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Coco Chanel hated me. I can understand why.
– Mary Quant
Jean Shrimpton was the most beautiful of all the models I have known. To walk down the King’s Road, Chelsea, with Shrimpton was like walking through the rye. Strong men just keeled over right and left as she strode up the street.
Let me give you an idea of Fifties Britain. The war had ended ten years before, and most people had returned to their gardens and allotments hoping life would revert to how it was before the hostilities.
A woman is as young as her knees.
Fashion is not frivolous. It is a part of being alive today.
I didn’t get fat even when I was pregnant. You have to work very hard at staying slim, and it’s a bore. But it’s worth it.
I liked my skirts short because I wanted to run and catch the bus to get to work.
Many of my friends are chefs, and I learnt to cook watching them.
Of course, I remember when everybody was thin. It wasn’t until I went to America in the Sixties that I saw anyone who wasn’t skinny thin.
I liked masculine fabrics: Prince of Wales checks, city pinstripes, and flannels – worn with black tights, flattish shoes.
People only see permissiveness in the sense of having more.
The whole 1960s thing was a ten-year running party, which was lovely. It started at the end of the 1950s and sort of faded a bit when it became muddled with flower power. It was marvelous.
One day, a new fabric appeared on the scene. PVC was shiny, waterproof, and unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
In the first half of the 20th century, fashion was simply not a very English thing to do.
The miniskirt caused an extraordinarily powerful reaction. There were the people who hated it.
I love restaurants, and I love cooking.
Of course I remember everything I’ve ever worn.
As the daughter of two teachers with first-class degrees, I’d always seen myself as a duffer by comparison.
I remember one day, when things were going frightfully well, I went to buy myself a really smashing car. I asked them to show me a Porsche with an automatic gearbox, and the salesman called over all the other salesmen, and they stood around absolutely roaring with laughter.
I can’t imagine not working, really. I just think work’s more fun than fun.
London style is individual.
As well as being a creative genius, Vidal Sassoon was a formative figure of the Sixties. Along with the Pill and the mini-skirt, his influence was truly liberating.