Blackheath High School GDST hosted a special evening celebrating one of its most acclaimed alumnae, Dame Mary Quant. The work of the fashion icon was discussed at the junior school in an illustrative talk led by Jenny Lister, curator of the Quant Exhibition currently on at the V&A Museum. Quant, whose pioneering designs gained worldwide acclaim for catering to women’s growing empowerment in the 1960s, attended Blackheath High School in the 1940s.
The evening, in partnership with the Blackheath Society and attended by the school community, delved into how Quant, often cited as being the inventor of the miniskirt, launched a fashion revolution through her catalogue of exuberant designs. Those in attendance were encouraged to bring with them Mary Quant originals and memorabilia to be displayed on the night. This included a former designer for Quant who brought with her a collection of original clothes and dolls.
The evening explored Quant’s years at the school before she departed to transform the fashion industry forever. The event also explored how Quant’s legacy continues to influence Blackheath High and the wider world. In the school’s case, this has been exhibited through its championing of female empowerment and commitment to the arts, fashion and textiles; the latter of which the school is a specialist in teaching.
Earlier this month, students from Blackheath High School visited the V&A exhibition where they were taught how to create dresses akin to Quant’s. During the event last week, the school’s Year 6 students demonstrated what they had learned by showcasing their own Mary Quant style designs for the V&A Museum curator Jenny Lister.
Head at Blackheath High, Mrs Carol Chandler-Thompson said: “Mary Quant was a trailblazer for women around the world. Her clothes were created to accommodate the newly liberated and empowered women of the 60s, and since then they have come to truly represent that amazing moment in history. At Blackheath High, we encourage all of our students to use their talents, be creative and strive for greatness just like Mary did. We are thrilled to celebrate her career and time at Blackheath High through this special evening.”