“I think the point of clothes, for women, should be that you’re noticed,” said Mary Quant, the British fashion designer famous for bringing the miniskirt to the mainstream. The short skirts and colourful tights she sold in her boutique, Bazaar, coincided with the invention of the pill and the “youthquake” of the 1960s; they were both practical and provocative, perfect for running around causing trouble. No wonder the old boys in London’s Kings Road would shake their umbrellas at the young women wearing them.
The distinctly English image of rattled, brolly brandishing men jumps out in this lively documentary from actor turned film-maker Sadie Frost, who combines talking heads with a mix of archive and playful re-enactments of the young Quant. There are interviews with Kate Moss, Zandra Rhodes, the Kinks’s Dave Davies and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful (the last’s assertion that Quant pioneered the use of black models seems a bit of a stretch). However, the absence of Quant herself, who is still alive, feels like an omission.