Film: Quant and the British Film Festival




Dame Mary Quant was one of the most influential and innovative fashion icons of the 20th century.

Born in 1930, she brought fashion and youth culture together in a boutique called Bazaar on the Kings Road, Chelsea, creating a new look for young working career girls who had money to spend. Unusually for the time, the shop had music, drinks, and quirky models in the windows. It was open for long hours but had only one change room, so customers mingled while trying on clothes.

She designed short (six to eight inches above the knee), simple, strong coloured clothes, and tights, miniskirts and hot pants were launched on an amazed public – a long way from twin sets, stockings and pearls. It was the beginning of the “swinging sixties”.



Alexander Plunket Green was her much loved partner. They married in 1957 and had a son, Orlando. He was a business orientated man with  easy manner;  very helpful to Mary in promoting the business. He financed her first shop with another partner, Archie McNair.

By 1966 Mary was working with 18 manufacturers. Her second shop was designed by Terence Conrad, her hair, cut into a bob by Vidal Sassoon, her models included Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Grace Coddington.



After success internationally, her influence expanded into the 80s (with licensing) into PVC clothes, accessories, underwear, cosmetics, furnishings, carpets, paints and kitchenware. But by the late 60s the Quant look went out of style, in favour of ethnic or punk clothes, and she retired in 2000, though there are still more than 200 shops bearing her name in Japan.

Director Sadie Frost has made a documentary featuring archival footage and re-enactments of Mary by Camilla Rutherford. There are contributions from Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, Vogue editor Edward Enninful, family and friends.



The film commentates on social change and how creativity can change culture. It has a great sound-track to match the time.

On a personal note – I went to the Melbourne Cup dressed in a suit bought at Aherns,  with hat to match, high heeled shoes, handbag, stockings and gloves in the same year Twiggy was invited. She was wearing a mini skirt and flat shoes, looked amazing, and caused a sensation!

96 minutes.


Quant is showing as part of the 2022 Cunard British Film Festival at Palace Raine Square Perth, Luna Leederville, Luna SX Fremantle, and Windsor Nedlands running until November 16.

The 37 films will showcase the talents of Britain’s finest filmmakers and actors including Stephen Frears, Sally Hawkins, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Olivia Coleman, Colin Firth and many more in a selection of dramas, documentaries and comedies, most of which are showing for the first time in Australia.

Program and tickets are available from https://


Watch the Quant trailer…