Mary Quant is an iconic fashion designer because she transformed fashion by being the creator of the miniskirt and hotpants.
Mary had an art-school background and had been designing and manufacturing her own clothes since second half of the twentieth century.
She was convinced that fashion needed to be affordable to be accessible to the young, she opened her own retail boutique, Bazaar, on the Kings Road in 1955, introducing the “mod” era and the “Chelsea look.”
Quant and the miniskirt
The miniskirt, described as one of the defining fashions of the 1960s, is one of the garments most widely associated with Quant.
Whilst she is often cited as the inventor of the style, this claim has been challenged by others. Marit Allen, a contemporary fashion journalist and editor of the influential “Young Ideas” pages for UK Vogue, firmly stated that John Bates, rather than Quant or André Courrèges, was the original creator of the miniskirt. Others credit Courrèges with the invention of the style.
However, skirts had been getting shorter since the 1950s—a development Quant considered practical and liberating, allowing women the ability to run for a bus.
Quant later said “It was the girls on the King’s Road who invented the mini. I was making easy, youthful, simple clothes, in which you could move, in which you could run and jump and we would make them the length the customer wanted.
I wore them very short and the customers would say, ‘Shorter, shorter.'”
She gave the miniskirt its name, naming it after her favourite make of car, the Mini, and said of its wearers, “they are curiously feminine, but their femininity lies in their attitude rather than in their appearance … She enjoys being noticed, but wittily. She is lively—positive—opinionated.”
In addition to the miniskirt, Quant is often credited with inventing the coloured and patterned tights that tended to accompany the garment, although their creation is also attributed to the Spanis
She became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. She was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and hot pants, and by promoting these and other fun fashions she encouraged young people to dress to please themselves and to treat fashion as a game.
Ernestine Carter, an authoritative and influential fashion journalist of the 1950s/60s, wrote: “It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are three: Chanel, Dior, and Mary Quant.
SOURCE : MARY QUANT