Legs and Thighs . . . and Jewelry?

While belts are fashionably emphasizing waists, toned arms are highlighted in sleeveless looks and shoulders are being emphasized in 1980’s-sized proportions again, it seems to me that this fashion moment, as we head into the fall season, is most emphatically about legs. Legs and thighs, to be more precise.Perhaps I’ve been swayed a bit by the reports of the Fug Girls covering fashion for the New York magazine, but celebrities going “pantless” have been making the news for months now. I’ll let you read up on that trend on your own. Essentially, what it means is that young female celebrities have been wearing garments intended to be worn as long tops, as very, very short dresses instead, typically with nothing on their legs. Mariah Carey, Vanessa Hudgens and Amanda Bynes are among the numerous young celebs endorsing this look.

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Illustration: Actress Chloe Sevigny demonstrates the appeal of the “pantless” look with short shorts, strappy sandals and long legs.

As the days get cooler, bare legs get cold, and so tights have made an appearance, as they did last winter. This year, patterned hosiery is also huge. Leggings are back as well, big time, swayed by young celebs like Lindsay Lohan, who loves them so much that she created her own line. Glamour magazine loves them so much that its October 2009 issue devotes six full pages to them!

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Illustration: One of the six pages Glamour magazine devotes to leggings in its October 2009 issue.

Short dresses and short shorts are being shown for fall, leaving plenty of room to highlight long legs. Indeed, one trend toward shape-concealing garments, like fluffy A-line coats and huge, oversized boyfriend sweaters, mean that only the wearer’s face and legs give her form some definition.

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Illustration: In its October 2009 issue, Lucky magazine says that a shrunken structured blazer “elevates typically casual legwear to a whole new level of sophistication” and opines that full-length black matte leggings “give the effect of a skinny pant in an even sexier, more curve hugging way.”

Footwear designers have seized the fashion moment as well. Over-the-knee boots are being shown by a huge range of designers, eager to take advantage of all those expanses of leg. One of the oddest endorsements comes from stylist Rachel Zoe, who writes this week that everyone should give the over-the-knee boot trend a try and “strut your stuff like Vivian would” – making reference to the Julia Roberts character in the movie Pretty Woman, who is, of course, a prostitute. Hmmm…. Thankfully, People magazine provides advice on how to style the boots to look “pretty, not Pretty Woman.”
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Illustration: A feature on over-the-knee boots from the September 14, 2009 issue of People magazine.

So, you’re wondering, what does all this have to do with jewelry?

Well, there’s more. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, take a peek at the new Prada “garter boots.” Isn’t it just a matter of time until the collective designer consciousness recognizes the opportunities for adornment? Why not jazz up boots and garters with jewels?

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Illustration: Two ensembles with Prada garter boots pictured in the October 2009 issue of Vogue.

By the way, boots aren’t a necessary component of adorning the thighs. A current ad for Guess shows a flash of the top of thigh-high stockings with a short skirt.

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Illustration: Guess brings thigh-high stockings into the open.

Hosiery too could be adorned. And indeed, embellished tights are already here.

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Illustration: The August 31- September 7, 2009 issue of New York magazine features these embellished tights by Cynthia Rowley, which the magazine calls “The next phase of leggings.”

I’m watching for the jeweled-encrusted garters, charms dangling off the length of a garter, and the introduction of the “thigh bracelet” (or would that be a “thigh anklet”), itself attached to garters. Perhaps there’s an idea here that just might help a creative jewelry designer get a leg up.