Poncho thumbnail 1
Poncho thumbnail 2
+4
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Poncho

1989-1990 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Ponchos made rainproof by the application of a layer of natural rubber are alleged to have been use by pre-Colombian American peoples. Colourful PVC ponchos were Mary Quant Ltd's best-selling item for a number of years during the late-1980s. Retailed duty-free from airport shops and from on board Hoverspeed cross-channel hovercraft, they took advantage of travellers' preparedness (or lack of). This lightweight, one-size-fits-all garment could be folded to a compact size inside a dedicated drawstring pouch, and carried around in case of a sudden downpour. The ponchos were available in three multicolour variations. As well as this 'classic' combination of red, green and yellow, others could be bought which combined soft pastel blue, yellow and pink ('for the older age groups'), or fluorescent orange, green and pink ('for the younger ages or at least the young at heart!').
read Fashioning Glastonbury Festival The 'festival fashion' industry has only really existed since the mid-2000s, following several appearances at Glastonbury Festival by the model Kate Moss.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Poncho
  • Bag
Materials and Techniques
Heat-bonded PVC
Brief Description
Poncho rain cape and carrying bag, PVC, designed by Mary Quant, Great Britain, 1980s
Physical Description
Semi-circular rain poncho formed from four thin sheets of multicoloured waterproof PVC, with a drawstring hood and patch pocket on the front. Accompanied by a yellow drawstring carrying pouch bag.



Dimensions
  • Outer cape length: 102cm
  • Inner waistcoat length: 60cm
Production typeMass produced
Credit line
Given by Kay F. Coles
Object history
Purchased new by the donor's mother, given to the V&A in 1997 (Registered File no. 1997/557)

Historical context
In the 1970s and 1980s Mary Quant focussed her personal efforts designing household goods and makeup, while still continuing to sell clothing. Ponchos such as these were the best selling product retailed by Mary Quant Ltd. in the late-1980s, outselling (according to their trade literature) 'every other Mary Quant item including our very successful T-Shirts and Pareo Beachwraps'. The same source makes explicit the target audience by including details of the 'large useful press stud pocket' which could be used to carry 'maps, papers, cigarettes, etc.'

Summary
Ponchos made rainproof by the application of a layer of natural rubber are alleged to have been use by pre-Colombian American peoples. Colourful PVC ponchos were Mary Quant Ltd's best-selling item for a number of years during the late-1980s. Retailed duty-free from airport shops and from on board Hoverspeed cross-channel hovercraft, they took advantage of travellers' preparedness (or lack of). This lightweight, one-size-fits-all garment could be folded to a compact size inside a dedicated drawstring pouch, and carried around in case of a sudden downpour. The ponchos were available in three multicolour variations. As well as this 'classic' combination of red, green and yellow, others could be bought which combined soft pastel blue, yellow and pink ('for the older age groups'), or fluorescent orange, green and pink ('for the younger ages or at least the young at heart!').

Collection
Accession Number
T.195:1, 2-1997

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record createdNovember 30, 2007
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