Mary Quant (Touring)
“Fashion is not frivolous; it is part of being alive today”
Mary Quant disrupted the fashion establishment, connecting with an energised, youthful audience looking for something fresh and fun. From rising hemlines to androgynous shapes and styling, Quant captured the zeitgeist of the moment.
This exhibition is the first international retrospective on the iconic British designer who started a fashion revolution that a whole generation wanted to take part in.
Quant designed clothes that made people feel good, making quality designer fashion affordable through her playful brand, signified by the trademark daisy.
Quant encouraged a new age of feminism, inspiring young women to rebel against the traditional clothing worn by their mothers and grandmothers. Her shop Bazaar opened in 1955, the year after World War Two food rationing ended, her playful designs a colourful reaction against the drab austerity of post-war London.
Quant is famous for popularising the miniskirt, but her designs offered many different versions of femininity, challenging the conventional gender stereotypes of post-war Britain.
Key objects featured within the exhibition include the pioneering ‘Wet Collection’ PVC rainwear, a jute miniskirt, and designs that playfully subverted menswear – at a time when women were still banned from wearing trousers in formal settings such as restaurants.
Don’t forget you can pair your visit to the exhibition with an afternoon tea extravaganza designed in Mary Quant’s honour, or pick up your own iconic daisy-branded souvenir from the shop.
V&A London, 6 April 2019 to 16 February 2020
Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, Dundee