That Dress & Jean Shrimpton

That Dress & Jean Shrimpton

That Dress & Jean ShrimptonThe day the fashion world's eyes turned to Melbourne.

British actress and model Jean Shrimpton caused a sensation when she arrived for the Victoria Derby wearing a white shift dress which ended 10 cm (3.9 in) above her knees.

She wore no hat, stockings or gloves, and sported a man's watch, which was unusual at the time.

The iconic '60s English model caused an uproar, making news around the globe, when she wore a white mini dress to the members' lounge on Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse.

The simple shift dress sported a hem that was a daring 10cm above the knee, and was made that way because dressmaker Colin Rolfe reportedly didn't have enough fabric to complete the original design.

Jean Shrimpton recollects the stir

she caused on Victoria Derby Day in 1965.

IT may have been 44 years ago, but time has not clouded Jean Shrimpton's recollections of the stir she caused on Victoria Derby Day in 1965.

The British model shocked Melbourne's conservative racing crowd when she wore a white mini-dress cut 10cm above the knee.

Melbourne's establishment matrons were left reeling not only by the high hem, but also by the beauty's daring decision not to wear a hat, stockings or gloves.

Jean Cox - as she is now known - said she blamed herself for the controversy.

"It was my fault, I suppose I wasn't very professional,"said Cox.

"I got asked to go to the Melbourne Cup and didn't do any research."

Despite being, arguably, the world's first supermodel, she said she presumed she was being asked to attend the races because of who she was rather than what she would wear.

"People think because you are a model you are interested in fashion, and I never was,"she said.

She said she had no intention of upsetting the racing hierarchy -- it was merely a matter of metrics.

"The fabric company who sent me the material for the dress never sent me enough material,"she explained.

"I said, `Nobody's going to take any notice so just make the skirt a bit shorter -- it was as simple as that. Then it caused this huge furore, which was really rather surprising."

Cox, who stopped modelling in 1972 and is the owner of chic Cornwall hotel the Abbey, run by her son Thaddeus, said she was more than happy to be out of the spotlight.

"I much prefer architecture to fashion,"she said.


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