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Ten things…

Ten things you may not have known about the mini…

Highs and lows: window-shopping in the 1960s
1. In the 1960s, hemlines were 4-5 inches above the knee in New York – and a daring 7-8 inches above in London!

2. The famous Union Jack minidress belonging to ex Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, was sold for £36,200 at Sotheby's in London in aid of the Sargent Cancer Care for Children. When it came under the hammer In 1998, the dress was the subject of frenzied bidding and was eventually snapped up by Peter Morton of Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel.

3. What made the mini truly acceptable was the introduction of tights, which were less risqué than stockings - and warmer. They also came in different colours, one favourite being the golden-brown shade American Tan.

4. The year 1968 was a special one for Barbie - besides speaking for the first time (when a string wsa pulled on the back of Talking Barbie's neck), among her far-out outfits was "Sparkle Squares", a metallic minidress and coat.

5. In June 2004 a Suffolk school banned skirts after hemlines rose to "inappropriate" levels. Kesgrave High School, near Ipswich, ordered female students to wear trousers after some turned up in miniskirts. Chairman of governors Margaret Young said short skirts were impractical as well as immodest as many girls cycled to school. The Equal Opportunities Commission said students could have a case for unlawful sex discrimination.

6. The International Travel Guide warns, "Miniskirts are strictly forbidden in the territory of Madagascar... a half knee-length is the extreme limit admitted. This decision applies to every female passenger over ten years, and concerns passengers of all nationalities. Trespassers of this stipulation can be sentenced up to ten days in jail."

7. The Museum of Costume in Bath has featured a "Dress of the Year" since it opened in 1963. The miniskirt made an appearance in the 1960s, and was chosen by Vogue's Elizabeth Tilberis to represent 1991. The blue stretch denim number, teamed with a pink lurex and wool tweed jacket and matching shoes, was by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.

8. In 2005 the PS2 game Mini-skirt Police was released - it involved playing as a special forces agent tackling the bad guys (who were the ones in miniskirts). Lara Croft, eat your heart out…

9. A series of Poster Dresses designed by the American graphic artist Harry Gordon caught the public imaginationin in 1968. Available in five designs, the most famous one was the A-line "'Eye" Poster Dress, which was screen-printed with a large female eye and fastened at the left shoulder with Velcro strips.

10. Sixties fashion icon Twiggy was chosen to model the new M&S spring collection for 2006, reuniting her with Erin O'Connor, Laura Bailey and Noemie Lenoir after the success of their autumn ad campaign.