Dame Mary Quant
Dame Mary Quant
by Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, circa 1965
9 7/8 in. x 7 5/8 in. (252 mm x 194 mm) image size
Given by Terence Pepper, 2013
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Pioneering Women, p. 118 Read entry
Dame Mary Quant (b.1934), fashion designer and retail pioneer, was born in London and studied illustration at Goldsmiths College. In 1953, she was apprenticed to the upmarket Mayfair milliner Erik of Brook Street. Two years later, she began to design and make clothes, often producing new stock overnight, with the opening of her boutique, Bazaar, on King’s Road, London. Co-founded with future husband Alexander Plunket Greene (whom she married in 1957) and friend Archie McNair, Bazaar was one of the first retail outlets aimed specifically at young people. With its wacky window displays, loud music and late opening hours, the shop sold affordable clothes in simple shapes with geometric designs and vibrant colours. In 1967, the Guardian reported Quant as saying: ‘Good taste is death. Vulgarity is life.’ She ushered in a style era that encouraged people to dress for themselves, helping to revolutionise British fashion. She popularised the miniskirt, high hemlines and the other similar looks that defined the Swinging Sixties and beyond. In 1966, she received an OBE for services to fashion, and was made a Dame in 2015.
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, Draycott Place, Chelsea, London)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Curators' Choice: Photographs from the Terence Pepper Gift (12 May 2015 - 24 January 2016)
Events of 1965back to top
Current affairsSir Winston Churchill dies after suffering a stroke at the age of 90. By Royal Decree his body lay in state for three days before he was given a State Funeral (a very rare honour for a non-Royal). Representatives from over 100 countries attended the funeral and thousands of people watched the procession of his coffin down the Thames.
Art and scienceJulie Christie stars in John Schlesinger's film Darling, a film that captures fashionable London in the 1960s, while critiquing the superficiality of the jet-setting society. The film has subsequently been itself criticised for being out-of-touch with the realities of the day.
The Post Office Tower (now the BT tower) opens for use, housing microwave aerials to carry telecommunications traffic from London.