mary quant design
Courtesy of the Fashion and Textile Museum

If you are interested in mid century fashion and happen to be in London before June 2, Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution is an exhibit hosted by the Fashion and Textile Museum that should be on your radar.

Visitors are presented with the “design and art of the Chelsea Set; a group of radical young architects, designers, photographers and artists who were redefining the concept of youth and challenging the established order in 1950s London,” the FTM site explains. These creative rebels helped engineer the time period dubbed the ‘swinging sixties’. The most notable of this group were Mary Quant and Terence Conran.   

Mary quant designs
Courtesy of the Fashion and Textile Museum

Mary Quant

Mary Quant is a fashion icon who revolutionized the fashion industry and reshaped the rulebook that fashion designers followed. Rather than make her work exclusive to only the wealthy elite, Quant wanted her fashion to be accessible to a new generation. She priced her designs to match her ideals

Quant’s designs were simple in style, fun to wear and boldly colorful. Quant wanted women to be able to freely express themselves, and the shorter hemlines of the miniskirts she popularized helped achieve this. 

conran chair
Courtesy of the Fashion and Textile Museum

Terence Conran

Like Quant, Conran wanted average citizens to be able to enjoy high-end designs. He is well known for his iconic furniture and textiles. When he opened his store called Habitat in 1964, he implemented flat packaging, meaning customers would assemble the furniture after they brought it home. This made it possible lower prices to a level that most people could afford. 

As pioneers of the “swinging sixties,” Conran and Quant helped shape the youth of London and provided a new visual vocabulary for personal expression. Their impact eventually made its way across the globe and their presence is still felt today.  

mary quant designs
Courtesy of the Fashion and Textile Museum

The exhibit is set to present works from both Coran and Quant, as well as other prominent influencers spanning the time from 1952 all the way to 1977. The event will highlight their distinct styles during this time period, and explore their cultural impact.

 If you are interested in getting tickets or learning more about the event, head here!