x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Katie Trotter: The controversial fashion of low-slung trousers

Do you show your swagger as a 'sagger'? Just make sure you're not breaking the law.

Everyone has something to say about street fashion. Left, right, smart or stupid - it riles people. While I get it when middle-class Michael, former champ of the local tennis club, all floppy hair and winning smile, returns home from his first university term with a Chinese symbol emblazoned across his left shoulder and snarling along to 50 Cent with his trousers belted somewhere near his kneecaps, parents tend to get a little upset.  What I don't get, however, is when a fashion transcends from being merely an objectionable grimace to illegal by state law.

Take the US state of Florida. Senate Bill 228, more commonly referred to as the "Pull Up Your Pants Bill", in which teenagers face a prison sentence for "riding low" in their jeans, was finally approved by state law and is expected to be signed by the governor, Rick Scott, imminently. And Florida's not the only one. In January of this year the city of Dallas urged residents to "Pull 'Em Up" by plastering the campaign across 22 billboards throughout the city - the second campaign in three years in an effort to end what is called "sagging".

Sagging, I should explain, is simply a chosen manner of wearing your trousers. More specifically halfway down one's legs. So far down, in fact, we come to question the credibility of gravity itself - yet by some titanic will the things manage to stay up.

Predominately a male fashion (women's trousers generally stay up, ahem, all too easily) that is said to have originated from the United States prison system where belts are prohibited, and later popularised by the hip-hop movement in the Nineties.

For the opposing party it is apparently too threatening a trend for the public - a badge of honour that attracts gang culture and local crime. Forget firearms, Florida - sagging is the problem. Perhaps Scott should try a pair himself before criminalising a pair of trousers. I would pay money to see a "sagger" make a quick getaway. From what I have seen one can barely manage the shuffle of a Geisha, never mind jump a fence at greyhound speed.

You see, most of the time underneath style rebellion is a whole lot of angst. It's a little something we call swagger and most of us grow out of it. The more we protest the more they fight.

Behind the whole indecency facade, it seems the problem for those in charge may lie within hip-hop culture itself.  Which, of course, is a conversation kept in pockets.



This week's highs and lows:

FINSK EXCLUSIVE The London-based brand is designing one-of-a-kind sculpted shoes for the Dubai boutique Symphony.

BRIGHT WHITE No! You cannot justify wearing white leggings just because it's almost summer.

MARNI AT THE MET It was refreshing to see the brand's eclectic prints at an event full of your average glittery ball gowns.

JACKET ENVY Our dreams of throwing on this season's coloured blazers were dashed the minute we stepped out of the door.

THE FINER THINGS Versace's bespoke mobile phones are the way to go if you want to get your hands on a custom-made exotic skin mobile.