Mary Quant was the ‘it’ girl of fashion in the swinging sixties. Even if you have never heard of her, chances are you know how well her miniskirts and hot pants defined the decade.
Quant, a visionary fashion designer, was the brains behind these iconic styles and her innovative work is now on show at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
More than 110 garments by the British designer as well as photos and sketches are being exhibited, but only until July 11.
The collection, on exclusive loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, gives visitors a chance to see how Quant’s bright colours and irreverent styles shaped the London-born “mod” look.
Think dresses with dropped waists and high hemlines, “wet look” PVC rainwear and shoes, tunic dresses and boldly coloured tights.
Quant rose to worldwide fame through her fashions, which were seen on the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy.
Her mould-breaking designs were lauded as part of the sexual and social liberation the 1960s brought to women around the world.
Her revolutionary contribution to sixties culture earned a damehood in 2015.
To celebrate the exhibition, Bendigo and surrounding towns have embraced a retro theme across everything from vintage clothing to Quant-themed pastries.
Visitors can follow a swinging street art and fashion trail that features artwork by street artists and offerings from businesses including new and pre-loved ’60s-inspired clothing at Queenie and The Princess and 5ifty Boutique.
Cafes have also come to the party. Chocolate lovers can start at Indulge Chocolate with colourful chocolate tasting plates and at steakhouse restaurant The Woodhouse, Quant-inspired desserts can be found on the menu.
BlueBird Patisserie haven’t missed the opportunity for puns with their version of the Quant meets croissant, the Quantsants.
Just 12 minutes from Bendigo, in the town of Eaglehawk, the Star Cinema will be screening movies from the sixties inspired by Quant.
And in the historic gold mining town of Inglewood, a 35-minute drive from Bendigo’s centre, fans will find six vintage, antique and collectable shops in the main street celebrating Quant.
It’s a community-wide tribute to a true fashion icon.