Farewell, Mary QuantApr 14, 2023
shaw originated from vna south kensington and opened at v a dundee in august 2020 is the first international retrospective of revolutionary fashion designer
quantand covers the period from 1955 to 1975 which was the high point of her fashion career , so you go into the exhibition you see the impact that
quanthad on fashion with the evolution of the miniskirt as you can see this was definitely not an overnight change and you start in 62 with this one right under the knee and in 66 with the mid thigh there are some really special items within this section and some that have become quite well known over the course of the show one is particularly special for dundee as you can see it is a fabric that is not particularly known for being used in fashion is jute and quant was well known for pushing the boundaries of what fashion designers could do with textiles and you can see this here she is taking a really practical industrial fabric and turning it into contemporary fashion objects another object that I've come to love is this mustard lace dress and it's I had a special connection with me because one of the really special things about working on this exhibition is that you get to meet the women who actually wore the dress and I was privileged to meet to Jenny Fenwick, who wore the dress in the 1960s and then finished it off. even donating it to va and jenny speaks so fondly of this dress and what it meant to her as a teenager. to the public, she was known for this from the time she set up her first bazaar of shops, which was on Kings Road in Chelsea in 1955 and this was seen as a really fun place to be, it wasn't just shopping for the sake of shopping. it was shopping as a leisure activity to be able to go under the store for dinner and take in the 50s feel to go to 60s London that year of change which quant sums up so much one of quant's legacies in fashion is the fact that she made fashion more democratized and available on a much wider scale than ever before really she begins to do this with the ginger group range which was intended to be cheaper and also intended not just to be sold in her boutiques in London but in department stores around the UK and the rest of the world, in fact throughout Europe, Australia and America, and as with anything to do with quantity, the name is truly symbolic.
Ginger group means a dissident group in politics, so the idea was that this was something really radical and definitely meant to cause shock waves. through the fashion industry as you can see quant is still really innovative with textiles she wears a lot of jersey and stretched patchwork jersey was a material previously only used in sportswear and underwear but it becomes a textile that can be worn in fashion and when she picks up her obe from the queen it's actually very similar to one of these outfits you see in front of me that she wears to acknowledge this really important moment in our life so these wonderful iconic pieces of waterproof clothing were another example of how incredibly creative With his use of textiles, he has a collection called Wet Look which debuts at Paris fashion week and he collaborates with Alligator Weinware and creates these truly iconic pieces that are becomes particularly well known, so one of the really important things about quant is the fact that, particularly in the later stages of his career, there were a lot of different parts of his fashion brand that became more and more accessible through the shoes and cosmetics and the iconic super popular daisy dolls seen on display
maryquant's legacy continues into the 21st century inspiring designers today and the brand continues to sell cosmetics particularly in japan we hope there will be enjoyed the tour and can't wait to see it again when the museum reopens
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