Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

As we all thought

Sceptics of the harem pants point is proved

12 comments:

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, and she is young and slim.

Yet somehow the original garment as worn, with variations, in much of the Maghreb, Middle East, Central and South Asia doesn't have that ungainly look. Is it because those are larger, of a heavier fabric, or just because they are out of their cultural context?

mq, cb said...

They are ghastly garments, but then this lady needs to sack her stylist. None of the elements look as though they go together. The top looks like it belongs to a completely different outfit (and possibly season), as frankly do the shoes which are the wrong colour. I reckon that the poor woman knows it too as she doesn't look very comfortable.

greying pixie said...

lagatta, I think the original garment looks graceful because it is usually made in a fabric with more movement. Also the backside is usually covered by a tunic top of some sort. And they are rarely worn with high heels.

I have several pairs of low crutch trousers, some in wool gabardine, some in knitted cashmere. They are luxurious beyong belief but I would not dream of trying to make them sexy like that poor woman.

Duchesse said...

GP has her finger on the problem of proportion. I'm thinking of the salwar kameez, traditionally worn by Muslim women but adopted by many Hindu and women of other faiths (or none)" the pant is simlalr, mayb not as exaggerated, and the tunic comvers the hips.

Duchesse said...

Oh my typing was sloppy there but I thnik you cn deciphr it!

Cal said...

Oh I used to love my harem pants - I wore them in the tail end of the 6th form and at university. They were lilacy purple and green with a peacock feather print (think Indian) in a very fine fabric.

I used to wear them with a sleeveless tee in the same colour purple.

Fun times. But this was the late eighties early nineties. I wouldn't wear them now.

Anastasia said...

The look could work if she didn't tuck her shirt in and wore flats. But then it's still not a look for an award show.
Harem pants look extremly comfy, but so is my pyjama and I wouldn't wear it going out - although many fashion shows told me this would be okay, too.
Harem pants just don't work for me, maybe that's MC Hammers fault.
(And it has nothing to do with the fact that they would make me look like the evil first wife of the Grand Vizir.)

mq, cb said...

Salwar kameez aren't as baggy and saggy in the bum, although they are by no means fitted. Although I only ever had a few for special occasions, some of my father's family wear them on a daily basis and theirs tend to follow fashions in trouser styles.

I had a cracking flared pair in the 1970's and a very nice drainpipe style a few years after that. In the 1980's, some of my cousins wore them with stiff long trouser cuffs, so that the silhouette was quite exaggerated, particularly when you consider that at this point the tunic often had shoulder pads.

Of course, these may all have been special occasion ones, particularly as I only ever wore mine at weddings. Day to day wear might be slightly more mundane, but you have to remember that they're not trying to look sexy; quite the reverse if anything. (This is of course where this woman falls down so spectacularly). They may also be trying to send quite different messages with their clothes. I'm generalising, but it's not necessarily about how young you are. It might instead be about how rich or socially prominent you are. (I base this on my mother's reports of conversations that my cousins would have with the weavers and tailors who made their clothes).

Miriam said...

I'm travelling in Asia just now, where the harem pants are commonplace...local women wear them infrequently, under long tops, and backpackers wear them any old way.

Well, they're not attractive and I don't imagine that they'll stick around very long in the west, but they're comfy and cool-ish in the heat, and easy to wear without offending cultural sensibilities.

They're practical here as well because they don't trail on the ground.

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, I was thinking of all the loose, low-crotched trousers from the Maghrebi sahrouel to the South Asian salwar kameez (which always has the "kameez", or long tunic - French "chemise" and Italian "camicia" derive from that word, from the Arabic qamis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salwar_kameez

An Indian friend of mine, who is a professor in Calcutta, usually wears salwar kameez, though her background is not Muslim; many Indian ladies find it far more practical than the sari.

French fashion journalism usually refers to the "sarouel" (or sahrouel) because of that country's colonial history in the Maghreb.

Anonymous said...

I interviewed her on the night about this outfit. The top is Givenchy, the shoes Ferragamo and the trousers Armand Basi, given to her. The trousers were her favourite part of the outfit and she described them as 'the best trousers of the season'. I said nothing but internally disagreed.
She was however, a joy to interview and was wearing a ring designed and given to her by a fan, a ring from Harrods and a ring from a pawn shop in San Francisco. She was the person I enjoyed talking to most all evening..

Anonymous said...

They do look good on certain characterful people.. Molly Parkin manages to carry them off...