How Dame Mary Quant changed the face of fashion

Mary Quant (Alamy/PA)

Miniskirt champion Mrs. Marie Quant has been named a member of the Honorary Fraternity Medal on the New Year’s list of honors.

Special honors are given to those who have made significant contributions to art, science, medicine, or government. Other members include Sir David Attenborough and Lady Judi Dench.

Quant was one of the most influential figures in 1960s fashion. The 92-year-old is known for mainstreaming miniskirts and bringing fashion to the masses.

Born in London in 1930 to Welsh parents, Quant grew up in a time of austerity, but her designs were the antidote to this, championing fun, frivolity and female emancipation. . She founded her first store, Bazaar, on her Road in Kings, Chelsea, London in 1955, and her fashion and lifestyle empire grew from there.

A true giant in the industry, these are just a few of the ways Quant has revolutionized fashion…

She was a role model for young women

Quant’s clothes have struck a chord with young women, austerity children who, like designers, want to enjoy life more than previous generations. Her style was playful and fun. She riffed on the tweed her suit that her client’s mother wanted to wear by raising her hemline to make everything more youthful.

Unlike many traditional fashion maisons, Quant wasn’t for the older elite. Instead, she recapitulated exactly what it was like to be a young woman in her 1960s. As an expert on women’s excellence in a male-dominated industry – to this day, many of the leading fashion designers are men – she inspired a new generation of working women.

She was the first designer to use PVC. PVC is a shiny, wet-looking synthetic material. The result is an outfit that is youthful, bold and a little sexy, but countered by her favorite Peter Pan collared schoolgirl style.

Quanto certainly knew her audience. We have decided to trademark the daisy symbol, which means virginity. And while Quant may not have invented the miniskirt, it certainly helped it become the defining garment of her decade.

she was a feminist icon

The fashion industry is primarily for women, but women’s wear design is dominated by men.

Quants succeeded in breaking the glass ceiling for female designers, but it wasn’t the only way she became a true feminist hero. The late 60’s and her early 70’s saw the explosion of the women’s liberation movement into the mainstream and the social changes that accompanied it. Things have become more and more open to women in the UK. With the availability of the pill, society’s expectations of how women should dress have also changed.

Her designs were a way for women to express their independence. She famously liked the short hem line so she could easily run to the bus. Her clothes were made not to restrict the wearer, but to give her more freedom. rice field.

She was also ahead of the curve when it came to her androgynous attire, always playing with masculine tailoring. I showed you that you don’t need to express.

She made fashion more accessible

Quant is a breath of fresh air in the fashion industry. This was a time when Paris was considered the fashion capital of the world, with an emphasis on haute couture and ultra-expensive clothing. I couldn’t put it in.

Quant has not only succeeded in shifting the world’s attention to London, but has worked hard to bring fashion to a wider audience. As well as her eponymous high fashion brand, in 1963 she launched a less expensive diffusion line called The Ginger Group. This allowed her to pioneer new production methods to make her own designs cheaper and more widely available to the average woman.

In addition to this, she sold sewing patterns (known as Butterick patterns) so home dressmakers could recreate clothes using their own materials for a fraction of the price.

Mary Quant has become the template for modern lifestyle brands

Today’s fashion industry loves a little nostalgia, like reviving the ’90s choker and ’70s flares. Quant was an early adopter and knew how to harness the power of a bygone style. Giving Victorian outfits his ’60s update and even reviving the flapper style.

Another thing she became a template for was becoming a broader lifestyle brand. Today, fashion brands rarely do one thing and are competing to diversify their products. Quanto knew she could leverage her own brand, so instead of sticking to miniskirt designs, she dabbled in everything from makeup and tights to underwear, shoes, and furniture. .

Quant’s style is instantly recognizable and easily translatable to other products, making it a true template for the modern lifestyle brands we know and love today.

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