Rise of the hemline

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The idea that a high hemline is a modern phenomenon is something of myth. Through the years there’s been no shortage of ladies keen to show they’re a cut above the rest.

Picture credits: Rex Features.

  • Louise Brooks, 1928

    American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film actress Louise Brooks posing in a frilly dress.

  • Betty Grable, 1937

    Actress, dancer and singer Betty Grable dressed in a short skirt on the set of This Way Please.

  • Peggy Moran, 1940

    American actress Peggy Moran photographed wearing a beautifully cut short dress.

  • Rita Hayworth, 1944

    Rita Hayworth wearing a mini dress for the film Cover Girl.

  • Marilyn Monroe, 1950s

    Iconic actress and model Marilyn Monroe posing in a daringly short skirt.

  • Raquel Welch, 1966

    Actress and author Raquel Welch wearing a pink towelling mini dress with a striking yellow hem.

  • Sandie Shaw, 1967

    English pop singer Sandie Shaw posing in a stylish mini dress.

  • Crossword Dress by Robert Krausz, 1968

    Model wearing a Robert Krausz’s puzzle-inspired design.

  • Goldie Hawn, 1969

    Goldie Hawn posing in a mini dress in a film still from Cactus Flower.

  • Brigitte Bardot, 1960s

    French star Brigitte Bardot wearing a glamorous pink mini dress.

  • Joan Collins, 1960s

    Joan Collins in a typical 1960s black and white mini dress.

  • Nancy Sinatra, 1960s

    American singer Nancy Sinatra in a hippy-style, red crochet mini dress.

  • Kate O’Mara, 1970

    English actress Kate O’Mara wearing a fringe mini skirt.

  • Moira Foot, 1970

    English actress Moira Foot posing in a short button-down dress.

  • Plastic Bubble Dress, 1970

    Model wearing a 1970s-style yellow plastic ‘bubble’ dress.

  • Jacqueline Bisset, 1972

    English actress Jacqueline Bisset posing in a pink mini dress.

  • Kim Basinger, 1983

    Kim Basinger wearing a T-shirt dress in a film still from Never Say Never Again.

  • Ali Espley, 1984

    Model Ali Espley in a sequinned mini dress called ‘Fantasia 2001’.

  • Brigitte Nielson, 1991

    Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen posing in a sultry black mini dress.

  • Sharon Stone, 1992

    Iconic image of Sharon Stone wearing a revealing white mini dress, in the movie Basic Instinct.

  • Kate Moss, 1992

    Kate Moss modelling a mini skirt by Karl Lagerfeld.

  • Mariah Carey, 1992

    Mariah Carey posing in a short pleated dress on her hotel room balcony.

  • Cindy Crawford, 1993

    Cindy Crawford wearing a Herve Leger bodycon dress.

  • Naomi Campbell, 1993

    Supermodel Naomi Campbell showing off an asymmetric mini dress in Paris.

  • Tori Spelling, 1994

    Tori Spelling wearing a short black dress in a still from the hit show Beverly Hills 90210.

  • Shannen Doherty, 1995

    Shannen Doherty posing in a floral print pattern mini dress.

  • Kate Moss, 1997

    Kate Moss wearing a black and yellow wool top over a black jersey knit skirt by Versace.

  • Geri Halliwell, 1997

    Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls performing in her famous Union Jack dress.

  • Mariah Carey, 1998

    Mariah Carey wearing a white bodycon dress at the Fresh Air Fund Benefit Dinner.

  • Jennifer Lopez, 1999

    Jennifer Lopez singing her heart out in a sequined split mini skirt with matching hot pants.

  • Paris Hilton, 2002

    Paris Hilton wearing a denim mini skirt at the Pierrot Fashion Show in New York.

  • Mariah Carey, 2003

    Mariah Carey performing on British TV in a purple ra-ra skirt.

  • Beyonce, 2005

    Beyoncé wearing a sparkly Dolce and Gabbana dress at the World Music Awards.

  • Naomi Campbell, 2010

    Naomi Campbell modelling a colourful short dress for London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010.

  • Shakira, 2012

    Shakira arrives at the NRJ Music Awards wearing a short strapless dress.

  • Kristen Stewart, 2012

    Kristen Stewart attending the MTV Movie Awards in a sparkly silver mini dress.

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Stylist Team