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A UNITY OF OPPOSITES DIOR AND QUANT AT THE V+A TIMELESS STYLE

Dior’s couture was aimed at the smallest section of society, while Quant attempted to democratise fashion and make it available at affordable prices on the UK high street.

Dior’s couture was aimed at the smallest section of society, while Quant attempted to democratise fashion and make it available at affordable prices on the UK high street.

MARY QUANT - TEXINTEL

At first glance it would be hard to pick two more disparate Design Houses to show in Exhibition at the same time.

Dior, whose timeless exclusivity, subtle shapes and understated elegance takes the onlooker back to a world just beginning to recover from a visual and cultural assault by the bigotry and xenophobia of the Nazi era.

Quant, an icon of the swinging sixties in London, emphasised and re-emphasised the new  broad appeal of her time, not based on class or position, but on a radical, freer, mind-set and inclination.

Dior’s couture was aimed at the smallest section of society, while Quant attempted to democratise fashion and make it available at affordable prices on the UK high street.

And yet, going between the two exhibitions, the visitor begins to understand the convergence and the areas of similarity, which in a fundamental sense mark these two designers as branches of the same tree.

The tree, of course, is Style.

Every mannequin, from each designer, tells a similar story.

Folds of cloth, Intricate detail and the use of colour and pattern are combined by each of them to create a style, that perhaps the wearer only dreamed of.

And it is to the dreams of the wearer that both these designers addressed their inspiration.

As each exhibition demonstrates, the flights of fancy of these two designers. encapsulated the mood of their times, and laid down visual and sensual markers that defined the hopes and aspirations of their contemporaries.

So, although approaching the design conundrum from vastly different perspectives, both Dior and Quant enjoyed a symbiotic connection that gave their work a Unity of Purpose as they both sought to present inspirational Style and Form to their respective audiences.