Freesia - The Controversial History Of The Most Revolutionary Fashion Style – The Miniskirt

The Controversial History Of The Most Revolutionary Fashion Style – The Miniskirt

By: Menna El-Baz Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:27:06

"I'm young and I love to be young, I'm free and I love to be free"

Lesley Gore - You don't own me

The 60s witnessed the rising of the feminist movement, as the number of working women increase; they called for equality instead of just being looked at as "the second sex". And of course, such a remarkable liberation movement comes with great changes in the fashion scene. The 60s weren't just a time of liberation, but also a fashion transformation; from sophisticated and casual styles to bright colors and bold prints. This era also witnessed the debut of the miniskirt by the British designer and Bazaar boutique owner, Mary Quant. In the late of 1950s, Quant began experimenting with shorter skirts, culminating in the creation of miniskirts in 1964; she named it after her favorite make of car, the Mini. The miniskirt was an instant success; worn by many London girls who were willing to try a new daring controversial piece of clothing

According to Quant, her aim was to free women so that they can move and run easily. Being the creato of the miniskirt and the queen of Swinging London (a term applied to the fashion and cultural scene that flourished in London in the 1960s), Quant’s miniskirt wasn't just an ordinary street style fashion, but a major international trend

Later on November 16, 1966, Mary Quant received the Order of British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth, for her contributions to fashion

On the other hand, André Courrèges, a French designer, claimed he was the inventor of the miniskirt. In the late 1964, he showcased his futuristic, space-age minimalistic dresses which scandalously fell above the knee. Unlike Quant, he designed his skirts in more sophisticated and maturity, which helped to make the trend acceptable to French haute couture

However, Quant and Courrèges’ claims to be the creators of the miniskirt were challenged by others, such as Marit Allen, the contemporary editor of British Vogue's Young Ideas spread. Allen insisted that a British designer, John Bates was the miniskirt’s true creator, rather than Quant or Courrèges. It wasn’t me or Courrèges who invented the miniskirt anyway—it was the girls in the street who did it.” Quant said

After British fashion model Jean Shrimpton wore a white dress with a short skirt on the annual

Melbourne Derby Day, in 1965, and French actress Brigitte Bardot wore the skimpy garment in 1966, during a trip to London, the miniskirt became widely recognized as a fashion must-have.

Throughout the decade, fashion designers created new variations to keep the excitement alive. For example, Paco Rabbane launched his plastic chain-mail miniskirt in 1966

The miniskirt in the 60s was seen as a liberating trend for women. Every woman in that decade

tried some version of the miniskirt; first it was embraced by young girls despite resistance from

parents and school administrations, later it became a symbol of the sexual revolution

By the end of the decade, the miniskirts started to fell out of fashion when disillusionment about Vietnam became more widespread and the future looked less positive. In 1969 in a style called 

the “maxi", the hemline of the skirt fell back down to the ankle which was the longest hemline


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