Manchester Art Gallery

Mary Quant: Fashion icon (At the Gallery of Costume)

Dressing an international clientele of the young and hip of the 60s and 70s, Mary Quant's work perfectly caught the contemporary cultural moment.

Gallery of Costume
Thursday 3 November 2016–Sunday 5 November 2017


Celebrated as the most famous female fashion designer working in London in the 1960s, Mary Quant dressed an international clientele of the young and hip, creating her famous Chelsea look.

We were at the beginning of a tremendous renaissance in fashion. The clothes
I made happened to fit in exactly with the teenage trend, with the pop records and express bars and jazz clubs.

Quant on Quant

Quant’s designs exemplified a shift in fashion’s focus and inspiration to a younger consumer and was typified by simply-styled tunics, short pleated skirts and bold mini dresses. Quant’s fashion was particularly associated with the model, Twiggy, and was popularised in the fashion press throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Employing the same new hi-tech fabrics as André Courreges and Pierre Cardin, Quant revelled in the use of PVC, plastics and synthetics and expanded her merchandise into rainwear, patterned tights, cosmetics and accessories. Quant’s reputation grew, becoming a world-wide name and she was awarded an OBE in 1966.

The exhibition includes twenty two outfits dating from the late 1950s to the early 1970s from our own collection and includes loans from Leeds Museums and Galleries, the London College of Fashion and the private collectors, Mark and Cleo Butterfield.

Mary Quant
Photography: ©Ted West, Hulton Archive, Getty Images



This display is at Platt Hall Gallery of Costume

Platt Hall
M14 5LL

Tel: 0161 245 7245

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We are open Thursday and Friday 1-5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm