The pop sock comes out

Forget the corset, the crinoline and the camisole (and once you're thinking about them, that can be a difficult thing to do); surely the most feminine of all oestrogel objets is the pale, proletarian pop sock. For a harlot of hosiery, these cast-off calf-condoms are ever to be found curling in unexpected crevices like sad little underwear orphans. Indeed, the pop sock is to the washing basket what the teaspoon is to the sink. No more. The pop sock has turned posh sock thanks to Giles, whose spring/summer 2008 collection, paraded in London this week, teamed ethereal ensembles in shredded silk and chiffon with the unmistakable sub-joint seam of the kneehigh. Nymphet meets Nora Batty - inspired.

It's the kind of look women love and men just don't get, which is why it's likely to surface on the sinewy shins of SJP in the currently filming Sex And The City movie. For all its fluff and flaws, that series really did pinpoint the gender-based cultural zeitgeist. No wonder Virginia Nicholson's powerful, perceptive new book Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War feels so relevant. Generation SATC, with their independent, eclectic, admired lives, are utterly indebted to these quiet, pilloried post-war pioneers who salvaged careers and kudos from a handicapped, hostile world.

Sisters, let us remember them, with an eyeliner seam drawn up the back of our haute-couture pop socks.