In last week's Wall Street Journal, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour weighed in on the harem pant, the latest look whose unconventional cut has the fashion world divided: "To be honest, they are not my favorite." The baggy trouser with a low-hanging crotch and tailored ankles that recalls MC Hammer for some and undeniable chic for others has proven an enduring trend long after Sarah Mower called attention to them in the magazine when they first appeared on runways in 2008. Though the pant has proven its staying power, appearing as a fixture in fall 2009 collections such as Givenchy's (right) and Balenciaga's (left), the debate about its fashion fate continues, even at Vogue.
An informal poll in the hallways asking where staffers fall on the issue is met with giggles, proving that if nothing else, the harem pant can't be taken too seriously. "Most women have mixed feelings about them because they are sort of weird-looking, but I think they're perfect because they're comfortable and create a beautiful drape and line," says Associate Fashion Editor Veronica Gledhill, who is fond of the pair she picked up at Barneys. Senior Accessories Editor Filipa Fino, who has a "semi"-baggy pair from Dries Van Noten, added that they are a difficult to make work: "I think in order to wear them, you need to dress them up with a great heel and a silk blouse." Senior Market Editor Meredith Melling Burke admitted that she'd tried them-but they just weren't her. "I think the look is a little edgier, and I can't pull it off. My hair is blown-dry too straight, I smile in pictures, I take my eye makeup off at night. . . . "
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For those who feel conflicted, beware-you may wind up being won over by the pant, which recently found a place in Fashion Market/Accessories Director Virginia Smith's closet: "The first times down the runway, I thought they wouldn't work for me personally, but I think your eye gets accustomed to a new proportion. Some of the newer versions-like Nina Ricci's-are right for me, so I've taken to wearing them." The debate may seem of the moment. but the pant has always stirred mixed emotions. "I have a love-hate relationship with them," says Creative Director Grace Coddington, pointing out that they look best if you're tall and slender. "Love because I used to love wearing the ones YSL first did in the seventies, when I was young and slim; and hate because I can't wear them now because I'm no longer young and slim."
Have you taken the plunge with a pair of harem pants yet? Or do you think this trend should simply go away?
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