THE ITEM

The Mini Skirt

Coco Chanel called it horrible; we call it one of fashion’s greatest inventions. We tell the tale of the mini skirt – and show you how to wear it in a modern (and well, modest) way.

Leather mini skirt at Isabel Marant Spring/Summer 2015, All Over Press.

THE STORY BEHIND
It was the mistake of her career, said Karl Lagerfeld about Coco Chanel’s aversion to the mini skirt. (He actually said it was the first of her two big mistakes; the second one was refusing to make jeans.)

Chanel’s dislike for the mini skirt is famous. And according to Lagerfeld, the now-creative director at Chanel (and avid advocate for the mini skirt) Coco lost her top spot in fashion because of it. But not even Coco Chanel could stop the mini revolution.

In the 1960s, young women set new rules for what to wear and how to wear it. They bid farewell to the 50’s housewife and her knee-length skirts, and went on to explore new roles, the new job market – and new hemlines.

Owned by designer Mary Quant, London boutique ‘Bazaar’ was the place to buy the new miniskirt. Quant is often credited as the mastermind behind the modern mini, even though Frenchman André Courrèges also played with the new look around the same time. However, Quant was famously quoted: ”It wasn’t me or Courrèges who invented the mini skirt anyway—it was the girls in the street who did it.”

To be really honest, it wasn’t Mary Quant, André Courrèges or 1960’s it-girls like Twiggy who invented the mini skirt – it was already a hit in ancient Egypt.

But it was in the 1960s the mini skirt became a symbol for courage, freedom, and feminism. And you know, it’s also really good for dancing. A true fashion hero!

HOW TO STYLE IT
By now you must know that flats are the new heels. A pair of modest and comfy ballerinas also happens to be the perfect companion to the mini. 

For this shoot, we chose a leather skirt, and combined it with a soft-knit sweater.
”The soft sweater is a nice contrast to the tough leather skirt”, says stylist Columbine Smille.

”This look is all about balance and harmony – if you want to be barelegged, choose a long-sleeved sweater.”

 

Photographer Tobias Lundkvist’s favourite items are the classics: a black t-shirt and Chuck Taylors. Stylist Columbine Smille’s favourite item is the perfect black silk dress. Our model is très cool Aussie Catherine McNeil. Hair by Mette Thorsgaard and makeup by Josefin Scherdin.

Mini skirts through the years: 60s model Twiggy, Madonna from 1985, the mother of mini skirts – Mary Quant – with models, Cher wearing leather, The Supremes, 90s cult movie Clueless, a modern mini skirt on Alexa Chung and Jane Fonda on set in 1971, All Over Press/Getty Images.
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