Close your eyes for a moment, count to 10 and open them again. It’s 1960. You’re in London, in a small clothes shop, called Bazaar, on King’s Road. Inside, a young girl in her twenties wearing a miniskirt runs from one side of the store to the other. She stops for a second and you see it’s an icon of the sixties: Mary Quant.

 

Mary Quant in her Chelsea studio

 

Maybe the name Mary Quant does not bring anything yet in your mind, but I know that all of you have laid eyes on her greatest creation at least once: the miniskirt. What takes place within this small clothes shop is just a small taste, a fashion reflection, of the certainly greater changes outside those walls. Across the world a cultural revolution is taking place and while the miniskirt is  a British invention, it explodes in Italy where it becomes a part of the Italian lifestyle.

 

Miniskirt-wearing girls walking on the Spanish Steps in Rome

 

Not only is hard to imagine advertisements for Vespa and Lambretta without the miniskirt, but it was also a favorite of many of the top stars that are synonymous with Italy like Mina and Raffaella Carrà.

 

Raffaella Carra wears a miniskirt to her driving lesson | Photo Walter Breveglieri

 

Jean Shrimpton wears a miniskirt in an ad for Vespa

 

 

In a world in which people were becoming more aware of themselves, many women felt that the long style of skirt was weighing them down.  Twiggy, the first model to wear the miniskirt, becomes the symbol of women’s emancipation. Healthy emancipation, I believe. The women of the ’60s, indeed, finally shed the label of housewives. The heavier and darker clothes of their mothers began to yellow as they were forgotten in some big closet hidden in the attic. It was the revolution of women, of youth, of legs!

 

Twiggy on the bicycle

Twiggy leads the way with carefree miniskirt style

 

The miniskirt celebrated femininity. Imagine a colorful revolution worn by thousand of women. The road to popularity wasn’t that easy for the miniskirt, in  the beginning. The large majority of the society kept looking at the miniskirt as a shameless piece of clothing. Luckily, the power of that river was too strong to be restrained. Uncountable models of this skirt that was sometimes the length of a shirt started to appear all over the world. In the end, all that obstacles made the conquest of the fashion world even sweeter.

 

An Italian music album dedicated to the miniskirt

 

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