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Mary Quant sketchbook for sale in Dorchester
10:22am Thursday 20th March 2014 in News
A sketchbook of fashion designs that a young Mary Quant threw at her tutor in a rage for dismissing her ideas has emerged for sale.
Quant, famed for inventing the mini skirt in the 1960s, was a young college student when she went to Alfred Page with the book full of outlines of dresses.
She sought his opinion on a particular coloured fabric design but didn't like the answer that came back.
The inventor of the hotpants became hot-headed and hurled the hefty document at Mr Page before storming out.
The college lecturer kept hold of it and after Quant became a famous designer in the 1960s he passed it down through his family, telling them the story of how he came by it.
His granddaughter has now unearthed it and has made it available for sale at Duke’s in Dorchester.
Amy Brenan of Duke’s said: "This is a fascinating document that comes with excellent provenance.
"Although Mary Quant she was a student at Goldsmith's College in the 1950s, students from all London art colleges socialised together and she met Alfred Page who was a lecturer at the Royal College of Art.
"According to the vendor, the granddaughter of Alfred Page, he told her that Quant asked for his opinion on one of the coloured fabric designs in the sketchbook.
"He told Quant that he didn't think it was very good, at which point she hurled the sketchbook at him and walked out in a huff. She never came back to collect the book."
There are designs and outlines on every sheet of the 20 page book.
Quant completed each design in pencil and they depict female models wearing designs for full-length evening dresses or suit combinations.
Quite a few of them have been coloured using gouache paint whilst others are just very basic pencil outlines including one of a wedding dress.
Another few pages appear to be designs for printed fabrics.
Although none of the sketches are signed or dated, a simple drawing of a box of Icimla face cream has helped to date it.
It shows the new floral design of the cream's packaging which came into being the 1940s, previously, the face cream had been in a jar.
Mrs Brenan said: "These sketches are likely to have been done by Quant in her early years as a student, before she became famous, making them quite significant.
"It is clear from the quality of them that they are by a very well trained and skilled hand.
"It is a great collection of working ideas and designs.
"It is likely Mary Quant still holds most of her own designs which makes this sketchbook quite a rarity.
The sketchbook is being sold with a pre-sale estimate of just 200 pounds on April 10.
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