When it comes to stockings I'm spectacularly boring: it's black, nude or nothing.  But after peeking at an advance copy of the new book Emilio Cavallini, I'm thinking of legwear in a whole new way.  Since his start with Mary Quant in the 1960s to this very moment, Cavallini has produced decades of stunning designs--daring die-cuts, complex prints, sweet polka-dots, fluorescent florals, vivid color mixes--that can only be described as haute couture hosiery.  It's wearable art.  And then it's actual art as well:  Cavallini uses his stockings as though strings to weave complex spiralgrams and geometrics you can hang on your wall.  (Those are stockings in photos 3 and 4, above.)  And then there's the art of the book itself, with its lavish photos and silver foil cover sheathed in sexy black cut-out tights.  It's all an over-the-top treat--with prices to match (stockings in the Emilio Cavallini online boutique average about $25, the book lists for $100, although Amazon offers pre-orders for under $60).  A splurge for a book or pair of pantyhose; not so much for art to put on your coffee table and couture to sheathe your legs. Before indulging in the latter, though, I'd have to learn the art of putting on a pair of hose ... without getting a run in them.

Photos by Nicola Ciona from Emilio Cavallini.  Edited by Benedetta Barzini. With 250 photos of both the stocking collections and the artwork created from them.  Coming March 2011 from Skira, distributed by Rizzoli.

"Use the good china for breakfast."