Mandelli was a risk-taker, having left a secure teaching job to fulfill her dream of working as a fashion designer and beginning her business from a two-room flat in Milan.
Her daring nature showed in her designs, which ignored contemporary trends and embraced pleats, animal motifs and – of course – hot pants. Mandelli was one of the pioneers of the iconic shorts, along with designers including British Mary Quant, and won the Tiberio d'oro award when she debuted the look at Capri.
Mandelli at her label, Krizia's fashion show. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP
The trend soon spread around the globe, with hot pants infiltrating all areas of culture from haute couture to the high street.
Hot pants quickly became hot property on the catwalk and were featured heavily in fashion bible Vogue, before finding their way onto the high street. Even knitted versions proved popular.
— FashionFollower.com (@FashionFollower) June 6, 2014
— karina keisler (@karinakeisler) February 18, 2015
The trend spread to the UK, where one town held a Miss Hot Pants competition (and a male equivalent), as documented by this newspaper clipping.
Bobby Hope hosts the Miss Hot Pants competition at West Brom…ah the 70s… pic.twitter.com/0G6L4xQncZ
— Miles McClagan (@TheSkyStrikers) September 18, 2014
But was there really a need for inflatable Wonder Sauna Hot Pants?
Do you remember the Wonder Sauna Hot Pants? Seems like there were gimmicks in the 60s as well! Happy Throwback… pic.twitter.com/uCI02XL2Qb
— Carla Elliott (@carlaelliott4) December 4, 2014
Nadia Cassini, an actress famous for roles in films in the 'commedia sexy' genre, including L'infermiera nella corsia dei militari (The nurse in the military madhouse).
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Screenshot/Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Brands realized the potential of the shorts and used them to advertise products from jeans to motorbikes and even air travel – Texas-based Southwest Airlines introduced a uniform featuring bright orange hot pants (see the video below). Also offering drinks called Love Potions on their flights, the airline clearly believed in the motto 'sex sells' and refused to hire male cabin crew members until the company was sued for discrimination in the 1980s.
— Paolo Franci (@paolofranci17) July 17, 2014
— MckD#63 (@Mckd63) October 9, 2015
Photo: Jeff Robbins/Flickr
Photo: Lisa Yarost/Flickr
Photo: Tracie Hall/Wikimedia Commons
Mandelli clearly saw no reason to change a design that still worked – here a model wears leather hot pants by Mandelli's label Krizia at Milan Fashion Week in 2004.
Photo: Patrick Hertzog/AFP
Below, Dolce & Gabbana incorporate hot pants into their 2010-2011 Fall/Winter collection. Yes, you read that right – winter.
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Kylie takes hot pants for a spin
The gold pair of shorts worn by Kylie Minogue in the video for her single Spinning Around might be the most famous pair on this list. Bought in an Oxfam shop by her creative director for just 50p, the hot pants were donated to Melbourne's Performing Artists Museum last year.