On Thursday night, the VFiles x Depop Spring 2020 show took the asymmetrical trend to the nth degree with two models wearing pants with only one leg. One look, which was designed by Di Du, was essentially a one-legged pajama bottom in a silky grey-pattern while designer Wesley Harriott took a more extreme approach to the one-legged pant, with essentially only a belt-band at the top, and missing a pant leg on one side. Done in leather, the one-sided pant looked fetish-like, appearing as if the pant was more of an accessory than a piece of clothing. (An easy at-home hack: cut off one leg of your jeans, and viola: high fashion!).
Naturally, this immediately got us questioning where this look came from, and why asymmetrical pants have been emerging lately. So, let’s unpack.
Previously subtler asymmetrical pants have been making the rounds. For example, a predecessor to this trend is the asymmetrical jean, which includes one baggy leg and one skinny leg. During Paris Fashion Week in July, Celine Dion sported Ksenia Schnaider asymmetrical jeans, cementing the trend in fashion canon (as well as our hearts). The Kiev-based brand is known for their adventurous styles. For example, previous iterations of their jeans have included “Demi-Denims,” which look like shorts over skinny jeans. Plus: Cowboy Pants. Self-explanatory, the jeans wouldn’t look a hair out of place on Lil Nas.
But asymmetrical denim looks have been around for years now. For example, Rihanna wore a Balenciaga asymmetrical dress, with jeans underneath, and denim booties (!??) in 2016, which was iconic. Then, at Coachella in 2017, she wore a Canadian tuxedo that included a denim jacket paired with what can only be explained as mullet jeans: open in the front and covered in the back. Of course, Rihanna always looks amazing, which perhaps has led other people to believe they too can pull off such a look.
Also in 2017, Kendall Jenner was spotted in $800 asymmetrical jeans that had a crooked fly. Just like Rihanna, Kendall proved that not only is it possible to pull off a unique denim fit, but you can look great doing so. After a few years of intermittent asymmetrical pant looks, 2019 has seen an influx of the asymmetrical pant trend, now heightened by completely chopping off a (pant) leg.
One possible explanation: The one-legged look has always been popular in the dance community, where you’ll often see dancers wearing one sock/leg warmer/legging during practice. Still, the reasoning behind the current trend varies. Potential reasons for donning this look include: a foot injury (hence wearing only one sock), the ease of stopping a spin while wearing one sock, emphasizing one leg’s lines, and simply following a trend. Copying the fashion-moves of ballerinas has long been in style (leggings, wrap pants, ballerina buns etc), which could explain why we’re seeing so many single-sided below the belt looks.
In January the emerging Seoul-based label Pushbutton [released a pair of jeans where essentially one leg was a super-short-short(https://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/43006/1/one-legged-jeans-pushbutton-seoul-seung-gung-park), and the other leg, a full length pant leg. The only question I have is: what season am I supposed to wear these in?? I guess they would best be suited for transitional seasons.
The one-legged pants trend didn’t end there. This August, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner twinned in matching skin-tight jumpsuits for National Sibling Day. And, you guessed it, their looks were both missing a pant leg. The sister duo looked like a pair of contemporary jesters, or ballet dancers. Kim also recently released her shapewear line, which features asymmetrical styles perfect for layering under outfits with a high split, proving that there can be practical reasons for asymmetrical bottoms.
Another possible reason for the popularity of asymmetrical pants is that we’re simply running out of pants trends. From the early aughts trend of low-rise denim, to skinny jeans, high-rise pants, and the more recent trend of baggier “boyfriend jeans,” pants have nowhere to go anymore but weird. Remember the controversial denim panties? AKA janties? It seems like in an attempt to create new looks, sometimes designers are erring into satirical territory. While I’m all for taking risks, sometimes it’s a fine line between avant-garde and farse.
What category do one-legged pants fall into? The jury is out. While Dazed wrote that they were surprisingly into them, others have responded with a hard PASS.
Though asymmetrical pants have been the laughing stock of many posts questioning the trend, completely new fashion trends are hard to come by—after all, the fashion system is a never-ending cycle. Viewed this way, asymmetrical pants are a good thing for the fashion industry, at least in their ability to present something fresh and exciting.
We’re living in a world full of eccentric and bold pant looks, we might as well embrace it. I’m sure we’ll be seeing lots of chopped off jean legs at fashion week. At the least, it’s a way to catch photographers' attention and get yourself shot by a street style photographer. With the rise of one-legged pants and denim panties, we have to wonder: are legs the new erogenous zone!?
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue