If you’re anything like myself, then a world without mini skirts and hot pants is a world I wouldn’t want to live in. If it wasn’t for the revolutionary designer Mary Quant, then they wouldn’t be staple parts in our wardrobes today.
Alongside spending some well needed time in the sun and down the beach this bank holiday weekend, I also took a trip to London to visit the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A. An exhibition honouring her subversive designs and a fashion movement that changed the way we dress forever. Quite possibly, the best £12 I’ve spent in a long time!
An internationally synonymous name, Mary Quant is a joyful reminder of how fun it is to be female and the heart and sole of the swinging sixties in London. It was strikingly clear to see how Quant’s influence continues to shape women’s fashion today – more than half a century after she first made her mark. Most well known for the mini skirt in the sixties, she designed the future, with her silhouettes still being present in out wardrobes today.
With designs often likened to the social liberation of women that occurred during the sixties, however it was an exhibition focussed on showing how Quant’s clothes empowered women, by making them feel confident and independent – something that no other designer had been able to do before. Quant made her ranges easily accessible to women from all walks of life from models and film stars all the way to teachers and nurses, Bazaar was an inclusive fashion brand that every women felt proud to wear.
Post war, in an age where it was rare to see female entrepreneurs, she made her mark, becoming a pioneering business women, her optimism and confidence was refreshing for everyone to see. Owning a dress from Bazaar quickly became the pinnacle of fashion ambition.
The V & A called in on the public for donations of Quants clothes for display, curating an unforgettable exhibition. Featuring over 200 objects, not only showcasing her incredible designs, but is also charted her rise to success, sharing stories from customers, friends, and colleges. A fascinating overview of her most iconic work. Quants designs helped to sustain the British textile industry in the difficult post war years.
I left the exhibition with a spring in my step and more inspiration and motivaition for that matter, than I have done in a long time. Nearly 65 years after opening her first shop, Mary Quant still has the ability to empower women.
She freed women from rules and regulations. Curating a global style that still remains today.