Mary Quant, the style queen of Britain’s Swinging Sixties fashion movement that popularized the minidress, died on Thursday at the age of 93.
Quant passed away at her home in Surrey, England, on Thursday.
The Swinging Sixties, as the boundary-pushing sixties were known, popularized the miniskirt and short training pants for women.
Quant was also the creator of sweatpants, the cling frill sweater and waterproof mascara.
Alexandra Shulman, former editor-in-chief of the British Voguedescribed her as a “visionary”, while Britain’s V&A Design Museum paid tribute to her “groundbreaking legacy”.
“It is impossible to overestimate Quant’s contribution to fashion,” the museum said on Twitter.
“She was a designer whose pioneering work radically changed our way of thinking and dressing,” said Prof. Frances Corner of London’s Goldsmiths College, where Quant studied, said.
“This profound influence took us from the black and white world of the 1950s to the multi-color brilliance of the 1960s and beyond.”
‘Immoral yet tasteful’
Mother of the miniskirt, Mary Quant has died today at the age of 93. She revolutionized fashion in the 1960s by creating the miniskirt trend paired usually with go-go boots and colorful tights. ????️ pic.twitter.com/IknkzUEFrs
— Gabriela (@blondiejpg) April 13, 2023
Quant opened her first boutique, Bazaar, in 1955 with her husband and business partner, Alexander Plunket Greene, who died in 1990.
Located in Chelsea, which would become the beating heart of “Swinging London”, the shop sold clothes and accessories and its basement restaurant became a popular gathering place for young people and artists.
The entire Chelsea district soon attracted celebrities such as the actors Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn and pop stars, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Quant raised hemlines well above the knee, creating short dresses and skirts with simple shapes and strong colors that she described as “arrogant, aggressive and sexy”.
“Good taste is death, vulgarity is life,” she continued The Guardian said.
Her shop mannequins were displayed in provocative outfits in the windows overlooking the famous King’s Road, which became a miniskirt catwalk and attracted American photographers eager to capture “Swinging London”.
“Townsmen in bowler hats bang on our shop windows with their umbrellas and shout ‘immoral!’ and ‘disgusting!’ at the sight of our miniskirts over tights, but customers flocked in to buy,” she recalled in her 1966 book Quant by Quant.
RIP to the mother of the miniskirt, Mary Quant. A fashion revolutionary that will never be forgotten???????? pic.twitter.com/iNUhbPiNqx
— linda (@itgirlenergy) April 13, 2023
The era’s most high-profile model Lesley Lawson, better known as Twiggy, popularized the minidress abroad, and with business booming, Quant opened a second store in London in 1957.
She explored geometric designs, dots and contrasting colours, and played with new materials, including PVC and stretch fabrics, to achieve a modern and playful look.
She entered the American market in the early 1960s, working with the department store JC Penney. She also created the cheaper Ginger Group range and marketed cosmetics, all her designs with a trademark daisy.
Although her heyday was in the 1960s and 1970s, when she set her sights on the Japanese market, Quant’s legacy can still be seen in “street fashion”, with high fashion creations at low prices.
She sold her make-up company to a Japanese group in 2000 and stayed on as a consultant.
Apart from conquering the fashion scene in America, Quant considered her greatest achievement to be knighted in 2015 by Queen Elizabeth II, who made her a dame, “the wisest woman I’ve ever met”. named.
On a question by The Guardian in 2016 what she would change if she could have her life over, Quant replied: “Not much, I had a great time.”
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