Marni: Leggings are the new must-have

Updated: 2007-01-22 14:38

Milan - Now I know there are many out there who will think I have lost it when I write that a key, new must-have for men this coming fall will be a pair of leggings to be worn outside, not just in, the house, but that was the big message at the debut Marni men's runway show this morning in Milan.

Model walks the runway at the Marni Men's show during the Fall 2007 Fashion Week
in Milan on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007.

Leggings made of microfiber cotton and wool, shown in violet, forest green and Milan fog gray, all of them with stirrup straps, except of course for a couple of them cut above the knee, accompanied half the looks in this poetic, polished and unexpected collection.

These leggy knits were paired with mercerized cotton jerkins, snug little Rude Boy with manners jackets and Two Tone era skinny ties ? a big Milan trend. Marni shoes were also real winners, knobby workerist boots in bottle green or metallic gray with subtle strips of contrasting color like burgundy.

"Unconventional but sophisticated," smiled Consuelo Castiglioni, Marni's Creative Director, backstage after the show.

One of several smart women setting the fashion agenda in Milan ? don't forget Miuccia, Donatella or Silvia ? Consuelo has been a major force in women's fashion for nearly a decade. Arguably no designer has a more devoted following among card-carrying fashionistas, editors, critics, stylists and PR folk, than Castiglioni. After just three seasons in men's wear she looks poised to extend her style hegemony into the masculine world.

That said, I know a lot of guys who wear leggings around the home to watch DVDs, lounge around before Premiership games or surf the Internet. But actually on the street, never mind into a nightclub or bar? Yet, the truth is that leggings are way more comfortable than pants and that if we fellows were not all so uptight and worried about our status we would have all begun wearing them a long time ago. So hats off to Castiglioni, and on with the leggings.

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