The Mary Quant Film and How She Inspires Us!
Ahead of the first official feature documentary celebrating Dame Mary Quant, we wanted to dedicate a part of The Octopus Garden to the queen of style herself, and how she has influenced our handmade pieces!
Dame Barbara Mary Quant was born in 1930, and *literally* invented the mini skirt! She started designing and manufacturing her own pieces in the later 1950s after being picked up by Harper's Bazaar. She believed that clothing should be fun, contemporary and accessible to the younger generation, who at this time were finally able to afford their own clothes!
She opened her own boutique 'Bazaar' on King's Road in Chelsea in 1955, which was really the birth of the 'Mod' and 'Chelsea' looks, featuring the mini skirt and mini dress. Quant claims that she did not actually invent the mini skirt - her customers did, as they kept asking for the skirts to be shorter! A fun fact is that she named the skirt after her favourite car - the Mini Cooper!
[the classic Mary Quant 'Mod' look (left) and 'Chelsea' look (right)]
We had the joy of visiting the Quant exhibition at the V&A museum in 2020, which hugely inspired us to create our own handmade dresses - the easy-to-wear shapes, bright colours and classic O-ring zip details felt so on brand for us, so we got to work straight away!
[Pictures we took of the Quant exhibition at the V&A museum in London]
We wanted our dresses to be as sustainable as possible, not only by making them inter-seasonal layering pieces that you can keep forever, but also by making them from 60s and 70s curtains. This means they are authentically vintage, but have the same inclusivity and accessibility that Quant wanted for her pieces.
Sadie Frost's documentary 'Quant' comes out on 29th October 2021, so why not dress up for the occasion?! Our dresses launch on Sunday 24th October at 7pm! We have two designs - the 'half and half' dress which uses two different vintage fabrics to provide that incredible psychedelic print clash; and our one piece design made by our incredible seamstress Helen, who has over 30 years experience in historical garment making.
Quant believed clothes should make us look and feel amazing, and have all the fun of childhood, and we do too!! Below are some of our handmade dresses inspired by Quant and the 60s, as well as some gorgeous images from our photoshoot!
Click the photos to shop!
Photographer: Chelsie Southern (@_studiodawn)
Seamstresses: Helen Ronald (@mrsronaldseamstress) and Caitlin
Styling: Caitlin (@caitlin.hare)