Vintage mini skirts are, alongside mini dresses, a fashion piece of controversy. Pioneered by British Designer Mary Quant and André Courrèges in France (the former who described the short hemline as “a way of rebelling”), the mini skirt is one of the most enduring icons of the 1960s. Closely associated with youth culture and the Chelsea pack of London’s Kings Road in particular, the mini skirt 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 his space-age looks with skirts ending well above the knees. Twiggy is, many would say, the unrivalled mini skirt muse, though above-the-knee skirts and dresses were endorsed by flapper girls already in the 1920s – most memorably by Josephine Baker and her mini skirt made of bananas. Other historical mini skirt moments include Jean Shrimpton’s first lady-like mini skirt suit as worn at the 1965 Melbourne races; and Kate Moss’ and Naomi Campbell’s iconic co-ordinated "heroin chic" mini skirt looks at the 1991 London Fashion Week Designer of the Year Award.
OfV says: Often made with stretchy materials or figure-flattering pleats, mini skirts are surprisingly forgiving and versatile. As justified by history, the shortened garment has established itself as both casualwear and partywear (via sportswear and office wear – looking to the 1980s cheerleading-inspired rah-rah skirt and short-skirted power suits). With a special penchant for formal and festive skirts, our stellar edit of vintage mini skirts hosts an array of styles from subtle to statement. Consider an office-friendly 1980s Celine pencil skirt in luxurious black leather; a statement metallic brocade vintage mini skirt from Miu Miu – the perfect party piece still suitable for daytime teamed with a casual shirt; or an early 1990s fuchsia pink balloon skirt as seen on the YSL runway for when you wish to make a head-turning entrance. Uncover enduring trends; retro prints, patterns and silhouettes; and ground-breaking conceptual cuts and volumes in our vintage mini skirts edit below.
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