The biggest fashion must-have of this season is the tiniest skirt you have ever seen in your life. In case you have somehow missed the Miu Miu micro that has gone mega, let me describe it. Imagine you took a pair of pleat-front chino trousers and cut both legs off just above the crotch seam, so that you were left with the waistband and the few inches of fabric that end at the exact height of your knicker gusset, with the inner part of the pockets poking out below. That.
The skirt is from Miu Miu’s spring collection, and, despite its diminutive size, you probably have seen it, because it has been everywhere. It was on the cover of iD, on the “plus-size” model Paloma Elsesser. It was on the cover of Vogue Korea. Lara Stone wore it in Czech Vogue; Zendaya wore it in Interview magazine. Emma Corrin wore it to a New York fashion week party. In the season of the miniskirt renaissance, this is the homecoming queen of them all.
I am quite cross about this skirt. It’s not that I disapprove, mind. I’m not, to be clear, like one of those 1960s men who used to rap their umbrellas on the window of Mary Quant’s boutique in disgust, railing about the lack of morals. I have no objection to the wearing of any skirt, visible to the naked eye or not.
But my disappointment is that when the miniskirt revival began late last year, I was kind of into it. Yes, I thought to myself, I actually am a bit bored with my floppy skirts that flap around my shins all the time. Hurray for the miniskirt! When this trend sails into town, I will definitely be jumping on board.
But then the miniskirt revival turned into a micro-mini one. And the invisi-mini doesn’t work for me at all, because – call me a big square, but I basically like quite normal-looking clothes. So the miniskirt I want is a skirt that ends somewhere in the middle of the thigh. A skirt that finishes at the midway point between knees and bottom. A macro mini, not a micro one.
I realize this makes me sound about 45 million years old, but it’s not entirely an age thing. Nicole Kidman is 54 and wore this skirt on the cover of Vanity Fair. Each to their own, but to me the micro looks cold and draft.
I hope it goes without saying that I would defend to the hilt the right for any woman to wear the most minimal of skirts. But the way I see it, clothes are a way of telling the world who you are and what you’re about, and I guess I’m just not sure I want to put the very top bit of my thighs at the center of my public identity. So a slightly longer miniskirt is where my heart is at. All the joyous energy of a mini, but with a bit less song and dance.
I’m talking Monica in Friends, who had a very good line in A-line miniskirts worn with, say, a ribbed polo neck and a pair of mid-heeled knee-high boots. So good. I’m talking Alana Haim in Licorice Pizza, in the long-sleeved short dress in chocolate brown she wears for the first date, and again later in the movie. Ali MacGraw in a kilt in Love Story, never on the moodboard.
The macro-mini was on the catwalk at Max Mara for this spring, in a grown-up version that was dubbed the “boardroom mini”, and it looks great at Fendi for autumn in a sturdy check, with a petticoat frill beneath adding an extra couple of inches.
The tiniest skirt of the season is the one making the biggest noise. But it is the not-so-mini that has legs.