Shorts Have Got Legs




Shorts used to be a basic, but since men have gone hook, line and sinker for leg-bearing, they’ve turned into a many splendored proposition. For spring, bike shorts, wide boat-worthy tailored shorts, knee pants and sarouel styles all had their place in the limelight in Paris, but some of the new arrivals merit special attention. Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent went to North Africa to capture the quietly eccentric style of American expat writer Paul Bowles. I don’t know if Bowles was into shorts, even in the Moroccan heat, but if he was, then Pilati’s high rise, extra-wide  short shorts in light patterned wools worn with V-neck tops would have moved him. Belgium’s Walter Van Beirendonck  loves his bears burly and cuddly. For this spring’s “Read My Skin” his chunky lookers were stuffed into their shorts, some worn with corset tops or boxy jackets all in a chaotic mix of bright cotton plaids. Meanwhille Damir Doma’s man for spring looks like he just popped out of a bottle in dohti shorts with flowing jackets and easy tunics. And then there’s Thom Browne. Showing for the first time in Paris, Browne, who has single-handedly taken up the case for “too short” everything, was in high conceptual form for his show held at the Communist Party headquarters. Beginning with space suits, his models stripped down to Browne’s trademark boxy jackets and knee pants in very  loud—screaming—plaid combos. Don’t try this at home, or if you must, then stick to Browne’s favortite slate grey.