Fashion, where would we be without it? From trends, to styles, to fads, it’s certainly true that fashions may come and go. Yet, there are some pieces that will be classics forever; timeless creations that ooze endless endurance, which can withstand any momentary ‘in’ look.
The denim jean, the little black dress and the mini skirt, to name a few, are just some of the nine innovations that have stood the test of time and evolved into the master inventions they are today. Without these, the world of fashion would be a different place.
Almost everything we wear on a day to day basis depends on these great designs. Fascinating, am I right?
It’s time to discuss the most influential fashion items that have changed the world (and our wardrobes) forever, and go back in time to discover the origins of what we wear today…
#1 The Mini Skirt
Although presently it’s nothing out of the ordinary for the height of a hemline to rise or fall depending on the mood of its designer or wearer, this wasn’t always the case. The miniskirt’s origins were pretty controversial.
If there is anyone who should be accredited for pioneering the miniskirt it would be British designer Mary Quant, who defined the mini as: a skirt that must roughly hit halfway up the thigh, and fall no more than four inches below the butt.
The earliest direct reference to the miniskirt was in 1962, which came from Wyoming newspaper The Billings Gazette, labelling the miniskirt as a controversial piece in production in Mexico City, stopping eight inches above the knee.
After opening what became to be the iconic boutique, Bazaar, in 1955 on King’s Road in London’s Chelsea neighbourhood, Mary Quant was inspired by the fashions she saw on the streets. Quant then chose to raise the hemline of her skirts in 1964 to several inches above the knee. From this, the iconic miniskirt was born. Consequently, she named the skirt after her favourite car, the Mini.
Quant wanted to create something practical that was liberating at the same time, allowing women ‘the ability to run for the bus’. On the negative side of this innovation, many European countries in fact banned the miniskirt because they believed it was an invitation to sexual assault.
During this time in the 60s however, the miniskirt became the symbol for women’s freedom of expression, and well known supermodel Twiggy became the unofficial poster child for this miniskirt look.
In more recent decades, miniskirts have had a boost in the more everyday casual world of fashion thanks to celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, who would wear theirs with midriff-baring tops.
2009 saw the recognition of Quant’s impact of pioneering the miniskirt via the Royal Mail in the UK who released a stamp honouring her signature design.
Runways of more modern periods, sporting 1960’s inspired miniskirts, are proof that this staple is here to stay, no matter the era. SS15 Henry Holland, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford and J.JS Lee all had mini fever.