Leggings Don’t Die, They Evolve

Leggings. Do they afford the svelte wearer slinky sophistication or do they render even the slimmest of us shamefully stumpy?

We thought we’d just broach that sticky subject, because (brace yourselves)….

Leggings are back with a vengeance! The half-decade old trend survived its recent near death experience, and has re-emerged as a Fall 2008 staple, more unforgiving than ever!

Elle UK recently warned that the self-sustaining wardrobe item’s reinvention cycle was on the horizon. Skeptics and fans alike, prepare: the latest versions require even greater pluck (and genetic luck) to wear successfully. This time around, they are not only tight, skinny, and immodest, they are SHINY.

While the PVC, rubber, and leatherclad pin-legged look championed by the likes of Burberry Prorsum popped up on Fall 2007 runways – American Apparel quickly created their own version – it took about 12 months for the inky latex aesthetic to emerge from fringe revival to mainstream (re)acceptance. Alexander Wang‘s Fall 2008 neo-grunge parade prominently featured skinny leathered legs, as did Rag & Bone‘s line and Ricardo Tisci‘s collection for Givenchy Couture. Nicolas Ghesquière, meanwhile, transcended the PVC medium with Balenciaga‘s latest fantastic plastic ethos. In fact, it was likely that collection that provided the critical catalyst needed for the liquid leather trend to penetrate the zeitgeist.

Now that shiny chic is socially acceptable, everyone wants their leggings back, and they want them upgraded to 2008’s standards. With the cultural saturation point for the look looming dangerously close, we advise you to decide whether it will be now or never – novelty like this has a limited shelf life. If you’re so tempted to indulge your inner S&M streak, read on for suggestions before the trend already ends (again)!

If you are going to rock this look, you need to do it right. And there’s little doubt that Kova & T make THE legging of 2008.

Following their initial launch of the original black latex style was over a year ago, Kova & T’s leggings achieved cult popularity status. Once Kate Moss proved to be an early adopter, young Hollywood quickly  and (tragically) followed suit. However, when worn correctly – on the right body type, with appropriately minimalist styling – the desired effect is achieved. It’s appealingly feline and linear. And we’re all for that.

Kova & T’s leggings in particular have been championed above all others when the occasion calls for an inky, metallic, or painted-on look. Check them out below. Due to their upsurgent popularity, new variations on the slippery & sleek theme have been introduced. Check those out, too.

Other worthwhile choices:

[Ed’s Note] Let’s not forget the very popular Sass & Bide Black Rats. These slinky ruched black leggings have been seen on the likes of Bryan Boy, Kate Moss and Nicky Hilton. They’re so popular everyone, including Net-A-Porter has sold out and are accepting names for their mailing list. A mailing list for leggings? Well I never. Word has it that a new version is due out next week – made from PVC Lyrca. The originals were made from high-shine Lyrca acetate. [/end]

Does the liquid leather look appeal to you? Will you take the plunge or is this one trend you can do without?