Monday, January 22, 2007

Idle threat of the week

During a week when Lindsay Lohan threatened the entire rapidly-expanding gossip industry with improbable, boring sobriety and Christopher Dodd and Bill Richardson threatened no one with the official announcements of their presidential aspirations, the panel of judges turned to the catwalks of Milan to find this week's idlest threat.

One could make the argument that, on the runway level, the fashion industry is always a dizzying parade of idle threats. What normal, free-willed human being would ever wear the highly conceptual peacock-like concoctions designers drum up to call attention to themselves?

Yet this season's Milan fashion week has been praised for the very sobriety Ms. Lohan seeks.

As we read through various accounts of the event -- and we do so you don't have to -- we noticed consistent mentions of "leggings" on men. We ignored them at first -- possibly because we weren't quite sure what leggings are.

But they are tights, people, tights.

In all seriousness, the most influential designers in the world think -- in the further feminization of a gender -- this season men will go the way of the ballet dancer or fictional Sherwood Forest avenger.

They have even convinced someone who writes for what I gather is the world's most influential fashion daily that this men-in-tights thing is a good idea.

I remember, a few years back, it was capri pants that were going to make the gender jump. Yes the odd fashionably adventurous male was seen wearing a capri pant or two, but the trend fizzled well before the flood.

The panel of judges say tights, largely because of their tightness, will never even reach that minimal point of saturation.

Maybe next year the fashion world will bring back the men-in-skirts canard they love to flirt with. But "leggings" will always have Idle Threat of The Week for January 15-21.

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