Mary Quant and the Swinging 60s

A lot of thought goes into planning an exhibition and when it comes to fashion, the Victoria & Albert museum in London is one of the top destinations to nurture inspiration.

If you see an exhibition about Mary Quant, the queen of the miniskirt who empowered women to be free to move about in the 60s, you can expect this decade to come up in different creative areas in the foreseeable future.

I have discovered the 60s and the heart-warming movement of Peace & Love in my teenage years, it was such a radical and uncompromising approach to the status quo, that it was impossible not to be touched by it.

To this day, this golden decade of spiritual maturity and freedom highly influences the way I see the world.

Of course we cannot be overly romantic about it, and a naive indulgence did have a strong negative impact on some people’s lives, sometimes even fatal: Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimmi Hendrix all died when they were just 27 years old.

But the carefree abandon and the ability to walk the talk is something we can all learn from, “make love not war” is still as relevant today as it was in the 60s.

People felt empowered to change the world and to change themselves, in a way this is echoed today by #metoo and #noplastic campaigns as well as the fashion sustainability movement.

Social media and the internet are double faced, it really depends on how we use them. And used well, they are powerful tools which can help us connecting with others around the world and raise awareness about issues that need tackling.

Nonetheless, it’s undeniable that some tech giants can exert unprecedented influence and this is quite worrying, so much so that the democratic candidate in the US, Elizabeth Warren, have vowed to break up Amazon, Facebook and Google if she’s elected President.

This would be really freeing for most of us, but it will be very hard for those at the top to relinquish the high level of control they now enjoy. In any case, let’s not underestimate our ability to push our agenda forward, and be as enthusiastic about change as our 60s counterparts.

The V&A museum offers a chance to glimpse their world and travel back in time for a few moments, so if you’re in London or planning to be until February next year, be inspired by this generation and Mary Quant's iconic style!

For fashion illustration aficcionados, there’s a two day workshop delivered by Etta Shon. iPad Fashion Illustration inspired by Mary Quant will enable you to learn a range of techniques using your iPad and the Procreate app.

If you love fashion photography and want to gain an overview of its rich history, from the blossoming of the medium in the early twentieth century to the modern day, I would highly recommend the evening course on Fashion Photography led by Susanna Brown, Curator of Photography at the V&A since 2008.

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