Observe the leg. So simple. So supple. So beautifully engineered. Three basic lines of movement; three powerful points of pressure. From hipbone to kneecap to the ankle and the heel. A woman’s leg is her freest, most-expressive, most-capable extremity. If arms were better-qualified, we’d walk upon our hands. But legs are one long and elegant suggestion of strength. They have only one statement to make: support.
Odd then, that women’s legs have been overlooked for at least 12 years. Even then they were disgraced by the close-cropped, cloying fit of thigh-high miniskirts (which frequently exposed unsightly bits of lingerie or the dark tops of nylon hose).
Strange that so many women insist upon hiding their legs today. Good legs should be in the limelight, and not-so-good legs are better than no legs at all.
Too frequently, legs are tucked beneath calf-length skirts and knee-high boots, costumes better suited to Russian army officers than enterprising women who fashionably mix business with leggy leisure. Even well put-together women have submitted to booted legless looks without a struggle, have-grown lazy, have fallen into the habit of wearing snagged stockings or mismatched socks because they know they won’t show. “What’s the use?” they ask. “Why bother?”
The female body’s upper half, being highly. overrated, demands too much of a woman’s time and too much of a man’s attention. Bad composition. With the ears, the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the throat and chest alone, the upper torso is just too busy! All this leaves the lower quarters sorely neglected, with little respect for themselves.
But change is in the breeze. Take it from the hip. Legs are being liberated. They’re getting better glimpses of wide, roomy expanses, spacious territories, fron-Photography by Kent Kirkley; fashion coordinated and styled by Cyndy Severson.
tiers. Spring promises to bring legs out from under the tablecloth. Flirty shorts, zippy skirts, a room with a view! Legs will soon begin to breathe the open air.
Ooooh-la-la. What they will see is long-awaited. What you get is better yet. You’ll begin to realize that legs are completely capable of expressing their support with real emotions. Joy, excitement, surprise, anticipation, glee.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the leg, the foot is fantasizing. Feet are frustrated souls, always feeling that the leg gets more play. Feet dream of someday walking long city blocks and running through open fields without all the commitments and restrictions legs imply. Too many women humiliate their feet by cramming them into ugly sensible shoes by day and high-stepping heels by night. The foot’s personality is far more variable than that.
There are ways for legs and feet to get along. You’re looking at seven of them. What it takes is a sense of style, a little whimsy and a lot of rebellion. Stockings, after all, don’t have to be the color of your skin (didn’t your mother let you color the sky green?), and heels don’t have to be high to be hell-raising. And did you think anklets had come and gone? Nonsense. You can wear them. Dare to be delirious.
Legs and feet. You deserve them. They deserve all the attention they can get. They are, after all, responsible for getting you where you are.
First page: pump by Walter Steiger for Pan-caldi, $165 at Lou Latti-more; body stocking by Fogal of Switzerland, $20 at Sakowitz Boutiques. Second page, upper right: hose by Christian Dior; shoe by Xavier Danaud, $105; both at Loretta Blum. Upper left: knee sock by hue, $15;flat byUnisa, $55; both at Miss Band The Gazebo. Lower left: anklet sock by Danskin, $9.50 at Dillard’s; canvas casual by Hang Ten, $24 at Palais Royale Stores of Texas. Lower right: sandal by Delmar Imports at Apparel Mart; stocking and bikini by Michelle Nicole Wesley, $10 to $16 at The Gazebo. Third page: sandal by Fausto Santini, $85 at Lou Lattimore. Fourth page: sock by Ralph Lauren for Polo, $12 at Polo Shop; moccasin by Joan & David, $85 at Sanger Harris, Harolds.