#AtoZ 1968 – “Q” is for Mary Quant

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

Mary Quant

If you’ve watched “Mad Men,” you’re aware of how drastically women’s fashion changed through the decade. From bullet bras and girdles to hats and white gloves (even on the hottest summer days), women endured restrictive clothing because it’s what was expected. Mary Quant changed that, designing minis, baby dolls, and shiny boots from her King’s Road boutique in the Chelsea neighborhood of London.

As culture changed dramatically during the Sixties, Mary Quant understood. “It was the girls on King’s Road who invented the mini. I was making easy, youthful, simple clothes, in which you could move, in which you could run and jump and we would make them the length the customer wanted. I wore them very short and the customers would say, ‘Shorter, shorter.'” She gave the miniskirt its name, after her favorite make of car, the Mini.

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And it wasn’t just clothes – Mary Quant designed new boots. She created “paintbox” makeup palettes. All of this happened prior to 1968 (by 1966 there were plenty of mini-skirted women on King’s Road), but Mary Quant certainly was at her pinnacle in 1968.

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Here’s the #19 song from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 Singles of 1968

“Midnight Confession” by The Grass Roots