Fashion Week got off to a randy start at Saturday’s Dressed to Kilt charity event and fashion show, filling Smashbox’s main tent with hordes of Catholic-schoolgirl wannabes (even though the suggested attire on the invite said Scottish and plaid, not sluttish and Britney Spears), along with traditional-skirt-wearing fellas, most of whom were of the over-50 variety but still had great legs.

Is all this gam action on men a turn-on or turnoff? 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 it is kinda sexy. And let’s 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 Scottish rhythms.

Redheaded drummer boy Scott MacDonald (how’s that for a traditional Scottish name?) told me that, yes, everyone in the band was boxerless and briefless, and, yes, everybody asks them about it every time they perform somewhere. He didn’t seem to mind, though.

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

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 and a few celebs (Patricia Arquette, Paul Rodriguez) holding up numbers for the best models, the show quickly took on a Chippendales vibe, with ladies running 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 from my vantage I only saw one real bare bottom (that of actor Hamish Linklater from the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine), and that was okay by me.

Other models included Linda Hamilton done up like a queen, Kimberly and Alana Stewart in the aforementioned Spears-ish plaid minis and Crossing Jordan’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, including deconstructed skirts, dresses and bondage pants that meshed elegance and anarchy in a way that no one else can.

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.

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LA Weekly