The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 July 2003

Shin feigned

World War II demanded sacrifices from everyone — it was a world war, after all — and as irreplaceable materials were diverted to the war effort, we learned to do without. Silk and nylon stockings were a lot less essential than, say, parachutes, and they promptly disappeared from the shelves. Hosiery mills rushed out substitutes such as Kayser's "Victoray" rayons, which weren't particularly strong or especially popular; cosmetics firms brought out coverup makeup. (Truffaut's The Last Metro, set during the Occupation, contains a scene in which the latter is used to, um, interesting effect.)

Then the war ended and shortages were filled with actual supplies and this sort of stuff was forgotten. These days, even hosiery seems to be forgotten; fashion magazines are full of implausibly (and possibly artificially-enhanced) perfect bare legs, and in the real world, legs are less perfect but no less bare.

Enter the Japanese, with a product called Air Stocking. For around $12, you get twenty applications of a spray-on powder that supposedly does a fair imitation of the real thing. It's an enormous commercial success, and while I'd hesitate to speculate as to whether this product could be a hit in the States, Venomous Kate seems to like the idea, and as She Who Is Not To Be Named can — but probably won't — testify, I tend not to argue with women with legs to die for.

Posted at 9:11 PM to Rag Trade