Style counsel: Eighteen inches high and rising
Friday 19 September 1997
If only Stella Tennant's legs were available in the shops too. Then the mini-skirt revival would really be worth getting excited about. Nevertheless, women of every shape and leg length are getting excited (well, a bit), and tentatively trying them for size. From Christian Dior where they are little more than exaggerated belts, to Warehouse who have at least ten versions, there is a mini-skirt to suit everyone.
Mini-skirts should not only show the knees, but also a good portion of the thighs too. A good length is 18 inches; 14 inches is strictly for teenagers. Don't worry, it's not compulsory.
The last time there was this many mini-skirts available on the high street, you can bet your bottom dollar there was a jacket featuring gilt buttons and shoulder pads to match. Fashion historians will say "oh yes, whenever there is a boom in the economy, hemlines rise". This may well be true, but the fact is mini-skirts are a designer's way - however subliminal - of saying that we want our clothes to somehow represent our sexual nature.
Ask any man about mini-skirts and he will admit to taking a second look at a woman wearing something that shows a bit of leg. Then ask if he would approve of his partner wearing one. Not all would say yes. Whatever, if you want one in leather, in tweed, in black, red, or even embroidered with a dragon (one split or two Madame?), you can find it at a suitable price on the high street. The Miu Miu skirt modelled by Stella Tennant (left) has already sold out at Harvey Nichols (but they're expecting another delivery soon).
Luckily, mini-skirts don't cause the same kind of moral and social panic they did in the Sixties. Back then British models halted traffic in New York wearing Mary Quant minis. This wouldn't happen today. In fact, a woman wearing a see-through dress would barely raise an eyebrow. Stella Tennant's legs ... well, that's another story.
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