How Mary Quant's mini-skirt conquered the world

From Twiggy to Paris Hilton to Bella Hadid, a look back at miniskirts: the fashion trend that has symbolized women's liberation since the s.

The steering wheel had Quant's signature daisy and the bonnet badge had "Mary Quant" written over the signature name. Polyvinyl derivatives produce polyacrylonitriles and this includes Orlon, Acrylic, Crylor, Courtelle and Creslan. All clothes were narrow shouldered and cut in at the armholes to properly reveal the arm and its shoulder joint. Twiggy Miniskirt and mascara sales soared thanks to Twiggy.

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Find great deals on eBay for twiggy skirt. Shop with confidence.
Find great deals on eBay for twiggy skirt. Shop with confidence.
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The Quant definition of a mini: The bottom edge of the skirt must hit roughly halfway up the thigh, and fall no more than four inches below the butt. Here, a look back at how one of fall’s.
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The Miniskirt at 50 From Mary Quant to Twiggy to Jackie O, the seeds of a fashion revolution. The skirts soon got even shorter. British actress Jane Birkin Natalie Wood in a micro-mini in '67, a peak year for the Twiggy phenomenon. Sharon Tate.

The audience laughed and gasped and viewers across Britain tittered, but within less than a year the shorter length was firmly established with under twenties and soon after their mothers too began wearing a short mini skirt.

Typical of the era the opening lines of the show were 'that was the week that was, it's over let it go It was typical of the 's attitude of let's get on with the future, making it a very fast moving decade in fashion, lifestyles, innovations and morals. The fashion mini skirt became one of the icons that symbolized this era.

What made the mini really acceptable was the introduction of pantyhose known mostly today as tights. It was hard to wear a mini dress with stockings and feel confident, but with tights there was protection from the elements and no unsightly glimpse of stocking tops. Stockings died in the mid s and were only revived as leg wear in the s or else kept for the bedroom.

When tights were first introduced in the s it liberated women from girdles , roll-ons and suspender belts. It's difficult to know which came first the skirt or the tights, but the introduction of seamless stockings had started the tights revolution. What is certain it is unlikely the one could have existed without the other as no groomed young lady ever went out bare legged then.

Marks and Spencer was soon churning out lower cost versions. Obviously planned obsolescence has been introduced since then for all brands, as most of us now find it difficult to make them last for more than a day or two's wear.

Tights in the late 60s were often patterned with arrangements of diamonds or other motifs and a favourite colour of the era was a golden brown called American Tan. Fishnet tights were also popular briefly. Lurex glitter tights in gold or silver were a hit for the Christmas period. Flat boots also became popular with very short dresses in and eventually they rose up the leg and reached the knee. A cult for Dr. Scholl clog sandals worn in offices and outdoors was all the rage in the mid to late sixties in the same way that Birkenstocks were popular in the s.

Knitted twin sets were still worn, but often the items were worn as separates. Square, V or round neck pinafore dresses in plain or tartan wool fabrics were teamed with polo neck jumpers or tie neck blouses. Other combinations were burgundy plum pinafores worn with white or mustard blouses.

A sleeved variation of the button through version of the pinafore was called a coat dress and it was worn with or without a skinny rib fitting sweater. It was often worn with a half belt at the back waist.

All clothes were narrow shouldered and cut in at the armholes to properly reveal the arm and its shoulder joint. Even short sleeve versions were set well into the armscye. Left - Dresses of with cutaway armholes. They were made of transparent tulles, lace or chiffons plain or tree bark mounted over a matching lining or could be made of crinkled cotton crepe fabrics.

Lace of all types from Broderie Anglaise to guipure to crochet effects over coloured linings or flesh toned linings were often seen. Black polo neck sweaters made popular by the Beatles cover album were often worn under check pinafore dresses. The dresses were usually solid colours of red or purple wool material. Checks of black and white such as dog or hound's-tooth or Prince of Wales check.

Black and white was a sixties combination and was used in op art dresses and block pieced dresses worked in Mondrian style. Black patent accessories complimented all these combinations.

One of the easiest ways to get the sixties look was to wear short little coloured gloves with a hole cut out to reveal the back of the hand. The gloves were similar in appearance to golf gloves of today.

With the gloves coloured plastic beaded raffia knit bags and plastic coloured bangles and chandelier earrings made of large sequin discs were all high fashion accessories that lasted about 5 years. All of these trend setting outfits and accessories could easily be obtained from Wallis, Richards, Etams, Biba or Chelsea Girl shops. Marks and Spencer did their bit and brought a shorter young junior range to teen girls in an effort to cut the cost.

The range did not have the added on adult purchase tax that clothes had in pre VAT days. Outdoor looks were achieved by using fabrics like wool, Terylene or cotton gabardine, corduroy, leather, suede or mock suede fabrics made up as car coats. Also cheaper alternatives such as padded nylon diamond quilted anoraks or cotton anoraks with toggles and Austrian peasant embroidered braids were quite common.

The mini dominated fashion and women sometimes needed a practical alternative smarter than jeans that could be worn day or evening. Quite formal trousers worn with a tunic, shirt, skinny rib or matching suit jacket were acceptable in certain work situations and liked as alternative evening wear when made from slinkier materials.

Trousers were made from Courtelle jersey, cotton velvet, silky or bulked textured Crimplenes, lace with satin, and Pucci style printed Tricel. Hipster versions were popular and very flared versions developed by the late sixties, with every style ultimately translating into denim jeans.

Its worth noting that the hipsters of the 60s were not quite as low cut along the pelvic line as low rise jeans of Many things influenced fashion in the s. Social mobility, daring fashion photography, easier travel abroad, the Vietnam war, new music of the Beatles and their much copied hairstyles, retro military and ethnic clothes, musicals, pop art and film all played a part.

Right - Jackie Kennedy in the early s wearing her trademark pill box hat and three quarter sleeves. Courrèges clean cut sharp 's design. I have already looked at Mary Quant and the role of pantyhose, but other major 60's influences included the trend setting globally photographed Jackie Kennedy. In addition Emilio Pucci's exotic psychedelic beautiful fabric prints, Courrèges's space age sculptured designs were as important as the fresh approach to fashion as that of Yves St.

The then youthful designer Yves St. Laurent made a clean forward looking fashion design image with his Mondrian inspired dress. See and buy great s photographs at www. By the s the Twist, the Shake and the Locomotion ousted the paired dancing couples of earlier generations.

Only for the last few dances of the evening was the Smooch allowed for couples to romantically hold each other as they made their play to walk a partner home. Some stalwarts continued to rock and jive and to wear Teddy Boy gear. Many of the fashions of the s existed because of the fabrics.

They introduced new fabric properties and when synthetics were mixed with natural fibres there was improved performance in wear. Some had been invented years earlier in the s and s, but it was only in the 60s that huge production plants for synthetic fibres sprang up globally. In the UK in the s Marks and Spencer was instrumental in bringing Elastomerics from America to their range of bras, corsetry and bathing wear. Other manufacturers and fashion retailers soon followed. Meanwhile as man made fibres gained a hold, the Yorkshire woollen industry began to contract at an alarming rate.

Job losses were inevitable and yet so often the newer man made yarn companies settled in areas where there was already a body of knowledge and a heritage of spinning, knitting or weaving. All the fibre bases could be used as bulked or fine yarns dependant on fibre extrusion method and final finishing. The name often related to the country or plant where the fibre was produced for example Enkalon was Irish made nylon whereas Crylor, an acrylic yarn was made in France.

Polyurethane is the generic name of the elastomeric family of stretch fibres like Spandex, Lycra and Spanzelle. All these man made synthetic fibres began to be used in bras, underwear, swimwear and sportswear. Lycra eventually found its way into fabric mixes to aid crease recovery, wearing ease, fit and stretch.

Polyvinyl derivatives produce polyacrylonitriles and this includes Orlon, Acrylic, Crylor, Courtelle and Creslan. Modified acrylics such as Dynel and Teklan were first used to make fake furs and fake hair for wigs in the sixties. The miniskirt continued to have a banner year in Paco Rabanne launched plastic chain-mail miniskirt in , followed by the throw-away minidress.

The mini was officially a high fashion statement. Fully cementing the trend, Jackie Kennedy chose a short white pleated Valentino dress when she married Aristotle Onassis. The mini, favored by punk acts at the time, was reinvented in black leather and PVC. The rah-rah or ra-ra skirt began having a major moment in the s, originating from cheerleading uniforms. The Oxford Dictionary noted this as the first successful miniskirt revival and the rah-rah skirt even appeared on the cover of Time magazine in Madonna wowed the crowd at the MTV Video Music Awards, rolling around the stage in a white tulle minidress resembling a wedding dress.

Virginal it was not. Miniskirts got a boost in the aughts thanks to stars like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears , who wore theirs with midriff-baring tops. Proof that it is only a matter of time before what is old is new again, runways were awash in mini-skirts, particularly minis inspired by swinging s. Share Facebook Pinterest Twitter Tumblr.

Fifty years after a small London designer, Mary Quant, debuted her head-turning, boundary-crossing, fashion-changing, societal barometer known as the mini skirt, it's still a hot commodity. The Quant definition of a mini: The bottom edge of the skirt must hit roughly halfway up the thigh, and fall no more than four inches below the butt. Here, a look back at how one of fall’s. Find great deals on eBay for twiggy skirt. Shop with confidence.