Miniskirt mayhem! Nine ways Mary Quant revolutionised women's clothes – and lives

Asia's Tech News Daily

Before Mary Quant, it was almost impossible to run upstairs in a skirt or shed a discreet tear while wearing mascara. The 60s fashion designer, who gave mass-market appeal to thigh-skimming miniskirts and pioneered clothes for working women, is the subject of a feature-length film that opens in cinemas this week. Quant, directed by Sadie Frost, tracks the designer’s career, from opening her boutique in Chelsea to running the world’s first global superbrand. While contemporary designers give us trends, Quant reset the dial on the way we get dressed. Under her influence, women rejected their parents’ vision of beauty and embraced their own. Her legacy continues today – here are nine ways she changed how women dress.

The miniskirt

It is serendipitous that this retrospective of Quant’s lasting impact as a designer coincides with a major moment for the miniskirt. Or perhaps it’s a sign that life is about to get considerably better. Quant, who is often credited with inventing the miniskirt (and is said to have named the style after her beloved Mini Cooper car), felt that high hemlines represented “life and tremendous opportunity”. She brought with her “a party atmosphere”, notes Jenny Lister, curator of textiles and fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum: “It was a renaissance. A time when young people could meet different people, listen to different music, a time when they could be themselves.” At the recent catwalk shows in Paris, this idea of the thigh-skimming garment as a symbol of optimism and youthful rebellion seemed to inspire designers again, from Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri to Alaïa’s Pieter Mulier. “I like very much the ideas of the younger generation right now,” noted Chiuri, ahead of her recent show. “The miniskirt represents that spirit.”

The original workwear

“Clothes are a statement about what one wants to be,” said Quant. For her customers, the first generation to have access to the contraceptive pill and the opportunity to plan a career and a family, liberation topped the agenda. As her godson, Jasper Conran, points out in Frost’s documentary, “The young working girl set the pace.” It’s here that contemporary workwear – the versatile, dynamic approach to dressing we take for granted – was born. “She was the first to make clothes you could run for the bus in,” says retail expert Jane Shepherdson. “Quant gave us fashion with flexibility. Her clothes were to enable women to get up and go wherever they wanted.”

Saying no to stockings

Miniskirt mayhem! Nine ways Mary Quant revolutionised women’s clothes – and lives
© Provided by The Guardian Mary Quant and models in her shoes and tights. Photograph: PA

It wasn’t until Quant got her hands on hosiery that tights – instead of stockings – found mass-market appeal. “Quant didn’t invent tights, but she made everyone aware of them,” says Lister. Keen to find a companion for her signature skirts and dresses, they became Quant’s secret weapon, and remain the most underappreciated of her ideas. Partnering with the Nylon Hosiery Company, Quant created tights to complement her jewel-coloured collections. This season, with party tights back on the agenda – McQueen’s are dripping in diamanté while the German company Falke is unveiling tights in primary colours – it’s impossible to ignore their enduring appeal.

Pockets with everything

The next time you slip your phone into your dress pocket or dig your hands into the sides of your jumpsuit when you feel awkward at a party (Victoria Beckham is an expert at this), send Quant a mental note of thanks. She once declared, “The pockets make the dress” and undoubtedly understood the value of this hidden detail long before much of the rest of the fashion industry. In her quest to dress women desperate to escape their mothers’ style, the pocket emerged as an emblem of modernity, as well as the perfect place to stash a lipstick and the bus fare home.

The ‘boyfriend’ fit

Miniskirt mayhem! Nine ways Mary Quant revolutionised women’s clothes – and lives
© Provided by The Guardian The model Gala Gonzalez at New York fashion week in 2020 – with a cricket sweater in the style Quant borrowed from men’s wardrobes in the 60s. Photograph: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Gender-fluid clothing is regularly billed as the future of fashion, but Quant was ahead of her time. Finding the cut of men’s knitwear to be more closely aligned with the relaxed and casual aesthetic she wished to create, the designer bought men’s suiting from Harrods and repurposed it for women. She also worked with Scottish knitwear suppliers to develop the loose, easy cricket sweaters that have come to define her brand. The look lives on today with sloppy, masculine fits an emblem of cool for contemporary knitwear designers. It has significant appeal on the resale market, too, with Gen Z consumers on Depop snapping up cricket knits repurposed as sweater dresses. Quant would be proud.

Athleisure 1.0

Miniskirt mayhem! Nine ways Mary Quant revolutionised women’s clothes – and lives
© Provided by The Guardian The Mary Quant zipper outfit, a 1967 forerunner of athleisure. Photograph: Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Our obsession with clothes designed to be worn on the sofa as well as to work out peaked during the pandemic. Without Quant, the fashion phenomenon known as athleisure might never have occurred. Jersey was her Lycra, and she was the first designer to give her seal of approval to a fabric on the basis that it was comfortable and, crucially, didn’t crease. Having discovered the concept of “house wear” during a trip to the US, she took the idea that clothes could be both cool and comfortable a step further with a line of adult-sized babygrows, launched in the late 60s. Somewhere between a tracksuit and a dressing gown, this was the original adult onesie.

The skinny-rib sweater

This autumn, the rollneck sweater is being championed by everyone from Adele to Prince William. But the skinny-rib first became a style staple in the hands of Quant. In her 1966 biography, she describes the moment she tried on an eight-year-old boy’s top and was thrilled with the results. For Quant, the fine-knit, ribbed sweater served as the perfect pairing with her signature pinafore and became the foundation of a look that was emulated across the globe.

Party flats

Miniskirt mayhem! Nine ways Mary Quant revolutionised women’s clothes – and lives
© Provided by The Guardian The designer, centre, at the launch of Quant Afoot, her range of flat boots in 1967. Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty Images

For Quant’s women, a generation who worked all day and danced all night, flat shoes were a logical accessory. Previously, flats had been a dowdy, utilitarian option, but under Quant they became associated with glamour. “Everyone wearing trainers now is the same line of progress,” says Lister. “Quant was reaching for comfortable, practical shoes that looked good as a means to extend her look. In doing so, she allowed women to tread a new path.”

Fun-proof mascara

“Now that the clothes are different, the face was wrong,” noted Quant in 1968, realising that women needed the right makeup to go with the look. Her pioneering cosmetics line soon followed, with a waterproof mascara, unheard of at the time, central to its success. Not only could women run for the bus in one of her skirts and do a day’s work on their feet in her shoes, but they could also shed a tear in her mascara and still look good. “With everything she did, Quant got rid of the idea that women should behave in a certain way. Instead, she made space for people to be themselves,” says Lister.

• Quant is released nationwide on 29 October

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


French fishermen block UK boats in post-Brexit protest

French fishermen block boats at St Malo (REUTERS) French fisherman who claim they have been ‘humiliated’ by Britain over post-Brexit operating licences on Friday begun blockading UK ships. Their boats ... Read more »

Horoscope Today, November 27, Saturday: These 2 Zodiac Signs Should Thinking About Saving Money

© KS Swati | Pandit Jagannath Guruji Representational Picture. Horoscope Today, November 27, Saturday: A little sneak-peak on how your day will go does no harm. Sagittarius and Gemini should ... Read more »

Junior Men's Hockey World Cup: India eye win over Poland to get to quarterfinals

© Provided by The Times of India After India’s shocking defeat in the tournament opener, the hosts had come out all guns blazing and beaten Canada 13-1 in their Junior ... Read more »

Quiz: Five questions on Magnus Carlsen's challenger- Ian Nepomniachtchi, and his maverick life

© Provided by The Indian Express Q1. Nepo was asked about his plans to spend the money earned from Candidates and other prize tournaments. For the moment I don’t have ... Read more »

Havana Syndrome: FBI warns staff amid reports of symptoms among agents

Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters The FBI has warned its employees about Havana Syndrome, a mysterious ailment that appears to have affected US diplomats and spies in several countries in recent years ... Read more »

CIA director is said to have warned Russia of 'consequences' if it's found to be behind the 'Havana Syndrome' illnesses hurting US personnel around the world

Russian President Vladimir Putin.Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images US personnel have reported brain damage and other symptoms of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome.” CIA Director Bill Burns warned Russian intel services ... Read more »

UAE reaches Covid-19 vaccination milestone as 100% receive first jab

© DHA The UAE’s vaccine campaign has reached an important milestone as 100 per cent of people have received the first dose. The UAE has reached a major milestone in ... Read more »

10 Restaurants in Manila With Breathtaking Views

© Provided by PHOTO BY Discovery Primea, Facebook/La Cathedral Cafe ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo © Provided by PHOTO BY Discovery Primea, Facebook/La Cathedral Cafe ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo ( With ... Read more »

New COVID variant threat causes worldwide scramble

The Associated PressPeople line up to get on the Air France flight to Paris at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021. A slew of ... Read more »

G.V. Mavalankar — the man who Nehru dubbed the ‘father of Lok Sabha'

© Provided by The Print On his 133rd birth anniversary, ThePrint examines G.V. Mavalankar’s role as the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha. On 15 May 1952, the first session ... Read more »

Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor: Four industrial smart cities being developed, says Commerce Ministry

© Provided by The Financial Express Four greenfield industrial smart cities or nodes are being developed in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh under DMIC. (representational ... Read more »

Pulp-it | Should you lose sleep over Omicron?

© Provided by Hindustan Times It’s safe to assume that full vaccination provides more protection than partial vaccination (REUTERS) The answers to three questions should guide our response to Omicron, ... Read more »

Over 20 injured as pick-up truck rams into pedestrians near Pune

More than 20 people were injured when a pick-up truck ploughed into a group of pilgrims in Vadgaon Maval area near Pune on Saturday morning. The pilgrims, known as warkaris ... Read more »

Time to open the shroud of Gandhiji, says assassination case researcher

© Provided by The Times of India After losing all legal battles over reopening of the Gandhi murder case, is Dr Pankaj Phadnis going to rely on bedside stories of ... Read more »

Prashant Kishor's Bengaluru visit meant to build base for TMC in Karnataka?

© Provided by DNA Political strategist Prashant Kishor who was in Bengaluru on Thursday is reportedly trying to build a base for the Trinamool Congress in the BJP-ruled state of ... Read more »

Punjab Police Constable recruitment 2021: Results of written exam out; check

© Provided by Firstpost Punjab Police Constable recruitment 2021: Results of written exam out; check The results for the written exam of the Punjab Police Constable 2021 have been ... Read more »

Blast die «Normalisierung» ab!

Der Bundesrat hat in der Bevölkerung naiv-optimistische Erwartungen geschürt. Nach der Abstimmung sollte er ein Zeitalter neuer Ehrlichkeit einläuten. © Foto: Peter Schneider (Keystone) Bundesrat Alain Berset spricht an einer ... Read more »

Dow plummets, travel changes coming over new omicron variant

The United States is putting in new travel restrictions for concerns over the new omicron variant, which has not been detected in Colorado as of now. Read more »

Omicron Covid variant: Greg Hunt backflips as Australia shuts border to southern Africa

Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP Australians attempting to return home from southern Africa will be allowed into the country, but ordered into mandatory hotel quarantine Get our free news app; get our ... Read more »

John Abraham reveals a massive scar on his chest on Kaun Banega Crorepati 13, says he ‘only' has 18 bikes

© Provided by The Indian Express Friday’s episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati 13 hosted the cast of new action thriller film Satyameva Jayate 2, John Abraham and Divya Khosla Kumar ... Read more »

India vs New Zealand Live Cricket Score, 1st Test, Day 3: Ashwin Strikes to Dislodge Young on 89 as NZ's Opening Partnership Ends on 151

© Provided by News18 India vs New Zealand Live Cricket Score, 1st Test, Day 3: Ashwin Strikes to Dislodge Young on 89 as NZ’s Opening Partnership Ends on 151 India ... Read more »

Bollywood Rewind | Mr and Mrs 55: When feminism was equated with being a vamp

© Provided by The Indian Express In this weekly column, we revisit gems from the golden years of Hindi cinema. This week, we revisit the 1955 release Mr and Mrs ... Read more »

Janhvi Kapoor dedicates a note to her ‘first film with Papa': ‘You give your heart and soul to every film'

© Provided by The Indian Express Janhvi Kapoor on Friday took to her social media platforms to announce that she has wrapped her upcoming film Mili, a film bankrolled by ... Read more »

Abhishek Bachchan said yes to Bob Biswas before reading the script, believes it is ‘better' than Kahaani

© Provided by The Indian Express Sujoy Ghosh’s 2012 film Kahaani had us picking up our jaws off the floor with its sinister plot twists but the character that left ... Read more »

Covid live: world scrambles to combat Omicron variant; New York declares ‘disaster emergency'

LIVE – Updated at 04:52 © Photograph: Jérôme Delay/AP People lineup to get tested for Covid in Johannesburg, South Africa. ECDC follows WHO in threat assessment of new variant; countries ... Read more »

New Covid variant: BioNTech says it could tweak Pfizer jab in 100 days if needed

© Provided by Khaleej Times Reuters file German biotechnology company BioNTech says it could produce and ship an updated version of the Pfizer vaccine within 100 days if the new ... Read more »

Duque: DOH backs travel ban on Hong Kong over new virus variant

Health Sec. Francisco Duque III at Nov. 15, 2021 briefing The Department of Health has recommended a ban on travelers from Hong Kong after the detection in the territory of ... Read more »

Black Friday Holiday Decor Deals From Home Depot, Macy's, Wayfair and More

© Cavan Images/Getty Images Each product has been independently selected by our editorial team. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to ... Read more »

Peloton bikes are up to $350 off in a rare Black Friday sale — but you'll have to act fast

Prices are accurate at the time of publication. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. © Peloton Peloton The annual Black Friday sale ... Read more »

At least 19 killed in bus crash in central Mexico

At least 19 people were killed and 20 more injured on Friday when a passenger bus traveling on a highway in central Mexico crashed into a house, authorities said. © ... Read more »

Solomon Islands protests: 3 burned bodies found in Chinatown in Honiara following days of unrest

Three charred bodies have been found in a burned out building in the Chinatown district of the Solomon Islands’ capital, Honiara — the first reported fatalities after three days of ... Read more »

Brexit means you chose to give up migrant returns, France tells Boris Johnson

Pope Francis receives French President Emmanuel Macron in a private audience at the Vatican City on Friday French politicians have claimed that Brexit undercut the UK’s ability to tackle Channel ... Read more »

France's Macron tells UK to 'get serious' on Channel migrant crisis

1 / 3France’s Macron tells UK to ‘get serious’ on Channel migrant crisisTribute to the 27 migrants who died as they attempted to cross the English Channel By Sudip Kar-Gupta ... Read more »

Rain Updates: Waterlogging in Chennai After Continuous Showers, Schools Shut; Downpour Expected in Puducherry for Next 3 Days

© Provided by News18 Rain Updates: Waterlogging in Chennai After Continuous Showers, Schools Shut; Downpour Expected in Puducherry for Next 3 Days Areas in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal may ... Read more »

Karnataka UGCET first seat allotment result to release today, here's how to check

Karnataka Examinations Authority, KEA will release Karnataka UGCET first seat allotment result on November 27, 2021. Candidates who have registered themselves for the admission round can check the result through ... Read more »

India reports 8,318 new COVID-19 cases, 465 deaths in last 24 hours

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: India witnessed a decline in daily COVID-19 cases as 8,318 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours, as per the Ministry ... Read more »

Mall in Washington goes into lockdown after shots fired, one victim found so far

Shots were fired on Friday evening at a mall in Tacoma, Washington, which has gone into lockdown. Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Darren Moss Jr. told KIRO at least one ... Read more »

Man sought following indecent exposure incident on bus in Crystal Palace

Police are trying to track down this man following an indecent exposure incident on a bus (Met Police) Officers have released an image of a man they are seeking following ... Read more »

Ava White: Four teenage boys arrested in Liverpool on suspicion of murdering 12-year-old girl who suffered 'catastrophic injuries'

1 / 2Ava White: Four teenage boys arrested on suspicion of murdering 12-year-old girl who suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ in Liverpool Four teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of murdering ... Read more »

Chewing gum, pangkontra sa pagkalat ng COVID-19?

© Provided by Paano kung ang nginunguya mong chewing gum ay makakatulong para mapigilan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19? Ito ngayon ang tinitingnan at pinag-aaralan ng mga eksperto sa Amerika. ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic