The miniskirt is 50! How did that happen? Vintage fashion show at St-Ouen and some Monday morning musings on aging.

"Mini, mini, mini" - the free Pierre Cardin exhibition at the Marché Dauphine until February 20, 2012.

One of the problems with getting older is that it occasionally (almost always?) catches you off guard. My first thought when I heard that the vintage stores in St-Ouen were going to have a fashion show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the miniskirt was, "Wow! That's old." And then I started doing the math and realized that miniskirts are only one and a half years older than me. Ouch!

To make matters worse, when I googled "how old miniskirts" to learn more about the origins of this iconic symbol of the swinging sixties, the top search results surprised me. According to a recent survey in Britain, no one wants to see me in a miniskirt because I'm over the age of 35. And that's not all. Since I'm also older than 47, I can forget about wearing a bikini (no problem, there!) and shouldn't even think about putting on any kind of swimsuit once I'm past the age of 61. Hmm, I'm not quite sure what I'll cover my body with when I'm at the pool. Maybe swimming isn't allowed either!

Knowing full well that it would be inappropriate for me to be tempted by any of the leg-baring fashions on the runway, I nevertheless followed the sounds of French singer Jacques Detronc's "Mini, mini, mini" to the Marché Dauphine only to discover that I had forgotten the battery for my camera at home. The body, the brain - does everything go down hill after the age of 35?

Still, I have something that the young models wearing miniskirts don't have. I have the memories of my parents telling my older sisters to walk up the stairs at home to check the length of their miniskirts so that they wouldn't be sent home from school for indecent exposure. With the advent of the fashion revolution, the sixties were a scary time for parents. Miniskirts, go-go boots, bikinis...

Do you have any miniskirt memories of your own? If you're like me and need some help jump-starting your aging brain, listen to "Mini, mini, mini" as you scroll through some photos from the fashion show and the Pierre Cardin exhibition featuring miniskirts from 1962-70 at the Marché Dauphine. Entry is free on Saturday, Sunday and Monday until February 20, 2012.


Photos of the Pierre Cardin exhibition taken with my iPhone:



From the fashion show:


Comments

  1. Well, I think you still take better photos with your iphone than I do with my real (not very good) camera! And how can I put this politely - some sectors of the population in the UK do take tight/low-cut/short to the extreme (not used to such things after France!), so I think any surveys coming out of there might be suffering from trauma. I saw a young girl in York in Ugg boots, a puffy jacket and short shorts with bare legs!! She did have the legs for it, but it's cold out there, you crazy minx!

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    1. Brrr, bare legs in winter - I couldn't do it, even with Ugg boots and a puffy jacket! You raise an interesting point about the results of the English survey because I was wondering what French people, particularly Parisians, would say about the age limit on short skirts, etc. I see women who are older than me wearing some pretty sexy outfits, but many of them manage to look stylish not absurd. It must be in their genes...

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  2. Not one for the mini-skirts back then, but give me a pair of fishnets and a skort and boy, was I "groovy".....LOL
    nancyb926

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    1. Skorts - I had forgotten about them! I've heard that fishnets go great with Christian Louboutin shoes! :)

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  3. After months of going to a military school (and being acutely aware of wearing a dress or open top based on the stares I got), I went home to Dallas and couldn't believe how naked every woman wearing a skirt looked to me. Granted I was at a university campus surrounded by a younger generation, but still - I don't know if I would've survived being a parent in 60s or 70s.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! When we lived in Indonesia, I got accustomed to women dressing more modestly and it was always a shock to land in the USA and see so much skin. For the first couple of days it really made me nervous before I readjusted and got used to it.

      We're frequently in Annapolis (USNA) and I've got to say that military uniforms are still not designed with women in mind.

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  4. My first mini skirt was blue corduroy from Roxy. I loved it so so much. What I do know is that it's way too cold to be wearing any kind of skirt right now in Paris!

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    1. I know - It's nasty cold out there right now! I felt so sorry for the models yesterday because they were obviously cold, even though they did a great job hiding it from the audience.

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  5. Petit, petit, petit..Tout est mini dans notre vie! I LOVE this song! I'm 60's French Pop junkie!

    What a great exhibit! What do you have, a guide to everything cool happening in Paris guide?!

    My first mini was red plastic with little Hello Kitties printed on it...early 90s NYC raver days. Sigh...I still have it and could not for the LIFE of me squeeze my ass into it. Probably a good thing!

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    1. A red plastic mini with Hello Kitties? This I've gotta see! You should post a picture of it when you share Seb's video.

      I found out about the show/exhibition when I went for a tour of all of the vintage stores (you would have loved it!) in St.-Ouen in December and one of the merchants mentioned that they were getting ready for the big fashion show in January.

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    2. I will post a pic when I'm back in NYC. I didn't bring this goodie to Paris!

      I had a drink(or three) with kbh (La femme) and you came up several times on how much we use your site for news about events and things to do in Paris. We want to get wine with you!

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    3. I would love to have some wine with kbh and you! Just tell me when and where... The only problem is that I won't recognize you unless you're wearing a red plastic mini with Hello Kitties! ;)

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  6. Favorite memory...wearing that exact checkerboard skirt on a family vacation to San Franciso in the late 60's. Walking down Haight-Ashbury, I was 14 and my parents let me walk ahead of them, like I was there by myself, part of the "scene". Felt all grown-up (but with my parental safety net right behind). One of my best memories EVER!

    dekage

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  7. What a great memory! I love that your parents let you walk down Haight-Ashbury (Wow!) ahead of them. That checkerboard skirt certainly caught my eye yesterday - was yours an original Pierre Cardin?

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  8. Yep, the parents got kudos for years for doing that for me...my friends were envious, their parents aghast! No, we were more JC Penneys then Pierre Cardin :)
    dekage

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  9. Crikey, I'm less than 6 months younger than the mini skirt. Of course people over 35 can wear them! I wear short dresses and short shorts in summer and shall carry on doing so until they carry me off feet first! The best solution to the no bikins after 47 rule is to not wear anything for swimming :-)
    At school all the older girls used to roll the waistband of their skirts over to make them shorter.
    And did you have a pair of hotpants? I had a bright green pair that I adored!

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  10. I love your attitude! With 3 lakes and wide open spaces, I imagine that skinny dipping is a regular activity on your farm. I'm sure that your llamas have some tales to tell! ;)

    Did I have hotpants? - I sure did and they looked great with my tube tops!

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  11. Terrific photos, as always! I would have never guessed they were from your iphone.

    A lady told me once that pantyhose were invented because of the mini skirt. Up until then, women wore stockings with garter belts all the time, but the advent of the mini changed this because you couldn't wear a mini with the top of your stockings exposed. Can you imagine having to wear a garter belt every day?!

    Thanks for this fun report. I really liked the kilt-like mini in the fashion show, as well as the brightly colored tights. Wish I had them. According to the survey, I've only got four more years to wear minis, so I really need to take advantage of the time I have left!

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  12. Wearing a garter belt everyday - no thank you! Thank goodness for the invention of pantyhose.

    I loved seeing all of the bright tights. They looked much better than the bare legs. From the pictures that I've seen of you, you've got lots of good mini-skirt wearing years ahead of you. Ignore the survey!

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