Hey, did you notice how great Nicole Richie looked when she went to court? Did you sort of wonder, "Who made that dress?" WWD reports that "being bad never looked so good." Jailbird Paris Hilton, as well as Nicole Richie, Naomi Campbell and Foxy Brown, has helped develop a brand new style: Criminal Chic. Brush-with-the-law fashion is not exactly black-tie, but it's not casual Friday, either. And believe it or not, being a convict doesn't hurt the labels and brands these lawbreakers are wearing — though it helps to be pretty. Says one ad guy:

It's the casting. If they're ugly, like derelicts and bums, it can hurt the brand, but when they're young and beautiful, it helps. When Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton are wearing something, it's a style. Martha Stewart looked great standing there at the court house with a Kelly bag, and it didn't hurt the sales of Kelly bags.

Says Bryan Bradley of classy design house Tuleh, "You don't want to look like a slut. The last bastion of formality is when you have to go to court and meet your prosecutor. If that's what it takes to get people to dress up, let's all go to court." Since Lindsay Lohan is scheduled to make a court appearance Friday, the owner of celeb shopping mecca Kitson says she "should be wearing Jill Stuart to court because she's a company spokeswoman. That's the only [appropriate] thing for her to wear." That sound you just heard was the sound of our eyes rolling so hard they rolled right out of our heads and onto the floor.
Their Day in Court: Bad Girls Turn Chic - and Brands Get Buzz [WWD]