V&A Dundee is to reopen on August 27 with its first major fashion exhibition, Mary Quant.
The exhibition is the first international retrospective on the iconic British designer who disrupted the fashion establishment, captured the spirit of London in the 1960s, and started a fashion revolution.
Key objects featured include the pioneering ‘Wet Collection’ PVC rainwear, a jute miniskirt, and designs that subverted menswear at a time when women were still banned from wearing trousers in formal settings such as restaurants.
The exhibition will also feature the stories of women who made outfits from Mary Quant’s dressmaking patterns, gathered through V&A Dundee’s #SewQuant campaign, as well as a new film looking at contemporary female designers who, like Mary Quant, are forging their own way through today’s rapidly shifting fashion industry.
Mary Quant was curated by Jenny Lister and Stephanie Wood of the V&A and shown at V&A South Kensington from April 6 2019 to February 16 2020.
The exhibition will run from August 27 to January 17 2021, with tickets on sale from today.
This will be followed by Night Fever: Designing Club Culture from March 27 to September 5 2021.
Scotland’s first design museum has also curated a new exhibition in response to the coronavirus pandemic, looking at how designers responded to the crisis.
Now Accepting Contactless: Design in a Global Pandemic will be shown in the Michelin Design Gallery, in spaces throughout the museum and, for the first time, outside the museum as well.
Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble will also begin work in V&A Dundee on Making Room from August 27, a project with Dundee Central Library, local school pupils and the museum’s Young People’s Collective.
Making Room is taking inspiration from historic buildings in Dundee to produce a new interior room that will be built in V&A Dundee before being moved to Dundee Central Library, where it will function as an area for digital learning and making for the city.
A number of measures will be in place across the museum to ensure a safe experience for visitors and staff.
All visitors will need to book free tickets to enter the museum, as part of the essential steps to keep visitors safe and to ensure physical distancing.
Leonie Bell, incoming director of V&A Dundee, said: “I am hugely excited to be preparing to join the team at V&A Dundee, particularly at a time when Scotland’s first design museum will be reopening and welcoming visitors back with Mary Quant, its first major fashion exhibition, and its most ambitious programme to date.
“That programme also includes the brilliant architecture collective Assemble working with young people in Dundee and an exploration of how designers responded to the pandemic, underlining the importance of design to everyone’s lives.”
Sophie McKinlay, director of programme at V&A Dundee, said: “Everyone at V&A Dundee is delighted to be preparing our remarkable museum to reopen once again, and we have all been working hard to welcome visitors back for a safe, enjoyable experience.
“Mary Quant is a remarkable designer who did so much to revolutionise the fashion industry and to empower women to wear clothes that looked great and felt great, and it’s the perfect choice for our first major fashion exhibition.
“Across the rest of the museum visitors will see more than they’ve ever seen before, with displays inside and outside the museum that explore creative responses to how the world has changed and how we hope it may change in the future.”
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “The reopening of V&A Dundee will be yet another important milestone in the city’s journey out of lockdown.”