February 12, 2014


Mary Quant, fashion designer for Swinging London, turned 80 yesterday. Quant was one of the first designers to develop the Mini Skirt and her slim youthful creations defined the look for the decade. Arriving in Britain during the sexual revolution, with the newly available birth control pill, the rising hemline was a statement of rebellion. The design spread like wildfire and similar work by designers like Andre Courreges, Pierre Cardin, and Yves St. Laurent popped up around the continent. UK viewers saw one of the earliest appearances of the Mini Skirt designed for Diana Rigg by John Bates on The Avengers.

Quant's Mini was featured in a series of stamps honoring iconic British designs, which included the red phone booth, spitfire airplane, double-decker bus, and the mini cooper. Asked at the time about her own Mini Cooper, she said, "The Mini car went exactly with the Mini Skirt… It was optimistic, exuberant, young, flirty. It was exactly right." Mini Cooper offered a limited edition of 2,000 Mary Quant motor cars in 1988. Career profile from British Pathe here. Image of Mini Dress worn by dancer Kathy Gale (not of Avengers fame) on the Steve Allen Comedy Hour (1967) from the NY Daily News. Happy Birthday, Mary!

Recent Spy Vibe posts: Patrick Macnee, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanJon Gilbert talks FlemingBarbarella TV seriesMeet the Beatles 50thWonderwall comes to Blu-rayBatman StripsDavid Bowie at 67Kevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsSherlock ExhibitFu Manchu history panelAndy Warhol box set, Six-Million Dollar ManStriped Light NudeBuckminster FullerDylan at NewportJane and SergeThe Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewPete SeegerKraftwerk returns to US, Beatles BBC on Fresh Air, Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPJulius ShulmanShane Glines Batman, The Prisoner and Captain ScarletDiego Fortunato and Verner Panton, Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series, new Hercule Poirot novel, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute. 

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Ian Fleming LettersErno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

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