Mary Quant at The V&A

Sunday, October 13, 2019 Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

In the 1960s, Mary Quant put London at the centre of the fashion world's map. As the V&A's previous exhibition proved, the feminine Dior-esque French style ruled the late forties and fifties, but the swinging sixties was a time for bright colours and experimentation - Quant made sure of it.

Exhibitions at the V&A are always truly spectacular. Having looked at a list of their previous exhibitions, I can say that there is at least one or two each year I would have loved to have visited, however their 'Mary Quant' exhibit marked my very first. I was really excited to visit the exhibition as it felt like the perfect crossover between two of my favourite things - history and fashion, to learn more about one of the most influential British designers ever.

The exhibition takes place on two floors, designed to take you on a journey through Quant's illustrious career. Walking into an exhibition full of clothes nearly sixty years old, you would expect them to feel like they belonged in the last century. However, so many of the items featured in the collection felt like they could easily fit in with today's fashion trends - I couldn't believe how similar the zip up pinafore on the right was to items I have recently seen in H&M.

What also struck me about Mary Quant's designs is her immense use of colour. There's some real autumnal colours - burnt oranges galore, but bright yellows and pinks too. Her clothes really reflect the idea of excitement throughout the sixties with a real purpose of self-expression through women's clothing.

Quant is most famous for popularising the miniskirt, which of course is still a staple today. She actually provided the name for it herself, after her Mini car. There were, of course, many miniskirts on display alongside many other beautiful outfits and dresses. While many of her bright creations stand out, more delicate pieces also caught my eye - such as this gorgeous lace dress, one of my favourite items on display.

While I was expecting an exhibition focusing simply on clothes, there was also a feature with her makeup line which of course, as a beauty enthusiast, I was really excited to see. Her makeup line revolutionised the beauty world we have in today, as according to a woman who worked as a cosmetics sales assistant for Mary Quant, the advisors of other brands appeared much more intimidating, whereas Quant's employees were friendly and drew in a younger audience. I absolutely love the cute uniform they had as sales assistants too!

There was plenty of videos and extracts to read about Mary Quant's life and career which I found really interesting - I definitely want to read more about her but since I didn't know very much, it was the perfect starting point. The dress she wore to Buckingham Palace to receive an OBE in 1966 was an incredible feature.

The exhibition gave an incredible outlook on not only Mary Quant's incredible career and amazing designs, but also a reminder where the fashion industry of today still has its roots. There was a real sense of freshness to the exhibition; these designs pioneered the styles we still wear today.

To see all of this up close and even more, the Mary Quant exhibition is on at the V&A until the 16th February - plenty of time left to get tickets here. Have you been to any museum or gallery visits lately?

EG x


  1. I can't believe I've never been to the V&A, theres always amazing exhibitions on - this looks so cool too!

    Lucy | Forever September

    1. You definitely need to go, I hadn't been before now and I was amazed! x

  2. It looks like an amazing exhibition! I love all the sixties looks! It's my favourite fashion era! x