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MAD FOR PLAID

Fashion week got off to randy start at the Dressed to Kilt charity event and fashion show this past Saturday, filling Smashbox's main tent with hordes of catholic school girl wannabe's (though the "suggested attire" on the invite said Scottish and plaid, not sluttish and Britney Spears) and traditional skirt wearing fellas, most of which were of the over-50 variety, but still had great legs.

Sean Connery eat your heart out.

Is all this gam action on men a turn on or off? I found myself pondering the question as knobby knee after knobby knee squeezed past me in the crowd before the big show, and I finally decided that yes, it is kinda sexy. And lets not forget that the proper way for a gentleman to wear his kilt is free and flowing, i.e., sans underwear.

Short of taking a poll to see who was actually adhering to "Scottish regimental dress" (the term for letting the jewels hang) I decided to chat with a member of the Los Angeles Scots Pipe band (all young chaps), which opened up the runway show with a parade of spirited Scot rhythms.

Redheaded drummer boy Scott MacDonald (how's that for a traditional Scottish name?) told me that yes, everyone in the band was boxer-less and brief-less and that yes, everybody asks them about it everytime they perform somewhere. He didn't seem to mind though.

"It's great," he said. "It feels really comfortable." He had this twinkle in eye as spoke, and for a moment I thought he actually might try to prove his claim, and though I was curious, I quickly cut the convo short. No fire-crotch flashin' for me, thanks mate.

I thought I was being daring by even asking the question, but when the runway show began I soon realized that the undie-less aspect was a huge part of the event. With a panel of mostly female judges (celebs included Patricia Arquette and Paul Rodriguez), holding up numbers for the best models, the show quickly took on a Chippendales-esque vibe with ladies running up onto the catwalk and stuffing dollar bills into the waistbands of kilt-wearing prancers such as Chris Kattan (who walked to Rod Stewart's "Hot Legs"), Rex Lee (Ari Gold's hilarious gay Asian assistant on Entourage) and some decidedly hunkier actors who looked familiar but whose names escaped me.

Nearly every dude up there teasingly pretended to lift his kilt at some point, but I only saw one real bare bottom (that of actor Hamish Linklater from the Julia-Louis Dreyfus comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine) from my vantage point, and that was okay by me.

Other models included Linda Hamilton done up like a queen, Kimberly and Alana Stewart in aforementioned Spears-ish plaid minis and Crossing Jordon's Steve Valentine, who threw miniature Johnny Walker bottles out to the crowd. JW sponsored the gathering.

As for the fashion itself, there were some beautiful pieces: gowns beaded in sparkling plaid patterns, colorful capes and matching wool kilts, cozy looking sweaters, and a way-too-short segment celebrating the work of Vivienne Westwood, which showed some of her foxiest and fanciest tartan: deconstructed skirts, dresses and bondage pants. Westwood continues to mesh elegance and anarchy in a way that no one else can… though so many designers (some of whom are actually showing at Smashbox this week) continue to try.

For all the flaunting and shirtless skirted studs who killed it in kilts, it was the Westwood pieces that ultimately raised the temperature in the room. Yup, when it comes to this type of event, we'll take fashion over flashin' anytime.

Posted by Lina