? How amazing to score an original Ossie, so glad it went to you, you look sensational in it. The other chiffon-y frock is gorgeous also, have we seen you in it? Enjoy Wales.

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  43. Chazza shop gold!! You look gorgeous.
    Twiggyx

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  44. Stunning, looks like it was made for you! I'm delighted for you - an Ossie was a holy grail for you wasn't it? What a steal x

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  45. You are a legend! That's how I would have described your frock ferreting skillz as a surfie teenager, and I think it's the only way I can describe them now too!

    Dress looks gorgeous on you too, obviously very happy in its new home and no doubt thrilled to be out and about again after so long cooped up in someone's cupboard.

    xx

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  46. Beautiful dress! I think it is my most favourite out of all the dresses I've seen you wear. It really looks like it was made for you. You look great in yellow, and that must have been so exciting to find an actual dress by Ossie Clark himself! I can only dream of finding something like that here in Australia. xx

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  47. Standing ovation over here!!!!!! What fantastic luck you have! In fact, as you say, it's not so much luck. It's being such a sunshiny, delicious wench that brings so much joy to others you meet, they just WANT to make sure they can do their bit to ensure their eyes and hearts are satiated at all times. xoxoxoxoxo

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  48. I've got to admit I've never heard of Ossie Clark. All I know is you look amazing in that dress! Xx

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  49. Oh Vix I read this and could feel the excitement when you saw this amazing dress and then the label.......amazing. Have only seen one Ossie Clark dress here and it was so so expensive.
    I love that this dress has come to such a amazing lady like you.......it really wanted its day in the sun again.
    Love V

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  50. Yours is the best home EVER for this stunning yellow dress. I hope you and Jon go out somewhere special, or at least more special than usual, in this and record all the gasps and awes as you walk by. Gorgeous!!! The hair flower, boa, shoes, couldn't be better. Vintage labels are always okay.

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  51. Lovely dress, yellow definitely suits you. xx

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  52. Oh yes, the dress was made for you. I have read a couple of biographies of Ossie and Celia, and it was a sad story. They were both brilliant designers, and he died very young.
    XXX

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  53. Love the dress but have to confess that i have never heard about the label , but maybee it never was sold here in Sweden .

    Xxx

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  54. what a find! Such a fabulous dress, I hope to find one every time I enter a chazza!

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  55. Wow, what fabulous good luck! And the mystery dress is v intriguing...

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  56. Lucky you and how wonderful of the lady to insist you had first refusal! Both dresses are gorgeous xxxx

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  57. What luck! I would seriously loose my mind if i found something like that in Australia. Anything from London is hard to get down here. I really like crockery so i know what names to look out for and often get little bits for $2 that are worth much more.

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  58. It looks so enchanting on you & you deserve it for all the hard work you put into hitting the charity shops religiously! Have fun in Wales & blow a kiss for me, I love it so & desperately want to visit again... last time was when I was pregnant with my wee Welsh faery! 13.5 years ago! XXX PS the other does look like an Ossie, the pattern looks very Celia Birtwell. I'm still kicking myself for selling (nearly 20 years ago) what I now believe was an Ossie snakeskin coat. Got a pretty penny for it, but I really wanted to keep it & should have regardless of the label (the woman I bought a ton off had all designer goodies from the 60s & 70s, so I'm sure it was, just missing the label.)

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  59. I'm thrilled that you've finally found an Ossie, it's lovely to own something by a designer you admire. To me though, the label is of secondary importance to the fact that that dress fits you like a dream, and is totally YOU. You look absolutely stunning!

    And that dress has definitely found the home it deserves.

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures in Wales.

    Annie xxx

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  60. How stunning and how nice that it was you that she had in mind! Just proves that being friendly has its rewards!x

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  61. Hi my dear!!! So so pleased for you and that this treasure was meant for you too- please say this is a keeper as it looks stunning on you!! After I had found my floral Ossie years ago I also bought your dress in black online but I did sell both in the end!! Beautiful find and have a wonderful weekend!!

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  62. That is the BARGAIN of the century, what an amazing find - and it is brilliant on you! I am tres envious :) xx

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  63. O M FECKING G!!!
    That is SUCH a sexacious frock!! It's a real stunner; fits like a dream, makes you look even MORE fabularse, a divoon colour AND IT'S AN OSSIE CLARK!!!! Holy shitbox! That simply must be THE score of the decade!!!
    Indeed, chatting to everyone you meet has paid off, what a lovely lady!! Surely she must have known she could get some real dollars for it, but no, she handed it in the the local chazza with you name on it!!! BLISS! I'm so excited for you! I also want to touch you, not a little inapropiately!!! Bahaha!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  64. Oh wow, what a score! It was vintage karma that brought the dress to you. How nice of the owner to do that. You look radiant.

    I'm always boasting about the labels in charity shop clothes I buy, because I think people should know about the quality stuff you can find. Bargain boasting.

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  65. Woah - that frock is pure glamour! You look like a 70's movie star - what a score!

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  66. Oh Vix that dress is absolutely beautiful, you are one lucky lady! x

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  67. wouauau, really this is one of my favorite dresses of you!, lovely shape and lovely color and fits you like a dream!, gorgeous!
    and so lovely than somebody kept it for you!, fabulous!
    besos

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  68. That's so cool that the woman put dresses aside, thinking of you, and that the shop owner honored her request. I love stories like this. And the dress looks great on you--glad you got it.

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  69. Beautiful dress and it looks fabulous on you...the yellow!!! Loved the story behind this also. Have fun on your trip. XXX

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  70. One word: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
    Ultimate thrift find!

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  71. The dress is indeed gorgeous and I'm glad that you have a personal connection to it which makes it even more special!

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  72. WOWZERS an Ossie Clark dress, and such a beauty! You're totally stunning in it dear Vix. Like you I don't usually get excited about designers but for Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell I make an exception. I love how you've styled it too, with the green fur and that lovely yellow flower.

    My mum has passed down a blue Ossie Clark skirt to me. It's pretty, but frustratingly it has a big yellow stain down the front of it that both myself and professional cleaners have found impossible to get off, such a shame.

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  73. Now that is charity shop gold, in fact its the stuff of dreams. How many of us have dreamed about a find like this? I certainly have. And you know what? I can't think of a better person than you who deserves such vintage-wonderfulness. You wear it well xxx

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  74. I like you chat to anyone and have the good fortune of the odd shop keeper that stashes things behind the counter waiting for me to call in. Talk about feel special. Your new dress fits you perfectly and you look stunning.

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  75. Holy heck you look gorgeous in that yellow dress. IMMENSELY gorgeous! Loving the green eyeshadow too.

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  76. GAH you're sexy!!! That color looks sooooo awesome on you.

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  77. MAXiMUM LEVELS OF GORGEOUSNESS!!! What a score... & I mean for the dress. Who else besides maybe Cher circa 1973 could do that dress such righteous justice? -xo

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  78. That dress looks like it was made for you!!

    Utterly gorgeous.

    Lx

    http://the-sportista.blogspot.co.uk/

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  79. STUNNINGess and it looks like it was made for YOU!!! Gorgeous color and style--I love it with the bright platforms and boa--gotta vixify it to perfection!!

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  80. That dress was made for you. The colour, the shape-it's a stunner, just like you are. I absolutely love that print, too, something about it always captivates me. xxxxxxx

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  81. Beautiful :) I'm not 1 for designer labels either ... But it's always v nice to find something special :D

    Sorry to hear Jon had some similar problems to mine, glad to hear he's ok though now!! :D

    Sal xx

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  82. OMG-I'm floored!! Krista asked me if I'd seen your OC new dress yet and I said..omg she got an OC!!! So here I am today catching up and drooling! I'm just so glad that it was your size, and that the women who left if for you was such a fashion fairy godmother leaving it for you!! Double dream for you and her. I'm sure it made it easier to part with knowing it was going to you!;) I love his work and think you would have been his perfect muse!:)

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  83. Did I comment earlier? Not sure! This find is outstanding. You look AMAZING in it!
    Re: identical care labels -- chances are that the other dress is an Ossie as well.

    Thanks for linking up with 52 Pick-me-up! You luscious lemon lady you.

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  84. You look eye poppingly (is that a word??) gorgeous in this dress, the colour and style suit you perfectly.

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