Thursday, December 4, 2008


Will You Look at Those!

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Published: December 3, 2008

STEP aside, serviceable black leggings. This season’s most covetable accents are party-ready lace tights. The fall runways were awash in giddy options: punky hand-knit tights at Rodarte, punctuated with holes; rose-printed hose at ChloĆ©; and, at Emma Cook, fantastical webs of stars, lace and netting.
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Fine Points | Lacy TightsSlide Show
Fine Points | Lacy Tights

“I wanted to create something that felt ultramodern,” said Ms. Cook, who made her intricate tights by hand, piecing together bespoke lace. The whimsical London-based designer owned up to “a bit of a dislike” for the opaque black hose many women instinctively don as armor against the elements. “I hate the way they make you look like you work in an office,” she said.

The singer-songwriter Maggie Kim wears lacy tights as part of her signature style. “It’s a film noir, Paris-in-the-’40s kind of look,” she explained. “It’s sexy and feminine but not obvious.” What’s great about lace tights, she added, is that “it seems like you put a lot of thought into your outfit, but it couldn’t be easier.” Her current faves, from Topshop, are a spidery gift wrap of bows.

“Lace tights make a simple outfit feel more special,” said Jennifer Zuccarini, the design director for Victoria’s Secret and a founder of Kiki de Montparnasse. “I can wear lace tights to work all day with flats, then change into heels for evening and be ready for anything.” And, she noted, hosiery is recession-friendly. “It’s the least expensive way to update a look.”

Practicality aside, sheer patterned stockings can be ever so seductive. “They cover you up but instantly draw the eye to the curves of your leg,” Ms. Kim said. “Maybe because my husband’s French, he loves when I wear sexy hosiery. He goes crazy when I’m in lace tights and high heels.”

Are we ready to give up opaque black tights completely? Not likely, but luckily it is possible to have it both ways. Chanel’s fall tights are lace on the front and opaque in back. Thanks, Karl.

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