You might think that once upon a time people were too shy and conservative to wear miniskirt. Wrong. Archaeologists have discovered statuette in Europe dating from 5400 - 4700 B.C dressed in miniskirts; and ancient Egyptian paintings portray female acrobats wearing miniskirts. |
Then, fast forward the time to 1920s, hemlines rise with the flapper’s appearance, especially when African-American entertainer Josephine Baker performed for “Un vent de folie” at the cabaret music hall, Folies Bergere in Paris in a miniskirt made of - we kid you not - bananas. A miniskirt made of bananas! Seriously? We salute Josephine Baker for her contributions to Civil Rights Movement, for being offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by civil rights leader and the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr, Coretta Scott King, for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, for receiving Croix de guerre, the French military honor and being made a Chevalier of the Legion d’honneur but this time she must have… gone bananas. (Excuse the pun.)
(You can watch the famous Banana Dance called Danse Banane here, which will make you yawn at twerking videos of this California baby called Miley Cyrus. Sara X’s boob twerking, on the other hand... )
In the Fifties where the world was recovering from World War II, although the trending fashion was knee-length skirts, miniskirt began to appear in science fiction films. You might remember Margueriete Chapman’s striking blue miniskirt (and that deep V neckline) in “Flight to Mars” or Anne Francis in “Forbidden Planet”.
Be it plot or fashion, it seems that science fiction is always... ahead of time.
In the Sixties, inspired by the fashions she saw on the streets, British designer Mary Quant raised the hemline of her own skirt and named it after her own car, Mini. But because great minds tend to think alike, French designer Andre Courreges too had experimented with hemlines with his space-age dresses and this gave rise to a debate as to who was the inventor of miniskirt, to which Quant replied, “It wasn’t me or Courrèges who invented the miniskirt anyway—it was the girls in the street who did it.”
The short-haired, big-eyed, long-lashed, stick-thin English supermodel Lesley Lawson (more commonly known as Twiggy) later became the poster child for miniskirt, albeit unofficially.
However, due to the political tension caused by Vietnam War, hemlines fell to ankle in 1969 and miniskirt was only successfully revived in 1982 with the rah-rah skirt, a short, flouncy layered skirt and in the Nineties, inspired by Heather Locklear in “Melrose Place” and Calista Flockhart in “Ally McBeal”, women starting wearing miniskirt to work. Miniskirt continues to invade women’s wardrobe in 21st century with stars like Britney Spears (who were definitely not overprotected when it comes to fashion) matching miniskirts with midriff-baring tops. Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons and French fashion designer Hedi Slimane too, are a little too not over miniskirt; and Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli was not pulling our legs when he said that his haute couture was all “legs, legs, legs.”
So, ladies, let’s not re-legs too much. Please continue shaving your legs and soothe your skin with baby wipes.
Because when you may not have a chance to wear miniskirts when you have a baby and carrying your stylish diaper bag around Singapore.
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