‘It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are: three: Chanel, Dior and Mary Quant.’ – Ernestine Carter
An international exhibition exploring the work of legendary fashion designer Mary Quant is set to open at the Gallery this summer. Here from the V&A in London, Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary takes a look at the fashion icon who harnessed the youthful spirit of the sixties and embraced new mass production techniques to create a new look for modern women.
Famously modelled by Twiggy, Grace Coddington and more, Mary Quant’s clothes personified the energy and fun of swinging London and Quant became a powerful role model for the working woman. Challenging conventions, she is known as the face of the miniskirt and popularised colourful tights and tailored trousers – encouraging a new age of feminism.
Inspiring young women to rebel against traditional dress worn by their mothers and grandmothers, Quant turned a tiny boutique on the King’s Road, London, into a wholesale brand available in department stores across the UK, US, Europe and Australia. Quant’s success soon hit New Zealand, where her designs made fashion less exclusive and more accessible to a new generation.
Receiving unprecedented access to Dame Mary Quant’s Archive, as well as drawing on the V&A’s extensive fashion holdings, which include the largest public collection of Quant garments in the world, the show will bring together over 120 garments as well as accessories, cosmetics, sketches and photographs.
Mary Quant is a V&A exhibition touring the world.
About the V&A
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 5000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.