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Ossie Clark, Top 1960s Fashion Designer, Found Murdered

August 9, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ Ossie Clark, one of the big names of 1960s fashion design, has been found stabbed to death in his London apartment.

Clark’s body was found there Wednesday, and a man has been arrested and charged with his murder, police said Thursday.

Clark, 54, became an icon in swinging 1960s London when Britain threw off the last of post-war austerity, eased its moral stays and became a world leader in fashion, rock music and youth culture.

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Jagger’s ex-wife Bianca, movie star Elizabeth Taylor, rock musician Jimi Hendrix and fashion model Jean Shrimpton were among those for whom he designed clothes for.

Following on from the miniskirt, that pert embodiment of early 1960s street chic, Clark was credited with reinventing the midiskirt. It was a big fashion hit in the era of the 1967 movie ``Bonnie and Clyde,″ in which actress Faye Dunnaway wore the original 1930s style.

Clark was a brilliant designer but a poor businessman. Inflation hit his business hard in the 1970s and by the early 1980s he was bankrupt.

Although the fashion press periodically predicted a comeback, he never again made center stage in the design world.

Scotland Yard named the unemployed man charged Thursday with murdering him as 28-year-old Diego Cogolato. Police gave no details about a possible motive or about the accused man.

Clark lived alone at the apartment, part of a west London municipal housing development.

He and his wife, fabric designer Celia Birtwell, divorced in 1975. He is survived by her and their two sons.

Funeral arrangements were not available.

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