Ready to Wear: Elasticated waist bands - the last word in fashion credibility
Susannah Frankel: Prada proposes we wear her elasticated waist bands with just a bra on top
Monday 19 January 2009
Elasticated waistbands. The mere mention of these two apparently innocuous words conjures up images of nasty acrylic slacks filling up lost and forgotten sale racks, as visited only by not-so-yummy mummies.
And then, only on fat days. Or, of course, the ribbed, drawstring variety may be associated with celebrities who have, well, let's just say "issues" with their body image – or the fluctuation of their weight, at least. Nicole Ritchie, Geri Halliwell, Jennifer Lopez: admit that those Juicy Couture trackpants were a wardrobe staple, first and foremost, because they have the capacity to accommodate the mutating bottoms within.
But wait! Not only has the designer Rick Owens single-handedly done for the elasticated waistband what Miuccia Prada has for the librarian – his classic flow pants, long and languid of leg and ribbed at waist, are a chic addition to any wardrobe – but also for spring/summer 2009, more of fashion's big names are wading in where angels have formerly feared to tread.
Strange but true: the elasticated waistband is no longer the preserve of those favouring comfort over sartorial achievement. It is now the last word in fashion credibility, it seems, as seen everywhere from Prada – skirts worn high, medium or low on the waist were finished with thick strips of elastic, albeit covered in ruched fabric – to Chloé – probably the most out-there trousers of the season, boasting an as in-your-face oversized elasticated waistband as it is possible to imagine.
This particular fashion happening is at least partly attributable to the 1980s revival. The designs of that decade were more than a little partial to an elasticated waistband, or, indeed, just elastic in general – Lycra leggings, anyone? That was then, however. Today, even the exercise-obsessed are more likely to opt for Thai fisherman's trousers, God help them, designed to wrap nonchalantly rather than vacuum-pack the body.
Admittedly, there is some satisfaction to be derived from the fact that fashion may, on the odd occasion, have a forgiving moment, and the release of the elasticated waistband from fashion Siberia may be viewed as one of these. Having said that, things might not be quite that simple. The aforementioned Prada is proposing not only that her elasticated waistbands be over-tied with black ribbon and bows, but also that women might like to wear them with nothing more obviously forgiving than a bra to match.
Chloé's golden trousers, meanwhile, are designed for wear only with the briefest, most delicate camisole. Not-so-yummy mummies need not apply, then.
Life & Style blogs
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Doctors are allowed to have personal beliefs, just as long as these beliefs do not interfere with th...
BBC journalist Justin Webb talks about his experiences of the advances in preventing heart attacks a...
Tim Cook gets a Senate grilling: Apple tax-avoidance schemes deemed 'highly questionable'
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Meet David Karp, the 26-year-old high school dropout worth $275m after selling Tumblr to Yahoo
Game on: Xbox 720 and PS4 go head to head with Microsoft set to launch console today
Virtually Stephen Fry: Star launches (possibly) the world's most self-regarding app
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Crawley: Qualified English Teach...
£21000 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Crawley: Keystage Coordinator an...
£110 - £125 per day + Negotiable dependent on experience: Randstad Education L...
£21000 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Crawley: Qualified Maths teacher...