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TRENDS

Pants? Who needs 'em!

September 21, 2008|Emili Vesilind | Times Staff Writer

YOU KNOW the old fashion adage about taking off one thing before you leave the house to streamline your outfit? Soon it might not be a busy brooch or pair of dangling earrings that gets the toss. You might be ditching your pants.

Or so a few tastemakers would have us believe. Consider this month's MTV Video Music Awards. Singer Katy Perry -- whose modern-day Vargas girl look is as lauded as her pop ditties -- showed up on the red carpet in cream-colored silk bloomers, paired with a bejeweled halter-top, and later slid into a shiny white onesie with a graphic of a sparkling banana on one shoulder. Granted, the onesie bottoms were more hot pants than skivvies, but the message was clear: A miniskirt isn't mini enough for these foxy legs.

She wasn't the only one going sans trousers. Pink cast off a bright blue silk duster during her performance to reveal a black (leather?) get-up that combined a leotard bottom with a button-down, long-sleeved top -- over fishnet stockings. With her spiky blond hair, the punky pop star looked like a demonic Suze Orman.

The trend -- perhaps an extreme manifestation of the ever-shortening skirts that have been sweeping Hollywood (see Gwyneth Paltrow) -- has been brewing for a while in the music world. A confounded paparazzo wondered if Victoria Beckham had forgotten her skirt when she showed up in a corset and barely there hot pants for the Glamour Awards last year in London, and up-and-coming indie artist Lady Gaga is known for wearing all manner of frilly bloomers and shiny dance-wear bottoms -- onstage and off.

Madonna, a lifelong dancer, has been leotarded on many occasions -- she donned elastic briefs for a Steven Meisel photo shoot in W magazine last year, then worked that ubiquitous Jazzercise-style purple leotard when promoting "Confessions on a Dance Floor." But she certainly wasn't the first to leg up in Lycra -- Andy Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick famously wore leotards in the 1960s.

The look is also a perennial on fashion runways -- though it's part of the surrealism we expect to see there. Just last week on the catwalk Marc Jacobs paired printed bloomers with a brocade jacket, and Alexander Wang showed a sparkly black bathing suit over a long-sleeved hosiery bodysuit, topped with a pink "Miami Vice"-inspired blazer.

The zany trend only confirms our suspicion that indeed, no one's wearing the pants these days.

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emili.vesilind@latimes.com

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