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UK fashion icon Mary Quant's retrospective exhibition hits Taiwan

Designer aimed to make stylish clothing more affordable

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The retrospective exhibition of Mary Qunat takes place in Taiwan. (Taipei Fine Arts Museum photo)

The retrospective exhibition of Mary Qunat takes place in Taiwan. (Taipei Fine Arts Museum photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Dubbed “the mother of the miniskirt,” British fashion designer Mary Quant’s retrospective exhibition is taking place at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) until Aug. 28.

Curated by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the retrospective exhibition of acclaimed fashion icon, Mary Quant, titled "Quant: Fashion Revolutionary," in Taipei features more than 120 pieces of authentic clothes, accessories, and cosmetics, from 1955 to 1975. Taiwan is the first stop of the world tour.

The show is divided into six sections that look at the artist’s childhood and professional life, beginning with her boutique store Bazaar on King’s Road in 1955, and her namesake brand “Mary Quant,” which attracted young female customers with its daisy logo and stylish makeup kits. Quant said that the whole point of fashion is to make it available to everyone.

Born in London in 1930, Quant and her family moved to Kent after World War II started. According to her autobiography titled “Quant by Quant,” she enjoyed relative peace with her kid brother in a rural village during wartime and discovered her fondness for fashion design and minimalist style at an early age.

In the ongoing exhibition, Quant’s creative approach challenged traditional British institutions and hierarchies in 1960s London. Quant’s husband, Plunket Green, created witty and absurd names for the outfits, inspired by renowned male figures and establishments, such as “Bank of England” and “Barrister."

Notably, Quant shocked the world in the 1960s by revealing a design for a skirt that exposed women's knees, and this “knee-skimming” design was picked up by the media and spread internationally. Quant's miniskirt was popular among metropolitan women worldwide by 1966 despite conservative critics, according to the museum.

"I aim to create a total look but one with so many variations that each girl can select and reject my pieces to find her own permutation," Quant said.

UK fashion icon Mary Quant's retrospective exhibition hits Taiwan
Retrospective exhibition of Mary Quant opens in Taipei. (TFAM photo)

UK fashion icon Mary Quant's retrospective exhibition hits Taiwan
Mary Quant and Plunket Greene in 1960. (Courtesy of Terence Pepper Collection. John Cowan Archive photo)

UK fashion icon Mary Quant's retrospective exhibition hits Taiwan
Quant's installations use Victorian frills, stiff collars, and bloomers that will surprise visitors. (TFAM photo)

UK fashion icon Mary Quant's retrospective exhibition hits Taiwan
The raincoat collection was created in collaboration with Alligator Rainwear. (TFAM photo)

UK fashion icon Mary Quant's retrospective exhibition hits Taiwan
In collaboration with British manufacturer "Steinberg & Son," the "Ginger Group" collection aims to transform fashion with fun and edgy clothing at more affordable prices. (TFAM photo)