Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Me and My Icons

2 of 34 nominations


Cardigans and cottage pie

Cardigans and cottage pie

Who’d have thought that 1960s fashion guru Mary Quant would nominate the cardigan? But before you fall off your chair, we’re not talking any old cardigan…

"Cardigans need to be large and beautifully made with big bone buttons - as worn by Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady and now seen on very chic English girls worn over something very small and sexy.  Cardigans were invented by the Earl of Cardigan of Charge of the Light Brigade," she explains.

Quant also nominates some good old-fashioned English cooking as her second icon. "Cottage Pie has to be made from the delicious leftovers from roast leg of lamb minced with a big dash of tomato ketchup and soy sauce, plus perfect mashed potato on top - very English."

Image of Cottage Pie © Ted Davis

Cardigans and cottage pie

Mary Quant OBE

Fashion Designer

One of the designers credited with the creation of the mini-skirt and coloured, patterned tights, Mary Quant started making her own clothes in the late 1950s when she couldn’t find what she wanted for her boutique on London’s King’s Road. She spawned the Mod era and the Chelsea Look and was mass-producing her designs and exporting to the US by the 1963. Her last major fashion item was hot pants in the late 1960s, after which she began to concentrate her efforts on make-up and household goods.

Image of Mary Quant © 2002 Topham/PA topfoto.co.uk