Iconic designer Mary Quant will be ‘delighted’ by V&A Dundee show

V&A Dundee Mary QuantImage copyright
Michael McGurk

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The exhibition was originally scheduled to run from April to September this year

Iconic fashion designer Mary Quant will be “delighted” about a major retrospective at Dundee’s V&A Museum, her former company director said.

The museum has reopened with the exhibition, which had originally been set to run from April to September.

Quant celebrated her 90th birthday this year, but is unable to attend the show.

Heather Tilbury Phillips, who advised the V&A on the exhibition, said she “can’t wait” to show the designer footage of the new show.

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Heather Tilbury Phillips said Quant would be “delighted” at the Dundee exhibition

She said: “She was always the very essence of modern and therefore to see a contemporary building, so excitingly designed, with all this space, with the height, with the colour, she would be delighted.

“Because of lockdown she hasn’t been able to see many people at all.

“But I shall make sure she sees the coverage. I can’t wait to show her some photographs.”

Image copyright
Rolls Press/Popperfoto

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Mary Quant was a major figure in the fashion industry in the 1960s

The former director of Mary Quant Ltd said Quant had “revolutionised the world of fashion.”

“She wasn’t prepared to accept the world as it was given to her, the grey clothes and conservative tastes inherited from the wartime generation before,” she said.

“Mary used her designs, from her fashions to accessories, hats, make-up and homeware, to change the way people looked at the world and to let people create better lives for themselves.”

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The show features dozens of original outfits designed by Quant

The exhibition features dozens of outfits designed by Quant, including her pioneering “wet collection” PVC rainwear, and the miniskirts with which she is most readily associated.

The museum has introduced social distancing measures, including one-way systems and the wearing of face masks, for its reopening.

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The show runs at V&A Dundee until January

V&A Dundee’s director of programme Sophie McKinlay said the museum wanted to create a “safe haven” for visitors.

“We had to make adjustments to the Scottish Design Galleries, and with Mary Quant we were fortunate in many ways because we had just completed the build of the exhibition when lockdown hit,” she said.

“We were planning to hit the ground running as soon as we could get into the museum and to start installing.”

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Sophie McKinlay said the museum wanted to create a “safe haven” for visitors

Ms McKinlay said the museum was fortunate to return with such a “joyful and uplifting” show.

“Certainly the conversations I’ve been having with people is just that intense desire to come back and see an object, and see something that is in a physical space rather than on a screen.

“I think that cultural organisations have never been more important or relevant to people’s lives.

“It adds texture to people’s lives, it adds joyfulness to people’s lives.”

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V&A Dundee reopens on Thursday after being closed for five months

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