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.
A rare and uber-cute Geoffrey Beene mini dress from the 1960s featuring a sleeveless fitted bodice with a decorative button panel and a beautifully constructed mini skirt that falls in extra wide pleats.