Mary Quant was a fashion icon who sparked the swinging ’60s with one invention

THE 60’s wouldn’t be the same without fashion designer Dame Marie Quant, who died at the age of 93.

as a broadcaster Joan Bakewell Put it in last night: “Mary Quant Changed my life and my generation. . . not only by what we look like, but by how we live. ”


Fashion designer Dame Marie Quant dies at 93Credit: Rex
Model Twiggy may have helped popularize the miniskirt trend, but it was Mary who designed and named it.


Model Twiggy may have helped popularize the miniskirt trend, but it was Mary who designed and named it.Credits: Getty – Contributor

and model Pattie Boydmarried the beatles George Harrison Wearing a coat designed by Mary in 1966, he called her a “creative and fun genius.”

Christine Hamilton In a tweet, he described Mary as: fashion and make up.

“For those of us who are old enough, swinging sixties She was a breath of fresh air, a symbol of change and youth. ”

Mary was a fashionable heartthrob LondonShe was with the Beatles and she was with the photographer David Bailey and with a famous hairdresser Vidal Sassoon.

In fact, it was Sassoon who gave Quant the legendary bob. In an instant, he gave London the image of traveling the world and telling everyone that London is the place it should be.

Mary’s trademark do was one of the first wash and go cuts. Before that, stylish hair meant spending hours in epic sessions under rollers, buckets of lacquer, or a hairdryer.

Sassoon said the inspiration for the look was cutting her hair “like she cuts material”. No decoration. Just the right swing line.”

Changing the world by changing your haircut seems awfully boring these days, but back in the 1960s, it was decidedly revolutionary.

Mary is The most important fashion designers of the decade, Invention of the miniskirt And, oddly enough, responsible for making Britain a country of duvet lovers.

This was an era of sexual liberation and Mary was one of the first to take advantage of it.


Photographed at her home in 1965, Mary was the heart of fashionable LondonCredit: Getty Images – Getty


Mary, pictured left, adjusts a mini dress at her final fitting in 1967.Credit: Popperfoto – Getty

rising hemline

model twiggy It may have helped popularize this trend, but it was designed by Mary and named after her favorite car.

Known as the ‘Modmother of the 1960s’, she wore signature playful clothes and boots, big painted eyes, fake freckles and that bob that epitomized the decade’s style. .

The introduction of the “above-the-knee” skirt was a gradual process, but how the rise of London street style and the broader cultural shift towards informality and the collapse of social norms influenced the upward trend of hemlines. It was Mary who admitted

“It was the girl above King’s Road [in Chelsea] “Who really invented the miniskirt?” she said.

“I created clothes that were easy, youthful, simple, easy to move, run and jump in, and the length my customers wanted.

“I was wearing it very short, and the customer was saying, ‘Shorter, shorter.'”

Born Barbara Mary in Blackheath in 1930, Quanto was evacuated to the village of Kent. Second World WarHowever, she longed to return to London.

Even as a high school girl, she knew the capital was where she needed to be.

Her parents, school teachers Jack and Mildred, were initially reluctant to allow their daughter to study fashion at university. But what did they know?

Mary was part of the cool London crowd who were more interested in getting out and having fun, as well as witnessing the changes in post-war society.

with her aristocratic husband Alexander Plunkett Greene – father of her son Orlando53 — She opened a trendy clothing store, Bazaar, on King’s Road.

Designed by an art student friend, this youth store was a world away from the musty old tailors in town.

Mary filled in the outfits she and her bohemian friends wore: “Bouillabaisse of clothes and accessories.” Short flared skirts and pinafores, knee socks and tights, funky jewelry and berets of every color. ”

Mary was also good at marketing. She helped her customers buy mirrors that made them look tall and skinny and sold out of stock in just her 10 days.

She recalls: There was always a bottle of white wine on the counter. ”

Music was blaring and shops were open late into the night like clubs.

But it was the miniskirt that made her name. did,” she said.

In 1966 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to British exports.

She was hailed like the fifth Beatle when she toured the US with her new collection. At one point, she was so popular that she needed police protection. Mary became Dame in 2015.

Yesterday, while having lunch with British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush, reports emerged that the designer had died at her home. Surrey I passed. She was upset by the news.

“This is terrible news,” said Caroline, holding back tears. She said, “British fashion has always pushed boundaries and she was a designer who pushed them far more than most.

She is one of the most influential designers of vivienne westwoodGiorgio Armani or coco chanel.

“She was a true original and proud to be British.

“She completely changed the way women dress.”

Also at yesterday’s table was Harold Tillman, former president of the British Fashion Council. He knew her well in her 1970s and was equally touched.

“Britain has never known anyone like her,” he said, again with tears in his eyes. became a great champion of

“When she traveled abroad, she was treated like a superstar because that was who she was. A true fashion superstar.”

Mary’s miniskirt has become an international symbol of female emancipation, and 21st century fashion owes the benefits of freedom and creativity to its pioneers. Basically, she revolutionized fashion by making it fun.

she said: I didn’t like wearing grown-up clothes. ”

Before Mary came along, most women were stuck with stockings and awkward garters to hold them back (and needed long skirts to hide them), but she started selling tights. bottom.

And besides making blacks and (flesh-colored) “American tans,” she produced a wide variety of bright colors.

In 1966, she began designing hot pants. Like her tights, they were invented with the idea of ​​solving the problem of humility.

At the time, Quant explained:

She always invested in her “overall look” and introduced her own makeup line because she felt cosmetics were lagging behind.

She brought bright colors with names like Banana Split to her eyelids, lips, and nails, and sold them in bright packaging.

In 1967, Mary developed a waterproof mascara called Cry Baby, but had to fight to get lab technicians to explore this possibility.

In her autobiography, she recalls: They said, “Why would you want that? A woman swims with her head out of the water.” I replied: “It’s because of their makeup!”

In addition to these sartorial victories, she also helped develop seamless bras and pants for women, and in 1971, the modern duvet we all know and love. bottom.

Mary claimed to have introduced them to Britain, stating, “We brought them back from Norway.”

When recently asked how she felt looking back on her life, Mary once said: how did she have so much fun ”


Legendary hairdresser Vidal Sassoon styled Mary’s hair into a trademark bob in the ’60sCredit: Hulton Archive – Getty


Model when Mary’s Afoot shoes collection was released in 1967credit:


A model wearing Mary’s designs at the V&A Museum to promote her 2019 exhibitionCredit: P.A.

British icon leads the world

Abbie McHale, Deputy Fashion Editor

One of fashion’s greats, Mary has paved the way for generations, making her name in the ’60s with her pioneering miniskirt designs.

She also wore it when she collected her OBE in 1966.

Mary was also known to bring a hitherto seldom seen color, vibrancy and fun to her clothing.

She showed that a short hemline isn’t something to frown on, it’s something to admire.

It wasn’t just the miniskirt that Mary made famous.

With the invention of hot pants and ribbed sweaters, she really understood how to style and look good on women while pushing the boundaries of style for women.

Women’s fashion these days is all about expressing your own happiness, and Mary first established the concept more than 50 years ago.

Today’s miniskirts are still a major part of women’s style, not only for young people, as TV hosts Davina McCall and Amanda Holden still wear them in their 50s.

Mary was an icon in the fashion industry, remembered for championing bold, sexy designs and influencing how we dress today. Mary Quant was a fashion icon who sparked the swinging ’60s with one invention

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