21 February 2007

MK to Jeans: Drop Dead

Ms. K has had this on her mind for several weeks now. She will be the first to sound the alarm. Without preamble: jeans are over. Yes. It was inevitable, really. MK winces at paying more than $50, topping out at $55. In a materialistic moment around the turn of the century, she found herself in Henri Bendel or Barneys heatedly arguing with herself about buying Paper Denim & Cloth cheap for $99. And, honey, these days, the girl finding status jeans for $99 would count herself oh, so lucky. Since 1999 MK and the everyone else have suffered through jeans with sequins, glitter, rhinestones, buttons, beads, faux spray paint, feathers, decals; jeans abraded, scratched, ripped, dipped in acid, attacked with enzymes, aged, boiled, distressed, whiskered; jeans made on special looms in Japan, made to measure; jeans with ridiculous pocket crap, jeans to make booties look bigger, butt-cleavage revealers, jeans to make butts look smaller; skinny jeans, bootcut, low-rise, stovepipe, sexy, flare, bell bottom, elephant leg, palazzo, this fit, that fit--and even the ill-conceived "patchwork" jean. But that's it. This far--and no further. Enough. We need to give jeans a rest.

Of course, MK cannot make a statement so bracingly true as to be hyperbolic without offering readers suggestions. She's not going to tell you to cast off jeans and leave you with a poor, naked bum! As is often the case, let's look to "ethnic" or "folk" costume, kittens. MK once read an interview with Tilda Swinton in which Til mentioned Thai fisherman pants. MK was intrigued. So, there's one option. Flipping through old issues of Fiber Arts, MK noticed an ad for Folkwear's "Japanese Field Clothing." How about so-called harem pants? Or salwars? Churidars are very stylish. Or the southeastern Asian sampot.

For those made queasy by real or perceived post-colonial appropriation, MK says: knickers. No, you dirty bird, not undies--but rather the sartorial expression immediately identified with the 1980s. Culottes. More trou with Reagan-era flavor! Gauchos. Glamorous wide-legged 1930s trousers evocative of Garbo. Even cords in a pinch. The point is: we all need to cleanse the palette a bit and give jeans a much needed rest.

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