Reporter's 'disco' pants shock court officials
Thursday 28 Jun 2012 9:19 a.m.
Laura McQuillan in her "tight and stretchy and bedazzled" pants
By 3 News online staff
The Scott Guy trial in recent days has focused on a pair of dive boots, but yesterday all eyes were on a reporter's gold-sequinned "disco" pants.
Laura McQuillan, journalist for NZ Newswire covering the trial, was asked by a registrar at Wellington High Court to leave before the lunch break.
McQuillan had already joked that morning about her distinctive choice of legwear on her Twitter account, and used the site to defend the "quite amazing" pants.
"I'm sitting under a table! No one even sees my legs!" she wrote.
When questioned as to whether they were actually pants, she said they were, "just tight and stretchy and bedazzled".
"I don't know why people are acting like they've never seen sequinned pants before."
Ms McQuillan also said no one cared "that time I got a Mohawk".
The topic of "The Pants That Scandalised The Court", as one Twitter user put it, lit up the blogosphere. Kiwiblog's David Farrar posted defended Ms McQuillan, saying it was "sexism".
"I’ve been on a media bench in jeans at court," he wrote.
"Would a guy have been kicked off for his choice of leg wear? Plus what does it matter, as you are sitting down and no one sees your legs anyway unless they are deliberately perving?"
Most of his readers weren't so forgiving.
"At the very least she should have been arrested for a crime against fashion," wrote one.
"Some people will never learn how to dress properly," wrote another. "She’s one of them."
Ms McQuillan brushed off the criticism, posting on Twitter: "Wish I'd consulted with the many women's fashion experts on Kiwiblog before getting dressed this morning! … They're really quite amazing. I'm sure the Kiwiblog commenters would agree if they saw them close up!"
There is not an official dress code for court reporters, though it is recommended women wear either a dress, a blouse and skirt, or a blouse and long pants.