Have you ever wondered where the miniskirt came from or who was responsible for this innovative trend. In the following piece, I hope to shed some light on the history and evolution of this iconic piece. It’s hard to believe that its over 50 years since the miniskirt made its debut.
The miniskirt did not come into prominence until the 1960s, but ancient artworks have shown that women were wearing very short, mid-thigh length skirts thousands of years ago. More recent history shows veiled women under long sleeves and long hemlines, with the exception of 1920s, when the fashionable flappers of the age raised their hemlines up to the knee. The harsh economic times of the Wold War II kept women’s skirts at a knee length (due to rationing), but the economic boom years of the 1950s favoured full, long skirts on women, signifying wealth and glamor.
That was all about to change in the 1960’s. These years were an era of revolution in both music and fashion. Although many designers have claimed the title of “creator of the miniskirt”, it was British designer Mary Quant who launched the trend in 1963. This was largely due to the image of teen model Twiggy wearing a miniskirt. The 60s were undoubtedly different times than today, the miniskirt was a real challenge to the common sense of decency of that time. The strip of fabric was considered scandalous, shameless and irreverent and was deeply upsetting to a large part of the conservative society of the time.
Ignoring a short period of time during the 70s, when the miniskirt took a backseat to longer versions, due to the growing feminist movement, that believed the skimpy garment was a tool for objectifying women. In the 1980s, short skirts began to re-emerge. Many women began to incorporate the miniskirt into their business attire, a trend which grew during the remainder of the century. Films and television series made in the mid-1990s (Friends , Sex and the City, for example) show how ubiquitous the mini had become again.
Even today in the 21st century the miniskirt continues to be a regular feature of the fashion world. In all of its contradictions and reinventions, the miniskirt still provokes, challenges, and demands attention from both men and women alike.
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