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Review: ‘Quant’ is a sweet simple exploration of the designer’s life

Mary Quant was an icon of the 1960s and 1970s who brought a fresh young look to the fashion industry. In the documentary Quant, we get a behind-the-scenes look at her life. There is no doubt that she made a huge impact on the fashion world, but she also designed homewares, and of course cosmetics. 

The documentary is a slow burn really. It is a mixed bag of interviews with people who worked with her or were inspired by her such as Kate Moss and Jasper Conrad. But it also includes archival interviews with Quant and her husband Alexander Plunkett-Greene; off-camera interviews with her son Orlando, and occasional appearances of actor and Quant look-a-like Camilla Rutherford who, dressed in 60s Quant fashion, talks to the camera. 

What emerges is the story of a quite remarkable woman who had a huge impact in the world of fashion, but one who didn’t actually seek the limelight. She got the attention, but she simply loved clothing and wanted everyone who wore her creations to feel good, sexy, and young.

While many of her outfits are shown throughout the documentary, I would have liked to have seen them celebrated more, particularly as most of the footage of them was from a long time ago and so the images feel a little dated in some respects. Were they worn by models now and shot in a high resolution, they would certainly pop. 

Nevertheless, Quant is a sweet documentary that tells the story of Mary Quant’s life in a simple way. There’s no great revelation, other than Quant was incredibly shy, no scandals, no shocks. 

QUANT 

126 minutes

Directed by Sadie Frost 

In New Zealand cinemas 18th August 2022

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