Dame Mary Quant: Quotes from her pioneering career in fashion

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Dame Mary Quant, who has died aged 93, was credited with making fashion accessible to the masses with her sleek, streamlined and vibrant designs.

Here is a selection of quotes from the designer herself and those close to her.

– Reflecting on her role in the Swinging Sixties (The Times, 2010)

“I had a hell of a good time. A feeling of optimism permeated London.

“But I haven’t had just one golden period, it’s all been absolutely terrific. Fashion is such terrific fun.

“Being young is greatly overestimated. It was a terrible strain. Terribly frightening. You’re always doing things for the first time.”

– Dame Mary on the person who inspired her most (The Guardian, 2016)

“The Queen, because she hasn’t put a foot wrong. I have met her on many occasions and I think she’s the wisest woman I’ve ever met.”

– On her own fashion habits (The Scotsman, 2012)

“Of course I remember everything I’ve ever worn. Don’t you?”

– On her ideal model (The Scotsman, 2012)

“The bones are what matter, it’s beautiful bones that made Jean Shrimpton a great model. After the war we were all skinny anyway, all that rationing and austerity. I never saw an obese person until I went to America.

“Of course I’m greedy but I’ve always watched what I eat because I want to look good. I gave up butter, cream and sugar years ago.”

– Reflecting on taking time away from her career (The Times, 2010)

“I was churning out so many designs a year, it became an obsession, a drug. I couldn’t stop. Shoes, boots, clothes, underwear, hats, wallpaper, carpets – I loved carpets.

“But you can’t go on holding them all down. You kind of want to spend more time thinking and writing and walking in the country and having a dog.”

– Dame Zandra Rhodes at the premiere of Quant (2021)

“Her legacy is the beginning of the real Swinging London and how we remember it – and I am one of the few people who knew her.”

– Actress and fashion designer Sadie Frost ahead of the release of her documentary about Dame Mary (2021)

“Her work evolved through the 60s and 70s and she changed the whole female silhouette.

“Women used to dress like their mothers and she just came along and shook it up and made everyone be daring, be free – and that’s what fashion should be about, expressing yourself.”

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