Arts & culture

Autumn’s must-see fashion exhibition

Lead image: Mary Quant and models at a footwear launch in 1967. Credit: PA Prints 2008

A cultural and sartorial revolutionary, Mary Quant changed fashion forever and defined the liberated attitude of the era. She raised the roof – and our hemlines – being credited as the creator of the stir-causing miniskirt. Bold prints and dresses teamed with brightly coloured tights made the street style of the time a defiant thrill, with the spirit of the ‘Youth Quake’ revolution she influenced continuing to reverberate through fashion today.

Twiggy in a waistcoat and shorts designed by Mary Quant, 1966. Credit: Terence Donovan, courtesy Terence Donovan Archive / Iconic Images

V&A Dundee will celebrate 1960s rebellion with the Mary Quant retrospective as its first major fashion exhibition. Key objects featured within the exhibition include the pioneering ‘Wet Collection’ PVC rainwear, a jute miniskirt, and designs that playfully subverted menswear at a time when women were still banned from wearing trousers in formal settings. The exhibition also features the stories of women who made outfits from Mary Quant’s dressmaking, as well as a new film looking at contemporary female designers making their own way through today’s rapidly shifting fashion industry.

Mary Quant selecting rolls of fabric from a fabric store and warehouse in London to create samples for a future collection in 1967. Credit: Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images

Showing Thursday 27 August to 17 January 2021, more info at vam.ac.uk/dundee/maryquant

Watson Hogg