The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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FASHION FLASH

Everywhere I look I see mini-dresses in all colors, cuts and fabrics, but how much do we really know about this hot phenomenon?

Originated in its contemporary form in the early to mid ’60s, the baby doll (also known as the minidress) was a statement of the changing times. For those who know about American history in the modern era, it should come as no surprise that the minidress made its first appearance during the emotionally charged times know as the “sexual revolution” (not to be confused with the following years when women burned their bras hoping to make a statement about feminism and women’s rights).

It could also be argued that Chanel’s advent of the “little black dress” was the first notion of the minidress, but as I see it, minidresses must be only to about midway to the thigh, and none of Coco’s garments were that short.

Moving on, the minidress had a comeback about 15 years after its arrival on the scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s, in part because of the inception of a new type of garment: the wrap dress.

Synonymous with Dianne von Furstenberg, the wrap was easy, comfortable and most of the time, short. The wrap made women feel comfortable and sexy at the same time, and to this day Dianne von Furstenberg still designs and sells thousands of wrap dresses every year.

Von Furstenberg is not the only one who has capitalized on wrap and minidresses. Everyone and their mothers have made copies, knockoffs and “inspired bys” for the wrap. That is the nice thing about fabulous designer clothes; just wait a while and you will be able to afford them because they are bound to be knocked off by wonderful companies like H&M and XXI.

The more modern version of the minidress came in the early ’90s and really played up the “baby doll” factor.

Everyone remembers the Spice Girls and those super-short dresses in combination with those ridiculous platforms-which seemed incredibly scandalous at the time but now would be viewed as just poor taste. If we look back at other media outlets, we see the baby-doll dress all over the place in the mid ’90s.

This version of the minidress usually included short sleeves and buttons down the front (sort of a shirtdress, if you will). Through the ’90s one thing remained constant about the baby doll dress: If you weren’t a size zero, this was not for you.

Now for the contemporary minidress, as it was reinvented this past year: Its public debut was in the fall of 2006 in the couture houses of Milan and Paris. First seen with leggings and flats, it evolved from a very casual piece of day wear to socially appropriate cocktail dresses with chunky heels or sexy stilettos.

The minidress really came to my attention the other day when I went to Patrizio’s for a little lunch date.

When the hostess asked us to follow her to our table, I did as I so regularly do: check out her outfit and rate it in my mind. I was blown away by her sexy black chiffon minidress (in true Coco Chanel style), with black calf-length tights, black clunky heels, and delicate natural curls. Seeing her minidress as the key garment in the outfit, I began to ponder its importance. The minidress has become a symbol of femininity and innocence.

When I told her how much I liked her outfit (which I rarely do sincerely), she responded with an, “I know, right?”; she must be an SMU student.

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