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‘Hey Luv! Mary’s Here!’ Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary Opens At Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki This Week

‘Hey Luv! Mary’s here!’ – JC Penney advertisement, 1969

A much-anticipated international exhibition exploring the work of legendary fashion designer Mary Quant opens this Friday at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Join in the fashion, freedom and fun as Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary explores the cultural icon who embodied the youthquake of the Sixties and embraced new mass production techniques to create new looks and lifestyles for modern women.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Lacy is excited to bring this international exhibition to Auckland, encapsulating the spirit of Quant and exploring her immense impact on fashion and culture to New Zealanders.

‘Mary Quant’s effect on women and main-stream culture, was entirely revolutionary. She invited women to dress for having active and playful lives. She made fashion accessible, affordable, comfortable and available to all women. She completely democratised fashion, and moreover gave women the outfits to challenge the status quo and lead bigger and fuller lives than had previously been available to them.’ says Lacy.

Famously modelled by Twiggy, Grace Coddington and more, Mary Quant’s clothes personified the energy and fun of swinging London and Quant became a powerful role model for the working woman. Challenging conventions, she is known as the face of the miniskirt and popularised colourful tights and tailored trousers – encouraging a new age of feminism.

Inspiring young women to rebel against traditional dress worn by their mothers and grandmothers, Quant turned a tiny boutique on the King’s Road, London, into a wholesale brand available in department stores across the UK, US, Europe and Australia. Quant’s success soon hit New Zealand, where her designs made fashion less exclusive and more accessible to a new generation.

‘We’re delighted that the Mary Quant exhibition is opening at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. We hope that it will appeal to everyone, not just fashion fans. The Quant brand is about so much more than clothes, representing humour, self-empowerment, and redefining rules and conventions,’ says the V&A’s Jenny Lister and Stephanie Wood, Co-Curators of Mary Quant.

‘It is wonderful to celebrate with New Zealanders the trailblazing career of a woman who was, and still remains, the ultimate influencer of her time. With a revolutionary approach to branding and marketing, as the face of her brand, with cohesive packaging and her instantly recognisable Daisy Logo, Mary Quant completely anticipated the way that we consume fashion today.’

Mary Quant is a V&A exhibition touring the world.

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