Monday, January 02, 2006

Lifestyle: Weekend FT, and Behind..

By Julie Earle-Levine
Nov 05, 2005

Roland Mouret is not the only designer enjoying sudden success thanks to his way with a curve. This season a number of jeans designed specifically to enhance the shape of one's bottom will debut.

French designer David Mechaly of Blue Cult, for example, created the first "butt"-style jean in the 1970s with his line, MacKeen, worn by the original Charlie's Angels, and now he and his wife and partner at Blue Cult, Caroline Athias, have adapted the original jean to create the Butt Lifter.

"Women trying on jeans look in a long mirror, take a look at the front and then spend a lot of time looking at their butts," says Athias. "They want it to be flattering. They don't want it disappearing, flat or drooping."

The Butt Lifter has "very pure lines to emphasise the butt" and a strategically placed back pocket, says Athias. They have an 8-inch rise and a 34-inch seam, (to make you look longer and leaner) and are made of ring-spun denim that stretches rather than sags.

"Blue Cult was one of the first to coin a term for it - jeans to enhance the derrière - and other jean designers have caught on," says Colleen Sherin, fashion market director at Saks, the New York department store.

Witness the Perfection Jean by FRx, a style that has fabric sewn into the jeans that promises to "lift and round the derrière and to shape the hip line".

"These jeans can benefit just about every woman, even women whose butts might be drooping a little bit or women who are flat in the backside. It plumps it up," says Guy Kinberg, a vice-president at FRx. The jeans have been selling at Bloomingdale's since June. Women are offered "before" and "after" photographs of their bottoms in their own jeans and in Perfection jeans to compare - and truly, there is a difference. When I put them on, the shape of my bottom changed. It was flatter and higher. My husband asked: "What happened to your ass?"

Meanwhile, Rag & Bone launched a women's line in September focusing on fit to "define the butt". The creative director of 7 For All Mankind, Tim Kaeding, spends several hours a day working with a model to ensure a flattering fit on the buttocks, hips and legs, according to a representative.

Finally, Scott Morrison, designer and president of Earnest Sewn jeans, said he created a seat shape that is "flattering to the woman's butt". The shape and placement of the back pocket, and not placing decorative designs on it, is apparently part of the secret.

Even Gap is thinking about rears, and introduced three styles this autumn - Curvy, Straight and Original. "These new jeans incorporate subtle but sophisticated shape adjustments to flatter a wide variety of body types," says Julie Vaughan, Gap's senior director of denim design.
In any case, it all adds up to one conclusion: "Women may care more about how their butts look than men do," according to Sherin.

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