Opinion: The Woman Who Made The Miniskirt A Legend Also Changed The World


Praca, Oferty Pracy

Opinion: The woman who made the miniskirt a legend also changed the world

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Editor’s note: Holly Thomas is a writer and editor based in London. She is the morning editor of Katie Couric Media. She tweets @holstatt. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. See more opinions on CNN.



The tales of Swinging London evoke the same cocktail of awe and suspicion in me as the promise of super-cheap Airbnbs and waterproof phones: sounds too pretty to be true. Still, while the 1960s probably didn’t pass for everyone in a haze of Beatlemania and carefree incessant smoking, a lucky few seem to have enjoyed it. One such unicorn was Mary Quant, a fashion revolutionary. died this week at age 93.

The trailblazers are often credited with being “ahead of their time”, but Quant was her time. Credited since popularization the iconic miniskirt and sweeping dusty silhouettes of the 1950s, her eye for what young men might love to wear, and her interest in what young women particularly care about spoke of an imagination so vivid that it shaped the world around her. The life story of Quant, a true powerhouse who became the figurehead of the post-war generation determined to seize every opportunity that came his way, reads like a holiday. From the perspective of 2023, it’s hard not to walk away seething with envy.

Quant opened her London Bazaar store in 1955 when she was only 25 years old. daughter Of the two teachers from mining families, she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but picked up a couple along the way. Her husband, Alexander Plunket Green, whom she met while studying art at Goldsmiths College, was a cousin to the Duke of Bedford. Their friend Archie McNair was a lawyer-turned-portrait photographer and also a coffee shop owner (this guy walked so millennial hipsters could run) — and apparently had a wallet too.

Mary Quant stands outside her Bazaar store and looks out the window, as a passer-by would do in October 1960.

The trio decided to go into the fashion business together, and in 1955 each of the men reconciled £5,000 to purchase an entire building on London’s exclusive King’s Road in Chelsea. This close up to £170,000 (well over $200,000) in today’s money is hardly a trifle, but, by comparison, real estate this address last sold in 2021 for £7,525,000. No one is suggesting that dating rich people has ceased to be a popular business model in the seven decades since Bazaar opened, but Quant certainly has the benevolent real estate market of the 1960s to thank as well.

In the first half of the 20th century, youth fashion was not much different from the fashion of late adulthood. What you wore designated class, and the silhouettes were mostly rigid, corseted and uniform. Chelsea Quantum Store exploded to a stage overflowing with brightly colored sundresses, short skirts and tights that she wanted to wear and was quickly adopted by a generation that fashion had not yet served.

snobbery, she said, fell out of fashion, and her design was radical but backed up by an end-to-end logic. More young women than ever had jobs, and as Quant herself explained, “I liked my short skirts because I wanted to run and take the bus to work.” For those who are not ready to take risks on a windy day, Quant has made trousers that have eluded main stream chic before that decade. The women made their own money, and Quant believed they should spend it on things that made them happy. Of course her colorful tights were three times more expensive like traditional stockings, but what did it matter if the girls had money?

Spectators and models at a fashion show by British stylist Mary Quant in London, 1960s.

Much of Quant’s career looks like the fantasy of a modern entrepreneur. She seized on the opportunity offered by the new post-war technologies to mass production economical synthetic clothing, free of the environmental concerns that plague today’s fast fashion makers. “Cozy Collection” by Kim Kardashian for Skims famously found gold during the pandemic, arriving just as people were chained to their homes.

quantum introduced the American idea of ​​”homewear” specifically for the home in Europe first and foremost – and, like the Kardashians, she understood the power of her own brand. While previous designers sent their creations out into the world hoping they would inspire consumers with their virtues, Quant was the living embodiment of the playful gamers she courted – short-haired, red-rimmed, and clearly reveling in the freedom offered by the clothes she made. .

Having an open mind about adventure is good, but it’s not a guarantee of happiness if that philosophy doesn’t fit with your surroundings. Quant was very talented and gifted with a precocious sense of power and hustle that would be familiar to today’s twenties, but most importantly, she hit a vein of luck that allowed her to make those dreams a reality. How she put it down“I just started when ‘something in the air’ boiled over.”



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