Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mini Dress

Mini Dress
There are certain fashion items that should only be worn by the young. One of these is the mini dress. Sadly, the world of mini is long behind me but I remember the glory days from the 1960s and 1970s. Just as showing a bit of ankle in the 1920s was scandalous, so the mini dress revolution caused controversy amongst the older generation. It was ok if you had the legs for it and it did liberate people. It also gave us choice. Different situations demanded different dress and skirt lengths. We could decide between full length, mini or midi. Later, the even more controversial micro burst onto the scene, a length that was barely more substantial than a belt!
Images of young ladies parading down the King's Road in London were part of the Swinging '60s scene. London was the capital of the fashion world, Twiggy was the top model and Mary Quant was the top designer. Clothes were as important a part of the scene as the music. The mini dress came in traditional materials such as cotton and also in modern deviations like PVC. Crocheted outfits were also fashionable. They were often worn with a matching peak cap.
Patterns were either very colorful or in black and white. Psychedelic, flowery designs were popular as well as paisley and geometric patterns. There were black and white checks and stripes. The mini dress was a bold statement and caught the imagination of the young. It was only women who were not confident about showing their legs that didn't support the mini enthusiastically. Men certainly appreciated the trend. Mary Quant was the designer who did the most to popularize the mini dress and she was producing dresses and skirts, which sat around six inches above the knee.
There were many arguments up and down the land in households where the length of the mini dress became grounds for conflict. Young schoolgirls would take up their dresses and mothers would let them down again. The dress code in the office could also lead to a war zone, as bosses struggled to hang on to some authority in the face of the rising hemline. A line was drawn in the sand when it came to hot pants. The mini dress had invaded and it soon spread to the rest of the western world. Gradually, the fuss died down and other trends came and went over the years. The mini dress was fun to some people and a thorn in the side for others.