V&A announces first Mary Quant exhibition in 50 years

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The V&A has announced it will be curating the first international retrospective exhibition on the revolutionary fashion designer Mary Quant in almost 50 years. Using material from the Mary Quant archives, the exhibition will focus on the period between 1955 and 1975 including hot pants, miniskirts, accessories, tights, and makeup.

The exhibition will contain over 200 objects, many of which have never been displayed to the public. The items are drawn from the V&A’s own collection Mary Quant garments (the largest in the world), the designer’s personal archive, and international loans.

Jenny Lister, curator of Mary Quant at the V&A, said: “Mary Quant liberated fashion in the late 1950s and early 60s. Known for establishing high street fashion, inventing hot pants and popularising the miniskirt, she freed women from rules and regulations, and from dressing like their mothers. This long-overdue exhibition will show how Mary made high fashion affordable for working women, and how her youthful, revolutionary clothes, inspired by London, made British streetstyle the global influence it remains today.”

Ahead of the exhibition, the museum is launching a public call-out in search of rare Mary Quant garments including designs sold between 1955 and 1960 in Quant’s London Bazzar boutiques, items from the ‘Wet’ collection, Peter Pan collared styles from 1964 and 1965, knitwear, swimwear, and accessories, and garments made using Mary Quant Butterick patterns.

The public are encouraged to share their own Mary Quant items with the hashtag #WeWantQuant for the chance for them to be featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition will run from 6 April 2019 – 8 March 2020 and tickets will go on sale in Autumn 2018.