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Gemma Tries It On: 'Slash would be proud of my new trousers'


I've wanted leather trousers for a couple of years now.

The idea first came into my head when I went to a fancy-dress party dressed as Slash and had to settle for some wet-look leggings. I love Slash, and I felt I was letting him down with my poor quality trousers. The same thing happened when I dressed as Alice Cooper last New Year's Eve. Do you see a theme here?

When a friend bought super-sleek butter-soft leather leggings from Balenciaga, I was outwardly happy for her while inside raging with jealousy. I have been searching for the perfect pair of leather trousers for a few months now: trousers, rather than leggings. Trousers are looser, thus more forgiving and won't make me self-conscious. Plus, I'm hoping they'll work brilliantly with trainers, which I wear a lot.

So after doing the maths and concluding that I couldn't afford the Acne pair after which I had been hankering, I spotted a pair online at Reiss. They aren't cheap but they're slightly more realistic. However, after going into three branches I was left leather trouser-less. The shop assistant rang around for me and apparently she's trying to track down a pair that are stuck somewhere in leather trouser limbo, but two weeks later I'm still waiting for a phone call.Yet another friend came to see me recently with a very nice pair of leather slacks. They come from Iris and Ink, a new label The Outnet has started. So I did a Single White Female and ordered some. They arrived the next day at the studio where I was styling a shoot, so I tried them on.

They were tight, and most of my stomach was spilling over the top. I couldn't sit down comfortably. In fact, they hurt.

But as soon as I gave the waistband a little pull and did some lunges, I could just about get into them. Just.

The general consensus was they were a hit, so the next day I pulled them on, hoping they would get a little looser. I paired them with a grey marl T-shirt, black blazer, ankle boots, and my new Alexander McQueen skull and floral print chiffon scarf. Then on the way to the station I had a sudden realisation that I looked a bit like David Essex.

On the train I got, scarf tucked away inside my coat, and expertly stretched my legs underneath the seat in front so as not to get saggy knees in my new trews. I'm pleased to report that I'm happy with my purchase, and although it proved difficult at times to walk up stairs and I had to have my legs straight under my desk, it weirdly hasn't put me off of wearing them again. Rock on.

Gemma Hayward is Fashion Editor of 'The Independent'