Is what’s considered fashionable a case of art imitating life, or life imitating art? Everyone knows that fashion was influenced more by the golden era of Hollywood than anything else, and I am sure it’s every bit the case today.
Life Imitating Art
By now you know that Sarah Jessica Parker is “credited” with creating the “bare legs movement” with her “Sex and the City” TV show and movies. When everyday women saw the show’s high-profile characters strutting around New York City – fashion capital of the world – all dressed up minus the pantyhose, they completely lost their minds, adopted the idea, and from the mid-1990s to present, pantyhose practically disappeared as a fashion staple.
Art Imitating Life
As the bare legs culture grew in popularity among non-celebrities, naturally, more and more actresses and entertainers jumped on the bandwagon, too. It was almost as if celebs felt obligated to sport the new fashion look since they are expected to be the trendsetters in such things, and it had become clear that anti-pantyhose fever already was firmly established among the general population.
Coming full circle
While pantyhose were disappearing in society, even in the workplace, the entertainment industry’s role in it was evolving from instigator in creating the bare legs culture, to one of jumping onto the bandwagon, to now becoming the one place where pantyhose most likely are seen and appreciated today.
There’s one thing you can depend on about fashion – no fad lasts very long. What’s “in” eventually becomes what’s “not in,” and you can be sure that as soon as what’s not in takes off and everyone gets enough mileage out of it, ultimately, it will become what’s in again.
Today, entertainers appear to be split on the wearing of pantyhose. Thankfully, some truly professional stars, such as Geena Davis, Julianna Margulies, Linda Fiorentino, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Fran Drescher, Holly Hunter, Goldie Hawn, Shelley Long, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman to name a few, never bought into the bare legs thing and, as long as the role or the scene they played didn’t preclude it, they always wore pantyhose. And there are some bright new stars today who are contributing to bringing pantyhose back into popularity, among them the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, and for the most part, Katie Holmes, Kate Moss, Megan Fox, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Alba, Milla Jovovich and Olivia Munn.
Pantyhose on display
Already this year, stars wearing pantyhose has been a frequent scene in many TV programs, movies and entertainment venues.
I have to give props to Paula Abdul, who always wears pantyhose as host of her new show, “Live to Dance,” and always wears when she makes appearances on the late night talk shows. To me, that shows that she is professional and classy. Good for you, Paula.
So, it seems that the best we can hope for these days is this pantyhose love-hate relationship in the entertainment industry. Last week, I saw Gwyneth Paltrow on Jimmy Fallon. She wore a short dress and very sheer nude pantyhose. Sadly though, lovely little Sandra Oh appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, wearing a slacks outfit.
Those who have seen Sandra only on “Grey’s Anatomy,” might be surprised to learn that she has gorgeous legs (and feet), and she’s shown them off in pantyhose in several movies. Sadly, she mostly does the bare legs thing during red carpet or publicity events. I just don’t get that. She doesn’t seem like the follow-what-everyone-else-is-doing type to me. She is one celeb I really wish would glam it up a lot more because she can do it so well, and it would show a totally different side of her. Oh well. I still love her.
Also last week, I couldn’t wait to see Maggie Q on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno just to see if I would win the bet I made with myself that she would wear a short dress and high heels but no pantyhose.
Sometimes, I just hate being right. Then again, with someone like Maggie Q and her perfect Asian skin, whether she’s wearing in this picture or not can be difficult to tell.
She really looked good on Leno. Here’s a small pic I found of Maggie on the Internet. Is she wearing? Could be. I doubt it, but I want to believe that she is.
This weekend, I re-watched the movie, “Get Smart,” with Steve Carell, who did a great job as Maxwell Smart.
When the movie first came out a few years ago, and when I saw it again on Saturday, I was so disappointed in Anne Hathaway for not wearing pantyhose in her role as Agent 99. (She “Missed it by THAT much!”)
UPDATE (See the Reader Comments on this post. Looks like I was wrong about Anne Hathaway. One reader provides compelling evidence that, at least in one scene, Agent 99 indeed was wearing. “Sorry about that, Chief!”)
And speaking of spy shows, another celeb I am disappointed in is Piper Perabo, who stars in TV’s “Covert Affairs.” She’s really lovely, but she did the bare legs thing on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last week. Sorry, I just think that shows a lack of class, and I had a different image of her than that.
I have written before about my disappointment in the way she often doesn’t wear pantyhose with her otherwise professional attire on “Covert Affairs,” despite that advertising spots almost always show her in pantyhose.
Again, I don’t know who’s at fault – Perabo or the show’s costume designer – for Perabo’s character not wearing pantyhose on “Covert Affairs.” I wonder how much say Perabo has about the matter, and which way she’d lean if she did have a say.
It’s interesting, as one reader commented, that advertisers don’t miss the opportunity to show off Perabo in pantyhose during promotions for the show.
Check out this site: http://www.emrahyucel.com/tr/entry/category/all/company/5/customer/0/page/8
and scroll down to the bottom of the page. You’re looking for page 16.
On page 16, the “Covert Affairs” set is about halfway down the page. These are some beautiful publicity photos, and hopefully, a sign of the outfits to come on this show.
And it’s not just on TV and in movies that pantyhose are finding their legs again. One of this blog’s devoted followers, Peter A., pointed out earlier this month that everywhere he looked, he saw the professional models and visitors wearing pantyhose during the Jan. 18 Detroit Auto Show. I love that. Thanks for the photo, Pete.