Short Skirts

Short skirts, are what you might call a ‘clubbing uniform.’ This may seem strange in the cold season, but it’s quite the opposite. Even when winter is at its peak everyone is wearing short skirts. However, a miniskirt is more than a fashion statement-it’s a declaration of youth and independence.

In fact, the history of the miniscule garment is intriguing. Though we tend to associate sixties fashion with short skirts, the mini was not worn by many until 1966. The precursor of the mini dress was the straight shift, which developed from the 1957 sack dress, and was well below the knee. In 1966, couturier Mary Quant introduced the first short shift dress. Inspired by the Mini Cooper automobile, Quant was at the pinnacle of her fame when she created the micro-mini.

Owing to her position in the UK haute couture circuit, the miniskirt grew into a key international trend. However, there were conflicting opinions as to who was the original creator of the mini. Marit Allen, a Vogue ‘Young Ideas’ editor at the time, stated “John Bates, in particular, has always been completely unappreciated … he bared the midriff, used transparent vinyl and, was responsible for raising the hemline.” The ‘mini debate’ notwithstanding, French designer André Courrèges, who integrated it into his Mod look in 1965 further popularized short skirts. His minis were less clinging, and worn with white boots that became a trademark of sorts.

The miniskirt made frequent appearances over the decades; in the eighties it was part of the punk and power-suit movement. Even the most conservative designers raised hemlines drastically. Minis were not seasonal attire any longer; in winter they were worn over leotards. In fact, women wore minis with ruffled tops, sweaters, and even T-shirts- and looked good.

Over the next few years, skirts continued to dominate trousers, but softer and longer than the eighties version–gathered pleated (Chanel), hugging pencils (Alexander McQueen), or skirt suits–you name it; they were wearing it. And–this season it’s back in full force. The presence of short skirts in the collections of key couturiers appears to have sparked off yet another miniskirt resurgence. Chanel, Lacroix, Vuitton and others have all displayed their version of ultra-short skirts. In brief, it’s time to ride the short wave and get back in style once again.