A Holey Revival
There was a time when wearing aged jeans with worn-out knees was something to aspire to. You'd buy them old or make the holes yourself with repeated washings and purposeful scratching with sandpaper -- you could even buy them pre-slashed at places like J.Crew. But then a man named Helmut Lang came along, and jeans transformed into something stiff and dark. There was even that odd fifteen fashion-minutes where jeans were cuffed (in some cases, there was about a foot of extra turned-up fabric) and people sent them to the dry cleaner. Holes were a thing of the past. But as with most things, the pendulum has swung back again; even acid-washed denim has had a revival. So start globbing the self-tanner on your knees. Holes are back, showing up everywhere from Dolce & Gabbanato your neighborhood J.Crew. But a word to the wise: Holes are always best when they at least look legitimate.
1, 2, 3 Success?
Like A Flock of Seagulls haircuts, another eighties trend is experiencing a hearty revival: Weight Watchers. The rage for the Point System is evident among the lithe fashionistas at the Condé Nast headquarters -- arguably the diet capital of the world (for proof, one only need visit the Frank Gehry cafeteria, with its Atkins adherents in the line for cheeseburgers and the Zone contingent crowding the sandwich bar). Now a stylish posse has been braving the sweaty crowds of Times Square and making the weekly trek to the Weight Watchers center at 1290 Sixth Avenue to be weighed in and attend an "encouraging" group meeting. And with the results on display in the empire's elevators, the idea is catching on. "They look," one editorial assistant whispers, "fantastic."
Are trousers the new hose? Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier have finally picked up on a tremendously practical trend that's been popping up on East Village sidewalks and the mannequins at Urban Outfitters for several winters now: pants worn beneath skirts. At both houses' couture collections, short skirts were piled over long, floor-grazing pants for a layered look (that has the added benefit of being comfortable and warm). Chanel took it in a classic direction, with gold buttons and boiled wool, while Gaultier's inspiration was Chinese and the look more fluid. But in both situations, the overall effect was flattering: You don't have to worry too much about your butt.
"English gentleman by way of Bed-Stuy" is how 35-year-old Anthony T. Kirby describes his look, which consists mostly of complicated pairings of shirts and neckties. Kirby, who got into the fashion business eighteen years ago (doing customer service at Brooks Brothers, where "they told me I was too young for the selling floor"), takes his furnishings -- ties, pocket squares, and made-to-measure shirts -- directly to men who want to replicate his bold style. His private customers range from Graydon Carter to the Reverend Gary V. Simpson of Brooklyn's Concord Baptist Church. "He's a throwback," says Jay Kos, a haberdasher on Lexington. "He goes through the archives at the English silk mills." "The very model of whimsy and elegance," says Elliot Rabin, patting T.'s shoulder with a paternal hand. (Kirby's day job is in Rabin's Madison Ave. store, Peter Elliot, which also sells Anthony T. ties ). "Everything the well-dressed man should be." "He's the only guy I've ever met that I'd let pick out my clothes," says the lawyer Ed Hayes, who relies on Kirby for exotic items like tweed slippers. "Having him visit your office is the high-point of a fourteen-hour day."