Terence Donovan to be included in Major Mary Quant Retrospective

A new exhibition exploring the work of British fashion designer Mary Quant will open at the V&A in April 2019, including photographs from the archive of Terence Donovan. With over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive, the exhibition will shed light on how Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street through her pioneering designs, cosmetics range, and the revolutionary King’s Road boutique Bazaar. A design and retail innovator, Quant popularised high hemlines and is often credited with the invention of the period’s defining style, the mini-skirt. Critical to the development of the Swinging Sixties scene, Quant’s aesthetic was influenced by the dancers, musicians and Beatnik street chic of the Chelsea Set, as well as the Mods, a powerful subculture that helped to define London’s youth culture in the late 1950s.

Terrence Donovan similarly came to prominence as part of Swinging London, a post-war renaissance in art, fashion, graphic design and photography. Associated at this time with David Bailey and Brian Duffy, the trio were nicknamed ‘The Black Trinity’ and together revolutionised the world of editorial photography. Shooting mostly with black-and-white film, Donovan’s iconoclastic and occasionally irreverent photography was well suited to the avant-garde nature of Quant’s designs. The V&A has selected Donovan’s iconic 1966 image of Twiggy, modelling a Quant for Ginger Group turquoise moire taffeta waistcoat and skirt, for inclusion in this major survey of twentieth-century fashion.

The exhibition will open on 6 April 2019 at the V&A, and run until 16 February 2020. Learn more here.

Explore More