The V&A’s latest fashion exhibition explores how the designer transformed the British high street. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews.

Image courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Independent: **** “Seeing such a vast array of Quant’s clothes in one space really highlights the impact of her zeitgeist-defining clothes. Beyond the miniskirt, she was a designer breaking boundaries for the everyday woman; allowing them to be young and liberated. It’s difficult to imagine the British high street as it is today, for all its trouble, without Quant’s influence.”

The Upcoming: **** “Full of the joy of youth, this exhibition makes clear their enduring appeal. Mary Quant was a pioneer in a pinafore.”

Evening Standard: **** “For newcomers to Quant, a designer who set out to create clothes for women who wanted to “retain their precious freedom”, there’s so much to learn. And not just in a historical sense.”

Londonist: **** “Quant is a very impressive exhibition and fashion fans will want to make sure they pay it a visit.”

The Telegraph: **** “It is a half-truth universally acknowledged that the fashion designer Mary Quant was ahead of her time. But how ahead was she? Was she really the sole author of patterned tights, or of the miniskirt? How mini was mini anyway? Were her window displays really so avant-garde, when Andy Warhol had been decorating department stores on the other side of the Atlantic for years?

What the V&A’s forthcoming retrospective shows about Quant is something more interesting and more complicated than that.”

Stylist: ” an uplifting blast of Swinging Sixties colour, energy and enthusiasm – and a happy reminder of what great fun it can be to be female.”

Time Out: **** “Fashion for everyone was at the heart of Quant and that really comes across here. High street and ‘fast’ fashion have, understandably, come in for a lot of criticism recently but this show captures the anti-elitist, everyone-deserves-nice-things side of the concept.”

The Times: **** “Down the hall, the V&A’s other fashion exhibition, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, is the reverent story of one man and his collections, but Mary Quant is a collection of women and a celebration of their stories.”

Mary Quant is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum until the 16th February 2020.


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