Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A museum

Take a peek inside the Mary Quant exhibition, exploring how the pioneer fashion designer shook up the British high street.

Mary Quant exhibition

Mary Quant at the V&A museum celebrates the work of the Dame Mary Quant, one of Britain’s best-known designers. With over 200 garments and accessories, the enormous display demonstrates Dame Mary Quant’s influence on the British fashion and the women of this era.

Mary Quant exhibition

The exhibition explores the years between 1955 and 1975, when Dame Mary Quant introduced the waterproof mascara, miniskirts, hot pants, womenswear with masculine lines and patterned tights. All these items are considered classical now, but her innovative ideas revolutionized the British fashion back then.

Mary Quant exhibition
Mary Quant exhibition
Mary Quant exhibition

While Britain was recovering from the Second World War, she designed clothes that were a resistance to the post-war depression. Her collections breathed optimism for new beginnings, the possibility of a better life, and higher education. The timing was absolutely perfect, as her joyful approach to fashion matched the youthful spirit of the sixties and the seventies, and the rising of pop culture.

Mary Quant exhibition
Mary Quant exhibition

She is a powerful role model for working women, setting new rules in fashion and challenging gender roles. Dame Mary Quant helped to pioneer mass-market clothes, making fashion less exclusive and more accessible to a younger audience.

Mary Quant exhibition
Mary Quant exhibition
Mary Quant exhibition

“The whole point of fashion is to make fashionable clothes available to everyone.”

Mary Quant

The exhibition is divided in two parts. The first one sets the scene of the post-war London when she opened her experimental boutique and depicts how her early designs disrupted the fashion industry. The second part of the exhibition introduces us to the transformation of the boutique into a global label, presenting from working clothes to home-wear, make-up and toys.

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The exhibition Mary Quant at the Victoria &Albert museum runs from April 6 to February 16, 2020. More here.

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– Angeliki