Death of John Bates, the designer who claimed to have invented the miniskirt – Corriere.it

from Gian Luca Bauzano

He died at the age of 87 at his home in Wales. The news was made public today. He had challenged Mary Quant i Courrges on the birthright of the piece that changed the style of women

British designer John Bates died at the age of 87 at his home in Wales. Among the leading fashion figures of the 1960s, the way women dressed had changed. He is responsible for the spread of the trouser suit. In particular, Bates claimed to own the birthright of the miniskirt, the women’s garment that liberated women and became a symbol of independence on the street. A piece of clothing whose creation is usually attributed to Mary Quant always in the UK. Not only. Also Andr Courrges, the French designer among the so-called “parents” of the miniskirt. But Bates had not stopped claiming his role all his life.

The news of Bates’ death, which took place on June 5, 2022, was made public today, June 18, through the obituary of John Siggins, the designer’s colleague, published in the British newspaper The Guardian. It reads: John died peacefully at home on June 5, 2022 after a long and painful battle with cancer.. In 2002, Bates moved with Siggins to his home in Wales, where he later died.

The birthright of the miniskirt has always been a hot topic. In fact, the miniskirt changed the perception not only of the feminine style in the sixties of the twentieth century, but the undisputed symbol of women’s freedom of expression, forced so far to wear opulent and long important dresses, synonymous with a condition “wrapped” in strict rules. It was the London of the sixties, the Swinging London that marked the great turning point. And the British was John Bates as Mary Quant, who is now 92 years old.

The diatribe also saw a third contestant, French designer Andr Courrges in his mini dresses. But as is the case today and not only, “trends” often emerge autonomously in the streets of the metropolis and then climb the catwalk. According to Mary Quant herself, this had been the case with the miniskirt. The designer had stated: Neither Courrges had the idea for the miniskirt. The real creators are the girls you see on the street. Saying this with a fist, he pushed his British colleague out of the style contest. Considering only the French as a possible “rival”.

It’s easy to understand how Bates meant his. Also because the history of fashion and dress, Specifically, he proposes four “parents” of the miniskirt: in addition to Bates, Quant and Courrges, he mentions the name of costume designer Helen Rose. It could be said that the last word in terms of “DNA” style The Victoria & Albert Museum in London said this a few years ago: in 2019 it is proposing an exhibition entitled Mary Quant, a celebration of the inventor of the miniskirt.

The year of the change of direction in terms of women’s look was the year 1963. .ra. The London-based designer first showed one of her creations at her Bazaar in King’s Road, London, and then took her first creations to Leslie Hornby, the slender model better known as Twiggy.: still today is the symbol.

The miniskirt is a worldwide phenomenon today. Since 2015, June 6 has been World Miniskirt Day. The idea came to Rachid Ben Othman, Tunisian president of the League for the Defense of Secularism and Freedoms. With this idea, he wanted to encourage his fellow citizens to wear a miniskirt as a gesture of solidarity against discrimination. The gesture stemmed from the fact that an Algerian girl had not been able to appear for school exams because her skirt was considered too short.

Although partly overshadowed by Quant i Courrges’ fame, Bates had a highly prestigious career. Born in Ponteland, Northumberland on January 11, 1935, he was the son of a miner. He had worked as a journalist and fashion illustrator. No.In 1959 he founded the house of the porter Jean Varon, clothes for young women, simple and colorful. It offers shorter hems than those accepted at the time. Creating disappointment. But the sA collection of short skirts is purchased at the Wallis store. Strong impact. Created for retail, in addition to being presented by Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

The beginning of success. Giving life to the costumes of actress Diana Rigg, the star of the TV series “The Avengers” or “Special Agent” as Emma Peel opposite Patrick Macnee as John Steed. Her above-the-knee skirts and mini-dresses with optical designs for the actress, as well as three-piece silver trousers, make her famous all over the world.. Her “A-Line Dress” model is the divine symbol of the 1966 dress chosen by the Bath Fashion Museum. Marit Allen, editor of ‘British Vogue’, was the great advocate of Bates, considered the true inventor of the miniskirt.. No Mary Quant or Courrges.

During the 1960s, British designer skirts became shorter and shorter. Your business is expanding. In the seventies a change of direction from the past. But there were no big prizes. In the early 80’s, the brand went bankrupt. Bates left fashion and retired to Wales to paint. In 2006, the Bath Fashion Museum dedicated a retrospective exhibition to Bates’ work.

June 18, 2022 (change June 18, 2022 | 18:13)

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