A FASHION guru who pioneered the miniskirt and hotpants will be celebrated at a new exhibition at Dundee's V&A as the museum showcases the iconic work of Mary Quant.

The first international retrospective on the trendsetting designer will transfer from London, where it is currently on show at the V&A in South Kensington, for a six-month run in Dundee from April 4 until September 6 2020.

The exhibition explores the years between 1955 and 1975 when Quant captured the spirit of the sixties and utilised mass production techniques to create a new look for women.

She is credited with encouraging a new age of feminism and revolutionised the high street with her playful designs, from hot pants, miniskirts and trousers for women to accessories, tights and make-up.

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By promoting these and other fun fashions she encouraged young people to dress to please themselves and to treat fashion as a game.

The show draws on the V&A’s extensive fashion holdings and features an extraordinary range of garments tracked down following a public call-out. The V&A also had unprecedented access to Dame Mary Quant’s own archive.

It comes amid the huge success of the V&A's sell-out London exhibition on Dior - 'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' - which concludes its run on September 1.

Stepping away from the world of fashion, the V&A in Dundee will also delve into five decades of club culture with an exploration of legendary nightspots from Manchester's Haçienda to New York's Studio 54.


The exhibition, 'Night Fever: Designing Club Culture', will go on display from October 31 2020 to 14 February 2021. It will be the first large-scale examination of the relationship between club culture and design.

Studio 54, where pop art icon Andy Warhol was a regular, became the world's most famous nightclub at the height of disco in the 1970s, attracting A-listers including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, and Mick Jagger’s then-wife Bianca - who arrived on horseback for her 1977 birthday bash.

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However, the Broadway venue was also famed for its spectacular interiors thanks to glitzy annual refurbishments, and wind, fog and fake sunset special effects unique to nightclubs in the era.

Also showcased in the exhibition will be the design and graphics used for the Haçienda in Manchester, which became a lynchpin for early 1990s rave culture, and more recent concepts by the OMA architecture studio for the Ministry of Sound in London

HeraldScotland: Hacienda, ManchesterHacienda, Manchester

By charting the evolution of nightclubs since the 1960s the show explores how architecture and interior design merge with sound, light, fashion, graphics and visual effects to create hugely influential epicentres of pop culture.

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Sophie McKinlay, director of programme at V&A Dundee, said: “V&A South Kensington has groundbreaking fashions shows so I’m thrilled that Mary Quant will be the first we bring to Dundee.

"As well as showcasing influential designs it also explores ideas of brand and identity at a time when people were eager for change.

“We will then shine a spotlight on a design environment with endless possibilities in Night Fever, an exhibition looking at club culture through the lens of design.”

Within six months of opening in September 2018, the Dundee V&A had attracted 500,000 visitors and was credited with boosting overall tourism to the region.

The current exhibition, 'Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt', runs until September 8 exploring the design and cultural significance of videogames.

This will be followed with another special exhibition from November, 'Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine', challenging our assumptions about robots and investigating how they are shaping the world we live in. Tickets have just gone on sale.

Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing a future programme – from robotics and prosthetics to the incredibly stylish fashion of Mary Quant and Nicholas Daley and the world of night clubs – that continues our exploration of the extraordinary diversity of design.”