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From left, actresses Lea Seydoux, Margot Robbie, Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Olsen, Bella Heathcote and Elle Fanning at the Miu Miu show during Paris Fashion Week.
Spring hasn’t sprung, but A-listers are already showing plenty of leg.
The barley-there miniskirt was all over the front rows at Paris Fashion Week, with the likes of Lupita Nyong’o (in a pastel pink Miu Miu), Elle Fanning (blue, checked and pleated) and Bella Heathcote (basic black) all sporting high hemlines.
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Kate Moss has long been known to favor the mini.
Modern designers like Rebecca Taylor and Alexander Wang are embracing the trend among all age groups. Kate Moss — at 40 — still shows plenty of thigh.
Stylists say that this time, the miniskirt is here to stay.
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Blake Lively’s skirt comes up short.
“We’re seeing a high-waist trend this season, but as the waist of the skirt goes up, so does the hemline,” says New York stylist Kimberly Garrett Rosen, who’s dressed mini maven Blake Lively.
She suggests pairing the mini with men’s wear like loafers or a tailored blazer for an effortless look.
Or you could just take your lead from the past. The miniskirt has a tiny amount of fabric but a long history.
Lupita Nyong’o at Miu Miu’s Paris show.
It’s been around since the earliest days of man (or in this case, woman), but the miniskirt was fading until British designer Mary Quant revived it during the youthquake of 1964 as a weapon for a sexual revolution. Twiggy was an early adopter.
“A miniskirt was a way of rebelling,” says Quant, who celebrated her 80th birthday last month. Her concept was straightforward: The bottom edge of fabric must hit roughly halfway up the thigh, but no more than 4 inches below the buttocks.
Over the years, the miniskirt’s popularity has risen and fallen like hemlines themselves. After World War I, flappers embraced thigh exposure, likely pushed by singer, dancer and actress Josephine Baker, who was notorious for micro costumes.
Doing the math in 1967, not long after Britain’s Mary Quant brought the mini back in a big way.
Quant, for her part, rode the era’s two simultaneous waves of female empowerment: the professional advancement of women and the availability of the birth- control pill.
Whether they were reading “The Feminine Mystique” or “Sex and the Single Girl,” women of the 1960s were reading it in a mini.
London ladies sported the mini with brightly colored leggings or thick tights. But in America, hippies made the mini their own, eschewing the tights for a bare-leg look.
The 1970s were a controversial time for the miniskirt. When department stores turned back toward a conservative look with a midcalf skirt called the midi, a self-styled feminist group, Girls Against More Skirt (GAMS), protested lower hemlines, claiming that the new look was unflattering and more expensive.
Midtown, 1970: Girls Against More Skirt (GAMS) rally against the trend toward lower hemlines.
Quant doesn’t take credit for her achievement in fashion empowerment. “It wasn’t me … who invented the miniskirt anyway, it was the girls in the street who did it,” she says.
Today, the miniskirt can be worn by anyone (except women in Uganda, where it has been banned). “It used to be a very young-person style, but that concept has disappeared,” says Valerie Steele, fashion historian and museum director at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Now the feeling is go for it — for better or for worse.”