Thursday, 15 March 2012

Men in Tights

 Emilio Cavallini unisex tights

As I'm sure you've surmised by now, I'm a pretty progressive gal. Cynical, a little angry and totally judgmental, but progressive nonetheless. I thought it was cute when J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons was photographed painting her young son's toenails pink, I say bravo to Chaz Bono who had the courage and conviction to embrace his true self, and yes, I believe everyone has the right to free speech, even if they are knuckle-dragging whackjobs whose fatuous right wing beliefs stem from the Old Boy teachings of Rich White America. (When the fascists rule the world after a Hunger Games type apocalypse, this blog is totally gonna land me on a watchlist.)

Despite my general Live and Let Live attitude (barring leather shorts, PajamaJeans, yoga, bridal diapers, The Jersey Shore, and Sex and the City, of course) I do draw the line somewhere. And that place is at mantyhose. Earlier this week, revolutionary Italian legwear brand Emilio Cavallini disclosed to Women's Wear Daily that approximately 3 percent of their hosiery business consists of men. They launched a unisex collection of tights in 2009 and it is going over well with dudes in Europe and North America who wear them mostly as an extra layer for warmth in the winter, but have also been known to rock them under shorts as a fashion statement. Prints include skulls, stars, checks and stripes. Which sounds totally cute! On me.

Emilio Cavallini has been on my radar since the late 80s/early 90s when my father was the national distributor for the avant garde clothing and accessories brand noted for seamless construction and outrageous tights. The designer was probably best known for providing outfits for the seminal twin pop sensation Milli Vanilli, which is, you know, prescient. Much as I always thought Cavallini was so super cool and oh-my-god-how-rad-are-these-tights-with-big-holes-in-them-they-will-look-so-awesome-under-my-plaid-school-uniform, sadly the Canadian public was not ready for him. (Thankfully, my father had an arsenal of other Italian labels that sold like hotcackes.) Although the brand has since ditched ready-to-wear and focused solely on that region below the belt that either makes you love genetics or want to strangle its evil, sinewy neck, clearly they haven't kicked their ol' subversive tendencies.

Allow me to say, with utter sincerity, I totally dig a dude who wears pink. It's brave, it's sexy and it tells me that he doesn't subscribe to antiquated societal norms. That's a guy I would like to befriend, and depending on what he looks like, maybe even go down on. But a man in tights reminds me of Louis XIV, whom I admire for nurturing the arts during a rather prolific literary time in France and who is responsible for turning Versailles into what is a rather nice little maison, but who also probably didn't shower that often (I mean the French did invent perfume for a reason) which means pink or no pink, I wouldn't tap that for anything.

Also, I'm all for gender equality, but I kinda want to see that happen in places like, oh I don't know, the workplace and maybe Iran, before blurring the lines of fashion and beauty. It's hard enough to find a guy who wears decent shoes — OH MY GOD, why can't dudes in North America wear decent shoes?! — let's not start telling them to wear pantyhose. Or as Essie Weingarten, founder of global nail polish brand Essie, suggested to me earlier this week, wear nail polish. In fact, she strongly advises us to share our nail polish with the men in our lives. What Essie doesn't know, though, and what my kindergarten classmates can wholeheartedly attest, is that I don't share. Not toys, crayons, clothing or nail polish. Nor the belief that the world is ready for men in tights.          

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Happy Women's Day

Just a quickie post on this International Women's Day 2012 to give a shout-out to all the women who have inspired me in life:

My dear departed nonnina, Angelica Pepe, who demonstrated strength, resilience and a remarkable ability to keep her shit together in the face of much adversity over her 98 years. And who is undoubtedly looking down on me today and asking herself, "What the f*ck is that kid doing with her life?" Except, you know, in Italian.

My mother, who unlike her (aforementioned) mother, charges through life with a gladiatorial nature that has allowed her to accomplish a helluva lot more than I ever will.

My best friend who, let's face it, is a saint just for putting up with me these last 25 years. But also because she's never let her misfortunes taint her world view or her ability to kick ass. Plus, she *always* pays for dinner.

And this list of women who I've never met, but whose brilliance has awed me in some way. In no particular order: Tina Fey, Flannery O'Connor, Margaret Atwood, Oriana Fallaci, Marie Colvin, Murphy Brown, Stephanie Nolan, Kristen Wiig, George Eliot, Marcia Kilgore, Miuccia Prada, Coco Chanel, Stella McCartney, Meg White, Sofia Vergara, Stevie Nicks, Lisa Simpson, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Gloria Steinem, Zadie Smith, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Jennifer Egan, Lee Krasner, Veronica Tennant, Georgia O'Keefe, Frida Kahlo, Lara Logan, Liz Tilberis, Grace Coddington, Leslie Stahl, Grace Mirabella, Tina Brown, Joan Didion, Diane Keaton, Karen Kain, Janis Joplin, Marianne Faithful, Aretha Franklin, Sofia Coppola, Isabella Blow, Gertrude Stein, Katherine Hepburn, Judy Blume. And believe me, the list could go on.

To all of you I say, thanks.