Why was the mini skirt seen to be one of the most enduring and controversial icons of the era despite its ancient existence? Stylised by Welsh fashion designer Mary Quant during the mid 60’s the skirt provoked political and cultural discussion. It brought women empowerment, independence and a desire to please, along with the attention to what had been hidden years before—a woman’s legs.
Previous to the 1960’s no specific clothes were produced for young adults, rather one was expected to dress like their mother. However, youth protests and demands for individual expression revealed that young adults were gaining a self-conscious awareness of themselves as a distinct and unified group (Cawthorne 1999). During the growth of feminism young girls were seen to be more independent; their views on politics differed from that of their parents and a dramatic increase in women attending universities and entering the workforce appeared. This demonstrating the youths attempts for independence through their rebellious attitudes.
Although initially being designed by Quant, the miniskirt was further developed by André Courrèges, a French designer who saw the skirt go international. He altered hemlines to make the skirt look sophisticated and mature allowing them to be accepted into French haute couture. Debates between Quant and Courrèges were common yet Mary believed “It wasn’t me or Courrèges who invented the miniskirt anyway—it was the girls in the street who did it.” Both accepted the social changes and saw the skirt to be a turning point in fashion for youths.
Love Emi. xXx