Along with the Beatles, fashion designer Mary Quant was one of the pioneers of the “British invasion” of the 1960s, which saw the world shake up for UK exports, including mini-skirts, which Quant is credited with inventing.
And yet, “there are still a lot of people who don’t know who she is,” says Sadie Frost, director of “Quant,” a new documentary about the fashion icon. “So for me, it was an important story to tell.” The film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on Saturday.
Despite three decades in the film industry, both as an actor (he is probably best known for his turn with Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins”) and his production company Blond to Black Films, The first expedition led by Frost. “I have a fashion background and I have a movie background and I am a woman and I know many of Mary’s colleagues and I know many contemporary people in fashion,” Frost explained how she climbed the project.
Frost also brings a unique perspective to the narrative: like Quant, who became one of the most famous figures of the 1960s, made his way through the media milestones, facing a public divorce from fellow actor Jude Law, along with his three children, And occasionally cropped into tabloids, sometimes with BFF Kate Moss.
Frost said his own experience with the media, meaning he sensitively approached the story of Quant’s life. “For me, who was high profile at some point in my life and in the eyes of the public […] It was very important to make everyone confident that I was not going to do anything exciting, or, you know, create something that was going to exploit Mary.
The 922-year-old Quant is still alive but has not been interviewed for the documentary, although it is not clear whether it was due to the Kovid restrictions or whether the designer was infamously embarrassed by the media (Quant’s son Orlando, seen in the picture, made with his blessing.) Of course was affected by the epidemic. “In the end, we lost a lot of our old interviewers because of Kovid,” Frost said. “I was, I will never be able to get that dream line-up again. And that’s when I thought this movie would never end.
“There were a lot of tears on the way because I had such a dream for it so I just fought and fought,” she says. Every time the lockdown restriction is lifted, “I have to run to see someone with the microphone.”
Still, Frost secured a lot of internal-voice for Doc, including Moss, British consumption editor Edward Eninful, and Derry Curry, who worked with Quartet. He tapped actor Camilla Rutherford (“Phantom Thread”) and starred as a designer in a series of chilled vignettes throughout the film. Frost explained, “I wanted it to have a kind of style and a sense of humor.” I was trying to imagine, if it was a feature film, ‘What would it be?’ And I was just thinking of a kind of ‘Amelie’ femininity and intercourse.
In the document, Frost also sheds light on Quant’s feminism (“I liked my skirt short because I wanted to run and catch on the bus,” the designer once said memorably.) “What Mary did for women [in the 1960s] Freed them, gave them a voice, ”Frost said. In terms of her own experience in the entertainment industry, this is a subject close to her heart and that is what draws her to this project, which is produced, edited and apparently run by women.
“It has changed dramatically since I was first [entertainment] Art in the nineties, ”Frost said of how she was often the only woman in the room, even in her own company (she ran briefly with a production company, Natural Nylon, Law, Evan McGregor and Johnny Lee Miller). “I’ve always been among the very men [environment], I am always far away from the place and not supported. ”
“And then obviously, the role of acting [for women] – You play stereotypes. I’ve always been a female fetal and then there was a gap then you play mom, and then you play big mom, and now I’m playing old bat, ”he says. “It was always a big injustice. And that’s the kind of work women had to do for casting. Like if you’re a woman and you play a sexy role, you have to go and wear sexy clothes, or do a photoshoot, which, you know, shows you a certain way, which I think looking back on now, it’s Was completely wrong. “
No doubt some of those themes are reflected in a screenplay, which he also plans to direct. “It’s inspired by some events that happen in my life,” she says. “It’s kind of dark and it’s about a woman taking revenge on a man so it’s a bit thrilling.”
Four of his children have now graduated from school (two have followed him and have made laws in the film industry: Iris Law appearing in Danny Boyle’s upcoming FX series “Pistol” and Steven Spielberg’s “Masters of the Year” appearing on Rafferty Law for Apple) Frost now He has the time and space to focus on his own projects. In addition to the screenplay, he has a role in “The Chelsea Cowboy” with Alex Petifer and Poppy Delevenne, which began shooting this week, making four films and creating more featured documentary ideas that he hopes to direct.
“The thing is, when people say, ‘How can you do three or four different things at the same time?’ I say, ‘Well, you know, my four big projects were going on at the same time,’ Frost says. “And it was raising four children as single mothers.”