Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Mary Quant

The Original White Mini

What does the 50th anniversary of the Mini car have to do with vintage clothing you ask?

The mini skirt. That small piece of fabric ending above the knees that sort of resembled a skirt and caused such a sensation in 1960s Swinging London. Although there is still debate
on exactly who invented the mini skirt - Mary Quant or André Courrèges, one thing is certain, the mini is here to stay.

Last month in the UK, Mary Quant attended the 50th anniversary of the classic car. She said that her invention was not named for the fact that it provided 'mini-mum' coverage of the legs, but was in honour of her favourite car.

The acceptance of the miniskirt was greatly boosted by Jean Shrimpton who wore a short white shift dress to Derby Day in Australia in 1965. It caused a sensation among the conservative classes.

In 1988, Quant designed the interior of the Mini car. It featured black and white striped seats with red trimming and red seat belts. The Quant signature was on the hood badge and seats as well as her daisy on the steering wheel. The headlight housings, wheel arches, door handles and bumpers were all in nimbus grey rather than the more common chrome or black finishes. Only 2000 of the cars were released in the UK, and a number were also released onto foreign markets. The special edition Mini came in two body colors - jet black and diamond white.

The gathering of 35 000 "Miniacs" in the UK showed some very unique models, including a chrome one designed by David Bowie, a limousine stretch, the original white mini and a 'mini mini' - or is that a 'mini - me' ?


Darla: Retro Ways said...

I love that interior great colors! Such amazing photos! ♥

Keith said...

I love these cars. Great photos.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Ah...the mini cooper! Love them! Our daughter had one in Australia...driving on the wrong side of the road including a manual transmission in that tiny little car. She's alive I'm happy to would have been squish otherwise!

[Tara] said...

Oh my goodness -- I love the striped interior!