Eliza Wyke / Fashion History & Exhibitions  / Mary Quant: The Mother of Working Fashion

Mary Quant: The Mother of Working Fashion

Mary Quant:  Grand Dame of modern fashion has been enjoying a long overdue and well deserved exhibition of her work spanning the period 1955 to 1975 at London’s V&A Museum.  This exhibition highlights how she revolutionised fashion in the 1960s.  Designing easy to wear, practical clothes, for the modern, and ever increasing numbers of, working women.  Her deigns moved away from the formality of the couture-bound 1950s, where daughters would follow their mother’s to her dressmaker (and look like a mini-version of them), into a new sphere of fast fashion.  This was fast fashion in its infancy when the prosperity of the post-war years was beginning to make Britain boom!  

Practical and modern the exhibition displays the dress worn by the designer when she collected her OBE.

Practical fashion for the modern working women.

The Mini-dress. The most iconic image of the 1960s

Plastic macs… my mother who accompanied me to the exhibition recalled they were far from practical as the water rain straight off the mac and drenched the feet!

Her use of practical fabrics was also pioneering – the use of jersey for comfort and fit was completely contrasting to the fitted designs of the 1950s

Forty years on, some of these designs could leap straight from the exhibition into the modern wardrobe

…whilst others are very much of their time!

Whilst 2020 sees a backlash against the industry of fast fashion, it’s wastefulness and depletion of the world’s natural resources, there are many good points to take away from this exhibition. 

Exhibition ends in February. 

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