There's nothing like a new trouser shape to sucker me. I've tried them all. The stranger the concept the more likely I am to wear them. I have shorts (for over tights), harem pants (am I the only person to find this term just a teeny bit racist? I live in a Moslem area and see lots of women wearing wide flowing pants with an elasticated ankle who wouldn't take at all kindly to the notion of being part of a harem). I have knee-length cropped, leggings with leather patches on them and high waisted, very skinny jeans. The only trouser I can't do is wide all the way down which makes me look like I'm trying to escape from a bolt of sailcloth. Inevitably, when sarouel came along, I was prime for fleecing. And knee-length sarouel - a trouser that looks like a skirt! What could be better? I like my garments tricksy, which may be cool in fashion terms but in is very rarely a good thing in normal-people-walking-down-the-street terms.
So I was suckered again by a piece of Kookai publicité (I can't find a copy to scan, but she's all over Paris, in magazines, on billboards...). She's looks so business. And yet not. She's wearing my favourite jacket already. The whole look is so cool, so fresh, so original. Surely it'd suit me?
I went straight to the Kookai counter at le Bon Marché. After about 15 minutes' fruitless searching I started to panic. A million other girls had obviously seen exactly the same magazine ad and there'd been an unexpected run on pants that look like nappies. The sales girl was helpful:
<<The sarouel? Ouais. We have them somewhere. I think. Have you looked?>>
<<Yes.>> (She's seen me looking for the last quarter of an hour.)
She wanders around for a bit, prodding the rails with all the enthusiasm of a guard frisking an unwashed traveller for dynamite at airport security. I follow. Suddently, I see what I'm looking for. I grab them. I grab the next pair. and the next. None of them in my size.
<<Do you have any in a smaller size than these?>>
<<I think we have your size in imprimé Liberty.>>
<<But I don't like imprimé Liberty>>
<<Imprimé Liberty will be better for you. What size are you?>>
<<I ususally take a 36. These are 38.>>
<<Madame, you should try the 38. It will be better for you.>>
There's no answering that. What would be the point? If I argue, I'll look like a vain size obsessive. Especially if she's right. Maybe Kookai cut small. I take the 36 Liberty and the 38 grey into the changing room...
...and, would't you know it. The size 38s drape on my with all the style of a condom on a pencil. The 36s are fine, but I still don't want to go around looking like I sowed a garden in my pants.
<<How was it, Madame?>> the sales girl asks.
<<The 36 were better, but I still don't like the print.>>
<<You should take the 38.>>
<<But they don't fit me.>>
The salesgirl shrugs. <<It's meant to be a loose fit. On the hip. It will be better for you that way.>>
Abouve : this year's most dangerous trouser shapes: short sarouel; full sarouel; denim shorts without tights...