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31 July 2014
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I LOVE 1966

Mary Quant

Mary Quant

Quant's influence within the fashion community was once enormous. In Vogue: Twentieth Century Fashion, it says: "Quant had a cataclysmic effect on London, with her simple daisy motif, short skirts, mix of music and model, Twiggy." Quant's "international name and logo, associated with youth and freshness, enabled her to change direction and encompass kitchenware, stationery and fabulous make-up".

Quant was the unrivalled queen of swinging London, not only did she create Chelsea Girl but also kicked off the trendiness of the city's Kings Road.

Quant did not just design, but influenced the attitude of the 60s. She dyed her pubic hair green and told the public about it, and infamously spoke about taboo area "the crotch" in an interview for The Guardian's 1967 groundbreaking series, The Permissive Society.

Quant's shop Bazaar - which she set up with her husband - was the place to be in London. The Beatles often popped in to buy designs for their girlfriends and George Harrison married the model Patti Boyd in clothes designed by Quant. Her friends include David Bailey and Terence Conran and Sassoon still cuts that famous hair every now and again.

Quant's designs played with proportion: men's shirts were slimmed down and elongated and worn, just with tights, by women; hotpants appeared for the first time. Even knickerbockers made a brief comeback.

Quant was responsible for hot pants, the Lolita look, the slip dress, PVC raincoats, smoky eyes and sleek bob haircuts, but it was make-up that eventually made her company the most money. Her immediately identifiable bottles of nail varnish and capsules of lipstick were licensed to be sold around the world. The current license is held by Mary Quant Cosmetics Japan Ltd - there are now more than 200 Mary Quant Colour shops in Japan, generating around £95m a year, while there are just two in London.

1966 Fashion: Go-Gos | Mini Skirt | Quant

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