This short A-line dress from 1966 is the kind of design most people associate with Mary Quant. It reflects the shift towards childlike clothing associated with the 'youthquake' of the 1960s. Previously young women had dressed like their mothers, now mothers dressed like their teenage children.
The dress is made of dark orange wool bonded jersey, a fabric Mary Quant liked to use as it moulded itself to the body while keeping its shape at the same time. On a paper label attached to the dress with a safety pin, the name 'Peggy' is written in pencil, which might have been the name of the dress. The dress was included in an exhibition on Mary Quant held in the former London Museum at Kensington Palace in 1973.
On 11 November 1966 the spring ready-to-wear collections in Paris were reviewed in The Times newspaper: 'The fabric for now is definitely jersey - I judge that about 60 per cent of the women, staff, mannequins, or visitors at the exhibition were wearing it, mostly in vivid colours. [...] There were many short skirts around, though not as short perhaps as in London. I have a theory about this. The very young look doesn't suit the French, even the very young French. French girls are too essentially women in the making, and aware of so being. The French mannequins looked very unhappy in their little-girl outfits, and somehow their legs looked strangely adult, so the effect lacked conviction. Mary Quant, on the other hand, had imported four of England's best show models to display her Ginger Group clothes. They are all in their twenties, and they proved that the young look is a question of style and type, not of age.' (The Times, Friday, Nov 11, 1966; pg. 15; Issue 56786)