Friday, 8 June 2018

A Quant of Solace

So, the V&A's announced its next exhibition, and it's going to be devoted to the work of a designer who shaped British fashion in the 1960s, Mary Quant. She wasn't the first to make a mini skirt, but by crikey she made them popular. She was an early worker with PVC, too - her 'Wet' collection of 1963 used it.

On the subject of 'Wet', garment from that are among the items the museum is hoping people can lend it. They're looking for stuff like early Quant with Bazaar labels, 'Wet' items, and mid-60s styles with Peter Pan collars (not sure I'll forgive MQ for making that particular piece of tweeness acceptable for adults, to be honest – did Audrey Hepburn wear one? Did Diana Rigg? That should tell you all you need to know.) Anyway, those, home-made - sewn or knitted - garments from Quant patterns, and more are all on their We Want Quant list. If you can help them, I'm sure they'd be grateful.

The exhibition is opening in April 2019. I didn't manage to make it to the Ocean Liners one (idiot Mim!) but I am definitely going to get my arse into gear and go to see the Quant one.

12 comments :

  1. I went to the Ocean Liners one on Wednesday it is FABULOUS!! It's still on for a couple of weeks yet.

    Random fact my friend Liz got married in a black Mary Quant dress

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    1. Liz sounds very stylish indeed!

      I never made it to Ocean Liners in the end. My next trip to London should be for the Vintage Car Boot Sale in August; I've got some clothes to give to Vix and I thought it'd make a fun day out with a workmate who moved to London recently.

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  2. Some people can wear the Peter Pan collar without looking foolish-I am not that person. Couldn't wear it when I was young either. Those PVC pieces are a nightmare for collectors sand museums as they break down over time.

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    1. Yeah, I can't wear them. All woman, no girl!

      Apparently Quant's PVC work was so early, it wasn't even particularly sturdy at the time, hence its scarcity.

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  3. Peter Pan collars are fine if you're a five year old but definitely not a good look on an adult!
    That exhibition looks well worth seeing. I loved my Mary Quant dolls as a child and sadly wore my Mum's Ginger Group clothes to roller skate in. I've got one of her 1960s dressmaking patterns in my stash somewhere. xxx

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    1. Bet you wish you still had those clothes! (I hated having to wear jumble sale clothes as a kid; now I wish I could tell my younger self to get my mum to buy all the good vintage and stash it in the attic for me now!)

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  4. If it's opening in April 2019, this might be the time for Jos and me to schedule a long overdue trip to London. In all honesty, if I was the lucky owner of an early Mary Quant garment, I'm not so sure I'd lend it even to the V&A ... xxx

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    1. I'm kind of surprised they're not getting loaners from other museums - the fashion museum in Bath must have some, and they've got more in the archives than they have on display.

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  5. I shall look forward to this...

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  6. Don't forget hotpants!
    Mary Quant is still super popular in Japan too.

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    1. I like short shorts! (Tho not on myself...)

      I can see how Quant would be popular in Japan - the short skirts, the whole sexy-cute playful vibe.

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