Carola Long: 'Gap have handily divided their 'pants' into eight styles, providing a bluffer's guide to the trouser universe'
Saturday 24 July 2010
The emotional trajectory of a new season can be intense; a wave of excitement at all the shiny new trends that will definitely change your life, followed by panic. Where do you start? Fortunately, Gap have provided the easiest introduction to autumn/winter imaginable with their new Premium Pant collection, especially given that trousers are set to be a key piece. Granted, this sounds a bit like saying coats with sleeves are big news for cold weather, but dresses did dominate the catwalks for years. In the pick'n'mix spirit of modern trends there is a smorgasbord of styles on offer: a slightly bootcut slim crop at Celine and Balenciaga, high-waisted, Seventies graduated flares as seen at Chloe, skinny straight at Balenciaga, skinny at Stella McCartney and a kick flare at Gucci. Phew.
If that list just opens up a whole new stratosphere of confusion, Gap have handily divided their 'pants' into eight clear styles, providing a bluffer's guide to the trouser universe. Gap hasn't translated the catwalk word for word but that's the beauty of its approach – these are timeless styles rather than slavish rip-offs.
Gap's head of design, Patrick Robinson, approached the new collection by translating the brand's 'denim attitude' into tailoring, and when he says the result is 'leg-lengthening shapes that take our customers through seven days a week,' he's right – it's capsule wardrobe heaven. But I do have one reservation, which is that – on me – the 'Perfect Trouser' didn't live up to its name. However, the 'Relaxed Cropped' – a loose tapered style which falls elegantly and doesn't bunch (right) – and the 'Boyfit', which oozes slouchy cool with heels or flats, are instant hits, while the 'Modern Boot' soon dispelled my fears about not-at-all-modern, first-time-around bootcuts à la Victoria Beckham circa 1999. This style is lean on the thigh with a sleek kick flare and genuinely creates the appearance of willowy legs and a pert bottom. Not bad for £35. In store 27 July, 0800 427 789.
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