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HomeentertainmentDame Mary Quant: fashion designer dies at 93

Dame Mary Quant: fashion designer dies at 93

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  • Written by Stephen Macintosh
  • Entertainment reporter

image source, Getty Images

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Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman described Lady Mary (pictured in 2009) as a “visionary”

The fashion designer, Lady Mary Quandt, has passed away at the age of 93, her family announced.

A statement from her family told the Palestinian News Agency that she “passed away peacefully at her home in Surrey, UK this morning.”

Dame Mary is credited with popularizing the miniskirts that helped define the Swinging 60s.

Her family said she was “one of the most celebrated and internationally recognized fashion designers of the twentieth century and an outstanding creator”.

She opened her first Bazaar store in Kings Road in 1955 and her far-sighted and creative talents quickly established a unique contribution to British fashion.

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Lady Mary (pictured in 1966) was a prominent figure in the fashion industry in the 1960s

The Victoria and Albert Museum said: Quandt’s contribution to fashion cannot be overstated. She represented the joyful freedom of 1960s fashion, and provided a new model for young women.

“Today’s fashion owes much to its pioneering vision.”

Fashion Director of the International New York Times. Vanessa Friedman tweeted: “RIP Mary Quant, who freed the female leg. We owe you.”

Lady Mary was one of the most influential figures on the 1960s fashion scene and is credited with making fashion accessible to the masses through her elegant, streamlined, and vibrant designs.

She earned a diploma in Art Education in the 1950s at Goldsmiths College, where she met her husband, Alexander Plunkett Green, who later helped establish her label.

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Models wearing Mary Quant in 1967

A budding designer, Dame Mary was taken as a milliner’s apprentice before making her own clothes, and in 1955 she opened Bazaar, a boutique on Kings Road in Chelsea.

The store will become the beating heart of Swinging London. The bazaar sold clothes and accessories and its basement restaurant became a meeting point for young people and artists.

Soon, the entire Chelsea area attracted celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.

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A recent exhibition of Lady Mary’s work saw models wear her designs to launch the show at V&A

Her far-sighted and inventive talents soon proved to be a unique contribution to British fashion.

It can be said that Lady Mary was best known for designing miniskirts and hot pants as well as helping to develop the fashion style of the 1960s.

In 2014, Mary, who named the skirt after her favorite car model, recalled her “feeling of freedom and liberation.”

She said: ‘It was the girls at King’s Road who invented the mini.

“I wore it really short and clients would say, ‘Shorter, shorter.'”

Whether or not Lady Marie actually invented the miniskirt has been the subject of a long and bitter dispute with the late French designer André Courreges, among others.

But her role in turning the super short, thigh-cut hemlines into an international trend wasn’t in dispute.

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Portrayed in 2007, Lady Mary Quant pioneered the mini skirt that helped define the Swinging Sixties.

Dame Mary explored geometric designs, polka dots, and contrasting colors, and played with new fabrics, including PVC and stretch fabrics, to achieve a fun, modern look.

Her models were displayed in extravagant and provocative window screens overlooking King’s Road, which had become a mini-skirt aisle and attracted American photographers keen to photograph Swinging London.

Lady Mary, writing in her 1966 book Quant by Quant, recalled that “town men in bowler hats banged on our shop window with their umbrellas shouting ‘Immoral! ‘” and “Disgusting!” When we saw our miniskirts over our tights, but customers flocked to buy them, ”she recalls.

In addition to promoting the bob haircut created by her friend Vidal Sassoon, hairstylist and entrepreneur, Lady Marie also created hot pants, a skinny rib-knit jacket, and waterproof mascara.

image source, Getty Images

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Lady Mary also created hot pants, a skinny rib vest, and waterproof mascara.

image source, Getty Images

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A 1972 photograph of Lady Mary with Vidal Sassoon (centre) and broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson

Reflecting on the first 20 years of her career as the show took off, Dame Mary said: “It was wonderfully exciting and despite the frantic hard work we had so much fun.

“We didn’t necessarily realize that what we were creating was groundbreaking, we were simply too busy enjoying all the opportunities and embracing the results before rushing off to the next challenge.”

Muhammad
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