Happy Halloween, kids. Rather than pontificate, as planned, on the aspirationally porny horror of the “sexy” costume, this year, in honor of our annual frightfest, your intrepid correspondent has decided to face down her current fashion nightmare. There’s nothing I fear more than a new silhouette. Sure, it might look great on a model, it might tantalize on the street, but push come to shove, conversion is hard. The eye advances before the nerve, and I think a lot of women feel this way. To wit: About five years ago, a few friends and I had gathered at a downtown basement dive bar, one of those bleeding-edge places with no sign, etc. We were all downing beers, contentedly stylish in our relatively new bootcut Sevens and Paper Denims, when in walked a pair of girls just impossibly cool, wearing paint-on jeans tucked into knee-high boots. They looked amazing; they looked like what was next. A pall came over our table. We’d seen the future, and the future darkly hinted at a ten lb. crash diet and the purchase of some (hopefully forgiving) blouson tops. We were scared. It took a year for the bravest among us to get on board with the skinny denim trend.
These days, every one is trying to figure out what’s going to dislodge that skinny denim silhouette. High waisted and wide-legged is gaining traction, but one senses a general fear that it’s a fad, and not anything worth another 10lb crash diet and some major wardrobe reshuffling. Mannish trouser cuts are coming back; New Zealand designer Karen Walker has some smart versions of these, and Twenty8Twelve (Susannah and Sienna Miller’s new line) is doing an exceptional trouser-jean for Spring, lightweight and hip-slung. They are easy to integrate into your closet. But the pant that keeps catching my eye, the one I’ve seen on the impossibly cool girls around my neighborhood, and by ahead-of-the-click designers such as Mayle and ACNE, present the sternest challenge to the style nerve. Gathered at the waist and baggy through the thigh, they taper at the ankle, for a subtle parachute effect. One wears them, probably, with skin-tight tank, a slouchy sweater or open flannel, a pair of flat granny boots and a hat. Or: A leotard, long necklace and ankle-shaking heels. The pair by Australia’s LOVER, coming for Spring, are the best parachutes I’ve seen, soft, black, with some jerseyish drape. I know I want them. I know I fear them, too.