An international exhibition exploring the work of legendary fashion designer Mary Quant is set to open at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki this summer. Here from the V&A in London, Mary Quant takes a look at the fashion icon who harnessed the youthful spirit of the sixties and embraced new mass production techniques to create a new look for modern women.

Famously modelled by Twiggy, Grace Coddington and more, Mary Quant’s clothes personified the energy and fun of swinging London and Quant became a powerful role model for the working woman. Challenging conventions, she is known as the face of the miniskirt and popularised colourful tights and tailored trousers – encouraging a new age of feminism.

Inspiring young women to rebel against traditional dress worn by their mothers and grandmothers, Quant turned a tiny boutique on the King’s Road, London, into a wholesale brand available in department stores across the UK, US, Europe and Australia. Quant’s success soon hit New Zealand, where her designs made fashion less exclusive and more accessible to a new generation.

Receiving unprecedented access to Dame Mary Quant’s Archive, as well as drawing on the V&A’s extensive fashion holdings, which include the largest public collection of Quant garments in the world, the show will bring together over 120 garments as well as accessories, cosmetics, sketches and photographs. 

Ticket information coming soon!

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Last updated: 10 August 2021