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Made in Britain

September 10, 2018

History of Fashion – The Miniskirt

By: Luke

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From denim and corduroy to pinafores and dresses, the classic miniskirt shape can be seen gracing the high street in all different fabrics, colours and styles. However, this popular style of skirt wasn’t always so readily accepted. In this week’s History of Fashion blog, we’re taking a closer look at the journey of fashion’s favourite style of skirt.

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From Ancient Egyptians to flapper girls

When thinking about the timeline of the classic miniskirt, one iconic woman may spring to mind – Mary Quant. However, variations on the classic hemline can be traced all the way back to 5400 BC. Archaeologists discovered that humans have favoured this trend for centuries, from early European civilisations to Ancient Egyptians.

The rise of the flapper girl in the 1920s breathed new life into the short skirt. After the conservative clothing worn during the war, many young people needed freedom and rebellion and expressed this through their clothing. Hemlines had risen due to fabric rationing and the progression of women’s rights made wearing shorter skirts more commonplace.

The modern mini

Enter Mary Quant. The British designer opened her iconic boutique, Bazaar, on King’s Road in 1955 and it quickly became a unique shopping experience and fun place to hang out for London’s youth.

In 1964, the miniskirt as we know it was truly born. Although she didn’t strictly invent the classic item of clothing, Quant raised the hemline of skirts to roughly six inches above the knee. She coined the term ‘miniskirt’, named after her favourite type of car, the Mini. Twiggy became the unofficial poster child of the skirt and it’s popularity flourished throughout the sixties.

Mary Quant the fashion designer in her lab in Chelsea measuring the length of a mini skirt: Year 1965

Creating to inspire

The miniskirt helped young women break free from traditional stereotypes, with its playful shorter shape allowing the wearer more freedom of movement. Throughout time, the skirt has been highly influential, inspiring, and even used as a political statement.

Fashion has, and always will be, an amazing vehicle for self-expression and inspiration. What inspires you when creating your new designs?

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