City Council Sends a Message in Denim

Times Staff Writer

“Now I know what some of you are thinking,” City Council President Alex Padilla said Wednesday as he looked around the council horseshoe at the sartorial faux pas of his colleagues. “Is it appropriate to wear denim?”

The answer, according to the usually dapper Los Angeles City Council, dressed this day in denim jackets and tapered jeans as if for a junior high dance, was a resounding “yes.”

The gesture was intended to send a message against rape and sexual assault -- a reference to a 1999 Italian court decision overturning a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans. Padilla explained all this, modeling dark blue dungarees that looked as though they might have been ironed.

Spearheaded by the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, more than 30 other L.A. County cities, along with a host of community groups, now mark “Denim Day.”

“Besides the fact that it really feels good to dress comfortably