Mary Quant Exhibition At The V&A

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967  © PA Prints 2008

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967

© PA Prints 2008

 

From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and makeup, discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer's personal archive.

One of the most iconic fashion designers of the 1960s, Mary Quant’s clothing was critical to the swinging sixties. She personified the energy and fun of swinging London; and was a powerful role model for the working woman. Challenging conventions, she popularised the miniskirt, colourful tights and tailored trousers – encouraging a new age of feminism. The mini skirt would go on to become an icon of the time and spark a new creative scene in London and beyond.

 
The whole point of fashion is to make fashionable clothes available to everyone.
— Mary Quant
 
Mary Quant at her apartment in Draycott Place, Chelsea, London, c.1965  © Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

Mary Quant at her apartment in Draycott Place, Chelsea, London, c.1965

© Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

 

As the first international retrospective on the iconic fashion designer, the exhibition will include the largest public collection of Quant garments in the world, as well as accessories, cosmetics, sketches and photographs - the majority of which have never been on display before.

The beginning of the exhibition will set the scene of post-war London for the opening of Quant’s experimental shop Bazaar, on Chelsea’s King’s Road in 1955. Her designs inspired young women to rebel against wearing clothes their mothers and grandmothers would wear. From small boutique to international label, Quant revolutionised British fashion with energy, flair and rebellion.

 
Three models wearing underwear designed by Mary Quant, c. 1966  © Otfried Schmidt/ullstein bild/Getty Images

Three models wearing underwear designed by Mary Quant, c. 1966

© Otfried Schmidt/ullstein bild/Getty Images

 

Mary Quant
Gallery 40, V&A
6 April 2019 – 16 February 2020

vam.ac.uk/maryquant
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