In London, designer Mary Quant had been producing cutting-edge clothes for several years. Bazaar, her shop in the King's Road, was a magnet for the capital's hippest trend-setters.
Quant hemlines had been rising steadily but when she produced a skirt that ended several inches above the knee the fashion world went wild. The miniskirt - said to have been named by Quant after the Mini car - was an instant hit on the streets of London and rapidly spread across the globe. Hemlines shot up everywhere but nowhere more so than in London, where skirts were finishing a breezy 7-8 inches above the knee.
Quant wasn't the only designer experimenting with short skirts at that time, though. Some fashion historians suggest that the true inventor of the miniskirt was a French designer called Andre Courreges. Courreges was inspired by "space-age" clothing and - around the same time as Quant - is said to have produced a short skirt to go with his Go-Go Boots, the original name for the thigh-length boots still popular today.
MORE THAN JUST CLOTHING
Perhaps Courreges was first. But Quant undeniably popularised the look, often teaming it with another new garment - tights. Until the miniskirt, tights hadn't really taken off but, with all that leg on show, designers went to town with wacky colours and elaborate patterns.
Of course, a miniskirt looked best on you if you were young and slim. It was more than a piece of clothing. It was a statement that directly confronted the deferential society of post-war Britain. The miniskirt said there was nothing wrong with showing your legs. It was saying, in fact, that there was nothing wrong with being young. Now, that's groovy, baby!