Dame Mary Quant… we all know the name, and probably the daisy motif she became synonymous with. This exhibition at the V&A delivers on who she was, what inspired her and more. Mary Quant was at the forefront of the swinging sixties and post war Britain. She made the Kings Road cool.

“The whole point of fashion is to make fashionable clothes available to everyone” Mary Quant 1966

Mary Quant | Fashion

Mary Quant took her fashion, inspired by Parisian couture, and made London the epicentre of style. The invention of the mini skirt was the liberation women needed. Mary Quant was THE creative influencer of the sixties – everyone wanted her style.

Everywhere, but especially in London, there was this incredible creative movement going on and she was in the middle of it. Most famously Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton wore her clothes with a style that has never been seen since, and continues to be iconic.

If you speak to anyone who lived through this time, as my parents did, they talk about it as just being in the centre of something very special. They hung out with the Beatles, they hung out with John Barry, they hung out with Terry O’Neil. Everyone was cool then, and they all seemed to be in it together riding the wave.

Mary Quant
Mary Quant at the V&A

In 1960 Mary flew to New York. American’s loved her ‘kooky’ look. A look they couldn’t get enough of. By 1965 she was regularly flying back and forth and her clothing could be found all over New York in shop windows.

Mary Quant
Mary Quant (1934-), British fashion designer and fashion icon. Ca. 1970. (Photo by adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images)

Mary Quant |We Want Quant

This was the shout-out by the museum to gather garments for the exhibition. Incredibly, there are so many clothes on loan from women, who still clearly cherish their Mary Quants. Mix that up with the clothing from Mary Quant’s archive and you have an extraordinary curated exhibition.

Mary Quant | We Want Quant
Mary Quant at the V&A

Mary Quant | Chelsea

Chelsea ceased to be a small part of London; it became international: it’s  name interpreted a way of living and a way of dressing”

Mary Quant put Chelsea on the map in the sense of fashion and style. Between her and Terence Conran, they were Chelsea for style. Conran for home design and Quant for fashion. The other exhibition worth seeing is at the Fashion & Textile museum in Bermondsey, ‘Swinging Sixties’. It is where you can see this collective design influence.

Bazaar, Mary Quant’s shop on the Kings Road was THE place to hang out.

Image courtesy of the V&A

As we walk into May, Chelsea is the place on everyone’s lips. The flower show, the new independent shops, revamped little streets; Chelsea and the Kings Road are swinging back in to style. I think it is becoming cool again. Take a look at our Chelsea Day Out and, having enjoyed the exhibition, you can swing on over and see for yourselves.

V&A Curator’s lunchtime talk May 29 at 1.30 : Free

Mary Quant Exhibition tickets HERE
Mary Quant is open until 16 February 2020