A major retrospective on the work of Dame Mary Quant has opened at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary is the final chance to see the international exhibition, which features over 100 garments, accessories, cosmetics, and photographs drawn from the V&A’s extensive collections, Dame Mary Quant’s archive and many private collections.
Dame Mary died last month aged 93.
The exhibition focuses on the years from 1955, when Quant opened her experimental boutique Bazaar on the King’s Road, Chelsea, through the ‘Swinging Sixties’ when Mary Quant was awarded her OBE, and on to the mid-1970s.
It tells the story of how Quant revolutionised the high street with subversive and playful designs for a younger generation.
Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Mary Quant was a ground-breaking designer, whose energy, work ethic and can-do attitude changed the face of fashion in Britain at a time when society was rapidly changing for women.
“Her accessible, affordable designer fashion changed the way people looked at the world and empowered an entire generation to look good and feel great.”
Jenny Lister, co-curator of Mary Quant at the V&A, said: “I’m thrilled that we can present another chance to see the Mary Quant exhibition in Scotland and I’m so Iooking forward to seeing the iconic Mary Quant dresses on display in the amazing building at Kelvingrove.
“It will be the perfect way of celebrating Dame Mary’s magnificent contribution to fashion.”
Heather Tilbury Phillips, former director of Mary Quant Limited and advisor to the V&A on the exhibition, said: “I know how delighted Mary would have been that the exhibition is here at this wonderful venue in Glasgow.
“We very much enjoyed several highly successful and inspirational trips to Scotland together visiting fabric and knitwear producers and leading retailers.
“Harris Tweed, Paisley designs, plaids, definitive checks and tartans in Viyella often featured strongly in her collections and the vibrant fashion shows and cosmetic launches were always such fun, stimulating many happy memories.”
I know how delighted Mary would have been that the exhibition is here at this wonderful venue in Glasgow.
Heather Tilbury Phillips
Among over 100 objects, visitors can see the pioneering ‘Wet Collection’ PVC rainwear that featured on an iconic edition of Vogue, a collection of Daisy dolls created in Scotland by Lanarkshire based Model Toys, and the dress she wore when receiving her OBE in 1966 and the innovative jersey dress.
The exhibition also features stories of women who responded to the V&A’s #WeWantQuant campaign, a public call-out to locate rare garments by Quant and collect personal stories, memories and photographs from real people who wore her clothes, including several Scottish contributors.
The themes of dressmaking, marketing and fashion across the decades are explored in detail and provide the focus for an innovative public programme of demonstrations, workshops and talks that will complement the exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Rebecca Quinton, curator of dress at Glasgow Life Museums, said: “Dame Mary Quant’s contribution to British fashion was truly trailblazing and marked a radical change in the way clothing was designed and marketed both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
“It’s fantastic to be the culminating host of the exhibition tour and to share Quant’s amazing vision with our visitors.”