THIS April, 2019, we’re invited to discover ‘how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street’ at the world’s leading Fashion museum, the V&A, in London!
My journey with Quant, her erstwhile husband, Alexander Plunket Green, in a cab ride from Chester to Manchester airport in April, 1981, makes me believe she is much more than a high street retail reformer.
She changed women’s working and leisure lives for ever. When I wrote about her in 2010, I was convinced, from research and comments from her contemporaries, that she was a genius.
Mary Quant fascinates people as people fascinate Mary Quant. Fashion feeds from her fervour, her love of fun and clothes. The industry admires her because she understands its strategies.
Yet it was the British Post Office, which signalled her greatness; putting a little black dress on one of a series of stamps, celebrating 50 years of Modern design in 2009. No one was more surprised than Mary Quant when she found herself in the company of celebrated 20th century Modernists.
She refuses to take credit for the mini-skirt, knowing it was, partly, from the street and that everyone, including André Courréges, was hacking away at hemlines in the Sixties. It is the impulse towards Modernism, which gave her the power to transform lives through Fashion; its optimism informs her biography and continues to inspire her thinking.