Quant – movie review

This documentary is a loving tribute to fashion icon Mary Quant, who typified the changing face of Britain through the 60s and 70s. She was a trailblazer who was credited with creating the mini-skirt and who was well known for her dynamic use of colours and this film puts her life into context with what was happening in Britain at the time.

She opened her first shop in 1955, but Quant was so successful that she later branched out into a range of cosmetics and other household goods. This film looks at the growth of the women’s movement and the so-called rise of British rock, and the wealth of archival footage and material is accompanied by a soundtrack that features the likes of The Who, The Kinks and more.

Quant is the first feature length film from actress turned director Sadie Frost (Shopping, etc). As well as being an actor, Frost has also established her own production company and ran her own fashion house, and draws upon her own knowledge and experience to shape the documentary. The film captures the excitement of the era and Frost’s passion for the material matches Quant’s own passion for fashion.

The film features numerous interviews with many of Quant’s contemporaries including Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood as well as her son Orlando, who gives some insights into her personality and relationship, and even Edward Enninfil, the editor of British Vogue. But Quant herself was rather shy and reticent, and there is little from her apart from some archival footage. Look alike actress Camille Rutherford plays Quant for some dramatic reconstructions and also gives her a voice.

Although this documentary was shot a couple of years ago, its release in cinemas is both timely and poignant given Quant’s recent passing at the age of 93. The film though is most likely to appeal to those with an interest in British fads and fashion of the 60s.

Greg King

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