Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A

May 9, 2019

I'm a massive Mary Quant fan, and have been since I was a teenager. Not only of her designs, but her fearless approach to setting women free from constraints. Be those social constraints (women shouldn't be in business) or physical constraints, having to wear corsetry and stockings every day like their mothers - hence her invention of tights and making hemlines higher. She changed women's attitude to clothes and reinvented how we wore make-up. Out with the old pancake foundations - in with light natural-looking faces. Out with old brush-on cakey mascara - in with waterproof. She even had her own tanning line in the 1960s. We were liberated from backcombed bouffants and let loose with Sassoon bobs. It's now a classic look, but at the time it was revolutionary.

 

Her window displays also caused much consternation. Bowler-hatted, middle-aged men took to rapping the window of her shop Bazaar with their brollies to emphasise their outrage at this new look.

 

After spending years collecting Mary’s designs, cosmetics and advertising pieces, 21 pieces from my collection are on show at an exhibition in the V&A in London. I'm delighted she's getting the recognition she deserves. The exhibition is beautiful, lovingly curated by Jenny Lister who came to Dublin to visit me, and displayed with the kind of fun you'd expect to see at a Mary Quant fashion show. 

 

https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/mary-quant

 

 

 

 

 

 

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