Mary Quant exhibition swings into Glasgow

Mary Quant exhibition swings into Glasgow



Just over a month after her death, a retrospective opens in Scotland this weekend of British fashion designer and miniskirt pioneer Mary Quant and how she styled the 1960s.

The exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow features more than 100 garments, accessories, cosmetics and photographs of her rise to fame.

Curator Rebecca Quinton said as well as exploring the miniskirt and hotpants which Quant popularised, the show — the final stop on a world tour — would also focus on her innovative use of materials.

“Everybody always associated her with the mini dress — she was one of the leading designers in the 1960s that was raising the hem line,” she told AFP.

“But this is at the beginning of nylon, lycra, PVC coming in. She also made use of all the new technologies and materials to do new things.”

Quant died aged 93 on April 13, prompting a flood of tributes from fashion world luminaries, who hailed her as a visionary and a trailblazer.

In Glasgow, her former colleague Heather Tilbury said the diminutive designer with the trademark bob haircut would be remembered for bringing fun into women’s fashion after World War II.

“She introduced such a revolutionary attitude to clothes with garments that the young could run, jump, leap onto a bus and go dancing in,” she said.

“They didn’t have to dress like their mothers anymore, which of course they had to do in the days of post war austerity.”

Tilbury, who worked with Quant for 14 years, said she wanted the people she was dressing to have the confidence and ability to do what they wanted to achieve.

“She always had this steely determination, inner strength that said, if you want something enough, you can do it,” she added.

“She said, if you believe in it enough, work hard enough, you’ll find a way.”

“Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary” runs from May 20 to October 22.

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