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Vintage Mini Dresses

Mini dresses are, alongside mini skirts, a fashion piece of controversy. Pioneered by British Designer Mary Quant andAndré Courrèges in France (the former who described the short hemline as “a way of rebelling”), mini dresses became a fashion must-have in 1964. Closely associated with the Chelsea pack of London’s Kings Road, the mini dress was named after Quant’s favourite car, the Mini, and though she has often been credited for inventing the decade-defining piece, André Courrèges was experimenting with shorter hemlines in Paris at the same time and began to show space-age dresses with skirts ending well above the knees. Twiggy is, many would say, the unrivalled mini dress muse, though above-the-knee dresses and skirts were endorsed by flapper girls already in the 1920s – most memorably by Josephine Baker and her mini skirt made of bananas. Other historical mini dress events to note are the launch of Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress in 1965; and the (not-so-virgin-like) white tulle mini dress worn by Madonna at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.

Today, mini dresses have been cemented as party wear – particularly for clubbing and for the festive period, though they are frequently revisited by contemporary designers as daywear.

OfV says: Often made with stretchy materials or in A-line shapes, mini dresses are surprisingly flattering and versatile. At Open for Vintage we firmly believe that there is a mini style for all, and our edit of vintage mini dresses is there to prove it. The section spans rare vintage statement pieces like 1960s psychedelic printed mini dresses; contemporary pre-owned pop colour party dresses; and a vast array of classic LBD’s – all from some of the most coveted dress designers in history including Prada, Dior and Versace. Nod to the mod girls of Kings Road with a 1960s retro dress and a hard-cover plastic vintage box bag; lift a pre-owned designer party dress with an embellished clutch bag and a pair of peep toe Louboutin stilettos; or do the LBD the subtle way with barely-there ballerinas and a figure-flattering black blazer. Trending kitten heels and a rare designer patent tote bag will give your little black dress up-to-date fashion appeal.


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Guy Laroche 1980s Peplum Flared Vintage Dress

Guy Laroche Vintage Multicolored Cotton Peplum Flared Dress, 1980s

Tory Burch Wool Taletta Shift Sleeveless Side Ruffle Black Vintage Dress

Tory Burch Black Wool Taletta Shift Dress Sleeveless Side Ruffle

Roberto Cavalli Sequin One Shoulder Vintage Mini Dress

Roberto Cavalli dress with marbled effect grey and white sequining and gathered single shoulder

Antony Price Green Velvet Off Shoulder Vintage Mini Dress

Rare vintage Antony Price off shoulder mini dress with scoop neckline and boned bodice

Andrea Odicini 1970s Red Floral Vintage Wrap Dress

Andrea Odicini red floral dress with large puff sleeves and gathered waist

Richmond Black Sequin Vintage Mini Dress

Vintage mini dress with loose armholes and a loose high neck

Yves Saint Laurent Leopard Print Silk Chiffon Ruffled Brown and Black Vintage Mini Dress

YSL silk chiffon leopard print mini dress with ruffle cap sleeves

Yves Saint Laurent 1970s Vintage Floral Ruffled Dress Size XS

This YSL creation from the 1970s made from a lightweight black wool fabric with a blue, red, green and wool white floral print

Yves Saint Laurent 1980s Baby Pink Linen Dress

A 1980s YSL Rive Gauche Pink Linen Dress

Oleg Cassini 1960s Pleated Crepe Black Dress

Oleg Cassini Vintage Tiered Pleated Crepe Little Black Dress, 1960s

Gina Fratini 1970s Black Puff Sleeve Dress

Gina Fratini Avant Garde Black Puff Sleeve Velour Dress, 1970s

Tom Ford for Gucci S/S 2003 Mini Dress

Iconic Tom Ford for Gucci Japanese Print Jersey Knit Mini Dress, S/S 2003

Jean Varon 1960s Polka Dot Mod Dress

A 1960s Jean Varon Mod Shift Dress

Jeff Banks 1960s British Boutique Mini Dress

Jeff Banks for Clobber Vintage British Boutique Mini Dress, 1960s

Versace Halterneck Chiffon Pleat Black Vintage Dress

Vintage Versace halterneck dress in black with a chiffon silk pleated detail at the front.

Versace Sleeveless Sheer Insert Little Black Vintage Dress

Vintage Versace sleeveless sheer insert little black dress.

Prada Cap Sleeve Little Black Vintage Dress

Vintage Prada cap sleeve little black dress with a V neck and pleats at the front.

Prada Sleeveless Block Pink and Orange Vintage Dress

Vintage Prada sleeveless dress in a pink and orange block print.

Prada Silk Pleated white vintage dress

Prada Silk Pleated Shift dress with contrasting tie scarf

Prada Jacquard Silk and Lurex Cami Gold Tone Vintage Slip On Dress

Vintage Prada cami slip-on style dress in gold tone silk and lurex.

Hanae Mori 1980s Hibiscus Print Purple Silk Dress

Hanae Mori purple vintage hibiscus print simple silk shift dress, 1980s

Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons 2014 Deconstructed Dress

This incredible example of Watanabe's work was featured as the penultimate piece in the 2014 runway show.

Kenzo 1990s Sleeveless Linen & Organza Dress

A 1990s Kenzo Black Linen & Flocked Organza Vintage Dress

Byblos 1990s Asymmetric Purple Linen Party Dress

Byblos Vintage Asymmetric Purple Linen Mini Party Dress, S/S 1992

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