In the early noughties, skirts were diddy. Barley bum-covering. Definitely thigh exposing, even if an actual cheek didn’t make an appearance. I was a teenager at the time and, like so many of my peers, was delighted by Kylie’s resurgence – and inspired by those metallic hot pants. I duly wore the smallest things I could get away with on my bottom half, coated my legs in MAC Strobe Cream (as I’d heard Caroline Barnes often did on Miss Minogue), and promptly froze on my way to whichever night spot my friends had convinced me to go to – then, as now, the getting ready was by far my preferred part of the evening.
Near absence of skirt plus something shimmering – be it legs or, indeed, the skirt itself – became a mainstay of big nights out. As time progressed and the ra-ra skirt reached its zenith, I became the master of the legs out thing, most notably in 2003, when I’d go out wearing so much Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Gloss that I garnered compliments (comments?) on my chutzpah. When studying at Newcastle a year later, I would take my sheeny shiny legs and my teeny tiny skirt out on the toon come rain or hail (it was Newcastle; those were the only two weather conditions).
You may think me older, wiser and far, far more inclined towards comfort now. And you’d be right, to an extent: definitely older, fractionally wiser and much more about the comfort. That is, unless a silly little skirt that shouts party comes my way, in which case I’m happy to cast comfort (and potentially dignity) aside.
I saw one such item hanging from my sister’s cupboard last month and swiped it, determined to give it – and my legs – an outing over the festivities. It was silver, ruffled, minuscule: heck, it was basically skirt-shaped tin foil. Despite having a hideous cold throughout the month, I donned it several times and was reminded with each wear of the not insignificant alchemy fashion can perform. Once in this skirt, I am a more frivolous, less matronly Madeleine; one can’t wear a short silver skirt and take oneself seriously – and on occasion that’s a really good thing. Sometimes, I don’t want to be the person who fastidiously keeps the kitchen counters clean and tidies up the sock drawer. Sometimes I just want to party, like it’s 1999/2003/2004 – freezing cold, shimmering on the dance floor, potentially flashing onlookers, having a blast.
Skirt / Isabel Marant Etoile
Top / Matalan
Shoes / Yves Saint Laurent