British Style on a Budget: Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo

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Preview of Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo

Big news in the recessionista fashion world, iconic designer Celia Birtwell is launching a new budget fashion collection with Japanese brand Uniqlo.  Ms. Birtwell has previously done collections for Express in the US and Topshop & John Lewis in the UK.  Her Topshop collections were sellouts.  Vintage collectors know Ms. Birtwell well. She was one of the most original and famous designers of the 1960s, along with her husband Ossie Clark.  Her beautiful prints were worn by  celebrities from Jane Birken to Twiggy.  From the preview pictures, it looks like the Uniqlo collection will feature Ms. Birtwell’s distinctive prints on pants, t-shirts, blouses and leggings.   My spies tell me that the collection will be in Uniqlo stores March 11th and priced from $10.00 to $40.00.   I don’t know about you dear reader, but I can’ t help but wonder HOW Uniqlo keeps prices so low.

Ms. Birtwell is a fashion legend, so we are lucky to get a bit more of her style at affordable prices.   Her vintage garments sell for hundreds, even thousands of dollars.   Her designs are featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. “I’ve spent my life designing textiles so I have quite a big archive,” Ms. Birtwell told British Vogue. “I was able to go through the library and reference certain moments. When I met the people from Uniqlo Japan, we went through the sketchbooks and reference files together and they hooked into the designs they liked. I then developed those selected specifically for Uniqlo.”

“Most of the prints featured in the collaboration are from my archive collection,” Ms. Birtwell added. “Some are from the Seventies, like Candy Flower and Pretty Woman, but I’ve also added Cherry Spot and Romanian, which are much more recent prints. I think Romanian is one of my favourites.”

For shoppers & fashionistas in Los Angeles,  and around the US (except for New York & San Francisco) we’ll have to look for the Celia Birtwell Uniqlo pieces on eBay.  Uniqlo no longer does mail order in the US.  I look forward to seeing this collection. It’s a fitting follow-up to the Lulu Guinness and Orly Kiely collections for Uniqlo.  Hopefully, I can find some on eBay.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.