Short evolution of the skirt
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
"A good speech should be like a women's skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest". (Winston Churchill)
A-Line, Mini, Mermaid, Tulip, Tulle, Pencil are just some of the many types of skirts we know today, but how has the most loved item of clothing by women all over the world evolved over the centuries?
Knowing its history helps to understand what the path of women's emancipation has been and how values and trends have changed over the years.
This item of clothing has a very ancient history! The first finds date back to 7 thousand years ago, in the Mesopotamian civilizations where it was used by both sexes.
As in ancient Egypt, where skirts were mainly made of linen and their length depended on the social caste they belonged to.
The conception of the skirt as a predominantly female item of clothing must wait until the fall of the Roman Empire when the arrival of barbarian men dressed in trousers, influenced the clothing of the Romans.
But it will only be from 1500 that this clear distinction will be noticed; each culture and country will adapt length, style, volumes, materials to their needs.
In 1700 the skirt acquires the name of skirt, large volumes, structured thanks to wicker sticks arranged in a circle as a support, then replaced in 1800 by the famous crinoline, a rigid metal cage, placed under the fabric to create even larger volumes; the crinoline was worn by most women, regardless of social class.
And so we come to the birth of the Tailleur, we are in 1900, the feminist revolution is in turmoil and women need and want lighter, simpler, less constricting garments with different shapes and lengths.
During the First World War we see the birth of the trouser- skirt, women wanted to wear practical and dynamic clothing, but this new fashion was interrupted by the great designer Dior, who at the end of the Second World War, overturns everything; the skirts are back long and wide and resemble the corolla of a flower.
The real revolution arrived in the 60s where in parallel there was the birth of the miniskirt thanks to Mary Quant and the birth of the Hippy movement with long and soft skirts and dresses.
Nowadays the skirt has different shapes, lengths and fabrics, there is freedom of expression and stylists always create new models with an eye to the past, all fashions sooner or later return, mixing with modern tastes.
There are skirts for all tastes! Which style do you prefer?
"The skirts are lovely, ... They move very well and they are very feminine. They make women look really like women". (Carolina Herrera)