Everyone knows the stylish Summer appeal of cutoffs and how to wear them, but do you know how to make the best cutoff shorts from those old jeans of yours? We turned to denim guru Chantel Valentene, formerly of Resin denim. We asked Chantel — with her foolproof tips for making cutoff shorts for Summer that won't be too short, too long, or too uneven — to be our resident cutoffs expert (and model).
Occasion: all day, every day. "Granted they are way too big for me, but I love wearing these shorts. They're so comfortable, so relaxed, so chill, so we are going to make these into a pair of tomboy shorts."
Step 1: Invert and Smooth -- "Whenever you're working with something that is 100-percent cotton you want to turn it inside out, it usually helps, because you can make sure you don't cut through your pockets — they're so long you would never know you were cutting a short short. Then smooth the legs down straight."0:00
Step 2: Measure -- "Since the rise is so long we cut them pretty short, because they'll hang down pretty low on our bodies. I'll do a 2 or 3 inch inseam, but we start at 3 inches. We're going to curve the inseam up because on men's jeans they're so baggy that following the curve of the pocket makes them a little bit sexier. I'll measure it out from my crotch point 3 inches with my measuring tape."
Step 3: Even It Out -- "You want to match your point. Fold it over, making sure the crotch is folded, so you can make sure you're at the exact same point on both sides because the worst thing is uneven shorts!"
Start pulling some of your yarns out. It works really well when your fabric is 100 percent cotton, because there is no kind of spandex to draw it back so the cotton just lays flat. A lot of men's jeans are 100 percent cotton and a lot of boyfriend-fitting jeans are a 100-percent cotton, so that's fine.
Occasion: a night out. "I'm really a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, but you can do a fancy vest top or a beaded shirt if you're going out at night, and/or a denim jacket with it. I would wear it with a white tee and a hat. Maybe a really awesome blazer, a long blazer. I'd do that."
Step 1: Measure -- Measure the length, either for a five- or seven-inch inseam. "I am going to cut it at seven, then see if I like. And if I don't, I can go up shorter. The worst thing to do would be to cut it at five inches and you hate it, but then you're stuck. Start measuring from your crotch point."
Step 2: Cut -- "Cut one side first, then the other. Never cut both sides at one time, or don't try to cut straight across. Cut the front piece first then the back piece. Put a little incision at your starting point. Then cut straight across on my top layer only and make sure it's laying flat. Use the back end of your scissors, because that's always the sharpest point."
Step 3: Even It Out -- You want to match your point. Fold it over, making sure the crotch is folded, so you can make sure you're at the exact same point on both sides."
Step 4: Customise -- "I nip the sides 'cause I like to fold them up. Jeans get narrower to your knee, so when you're cuffing it up you split it a little bit to give more room and avoid sausage leg."
Rules For Creating the Perfect Cutoff:
Towards the end of the Nineties, say from 1997 onwards, every Friday and Saturday night getting-ready-to-go-out conversation would go something like this: “What are you going to wear? Jeans and a top, right?”, “Yeah, jeans and a top.” By Sarah Harris
As dictated by J-Lo, Destiny’s Child and the supermodels of the era, there wasn’t an alternative going-out uniform worth considering. A spangled cocktail dress? Forget it. A skirt situation? Nope. Le Smoking? Certainly not. For cocktails at the Met Bar – or any bar in the lobby of a Schrager hotel – it would be jeans and some kind of sensational top (ideally, one that glittered or was otherwise decorative, and exposed a sliver of taut midriff) that would get you past the velvet rope. That sartorial fail-safe is back with a vengeance this season as designers revive the look. At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello teamed faded denim with plush sweetheart-neckline tops in black velvet; at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton partnered opulent jacquard corsets with patchwork jeans; while Roberto Cavalli went all-out bohemian, pairing hipster styles with beaded jackets and skinny silk scarves.
The first bit of good news? This time around, it isn’t vital to expose your midriff (choose high-waisted jeans and a top that neatly tucks in). And the second? In essence, this is a look that requires little more from you than a rummage in the wardrobe.
A brain scientist's guide to fashion. By Claire Maldarelli
The truisms of fashionistas are ingrained in all of us: Clothing adorned with vertical stripes makes you appear slimmer and taller, while garb with horizontal bands makes you look wider—and perhaps a bit chubby. Except, maybe not. Compare these squares of black and white stripes. The horizontally striped one looks taller and the vertically striped square seems wider, right?
Hermann von Helmholtz was first to note this illusion (now called the Helmholtz squares) in 1867. But he gave little insight into its cause. Even today, neuroscientists have no compelling theories to offer. In his note, Helmholtz did make a brief but compelling ode to fashion: “Ladies’ frocks with cross stripes make the figure look taller.”
His style guide is, in reality, more valid than ours. In 2011, psychologists at the University of York in England tested whether the illusion seen in the 2-D version was also true in 3-D. Two identical female mannequins wore either horizontal- or vertical-striped outfits. The team found that the figure sporting vertical stripes appeared wider; in fact, the one donning horizontal stripes would need to be 10.7 percent broader for the two to visually match up. A reminder that fashion is as much a science as it is an art.
Forget Rear Window and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, here are some fashion film references to truly impress insiders, as chosen by the curators of this month’s Fashion in Film Festival Marketa Uhlirova and Tom Gunning. Interviews by Lauren Cochrane
A film from the early Soviet Union, about cosmonauts who go to Mars for a workers’ revolution. The costumes were made by the artist Aleksandra Exter. At the time, clothing was seen as revolutionary because it was an applied art. The 1920s saw the creation of science fiction as a vision of the future. This pre-dated Metropolis by a couple of years. TGPhotograph: Central St Martins
A Lady’s Shoe, 1935
This was was made by cinematographer Alexander Hackenschmied, a pioneer of avant-garde film-making in the 1930s, on behalf of Bata, a shoe manufacturer in Czechoslovakia. The company built a film studio as a well as housing for the workers. It had a vision that film would be a means to promote the factory as well as to provide staff with entertainment. MUPhotograph: PR
Of Spinning and Weaving, 1939
There were a lot of films made about the production of fabric. Some of them were promoting the efficiency of the production of nylon, for example, with all the machines clicking along nicely. This one was made by the industrial trade body that produced fabric, from spinning fibres into yarns to weaving. MUPhotograph: PR
Tales of Manhattan, 1942
This was made by Julien Duvivierwhen he was in exile from the Nazis. It is five short stories around a dress coat that moves from the top of society to a sharecropper, a poor black farmer played by Paul Robeson. It ends up on the back of a scarecrow. It shows how a piece of clothing moves through society. And there’s an all-star cast – Charles Boyer and Ginger Rogers included. TGPhotograph: Central St Martins
The Inferno, 1964
The film was never actually finished – we’re showing the rushes at the festival. Henri-Georges Clouzot spent weeks shooting wardrobe and screen tests with Romy Schneider using different-coloured lights and covering her face with glitter, or dressing her in cellophane. The film is about a man who has delirious visions and becomes obsessed with his wife being unfaithful. There was a documentary about the film in 2009, which gave it cult status. MU
The Colour of Pomegranates, 1969
Sergei Parajanov made this film about 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova. It was made in the Soviet Union when anything that wasn’t social realism was censored. It’s a series of tableaux in different colour palettes, with the red denoting blood. The actors wear traditional Armenian clothing made by Kurdish women who were related to the film crew. Parajanov said the clothing was influenced by Pasolini’s work. MUPhotograph: Central St Martins
Space is the Place, 1974
Jazz musician Sun Ra plays himself as a prophet from a new planet, recruiting black people to join his utopia. It has important social commentary – there’s a moment when Sun Ra appears in a youth club in Egyptian costume and tells the black kids there that they don’t exist, that they are invisible. David Bowie perhaps knew of it. MUPhotograph: Central St Martins
Tony Takitani, 2004
The main character’s wife here has a love affair with clothes, but she isn’t a fashion victim. It’s about the sensual relationship she has with clothes. There’s a long scene of a shopping trip but it’s different from Pretty Woman, which is a transformation from a prostitute to princess. This is a girl who can’t resist clothing.
MUPhotograph: Central St Martins
Unfolding the Aryan Papers, 2009
This is a documentary by Jane and Louise Wilson about The Aryan Papers, a film about the Holocaust that Stanley Kubrick abandoned after he found out about Schindler’s List. It’s an insight into how important costume was to Kubrick. The actor Johanna ter Steege, who was cast in the film, talks about how Kubrick photographing her in the various costumes was key to conceiving the character. TGPhotograph: Central St Martins
Holy Motors, 2012
The lead character in Holy Motors has various costumes from a hunchback to a businessman. There’s a central fashion sequence where the hunchback kidnaps a model played by Eva Mendes and uses his teeth to fashion her a new outfit. Edith Scob, who starred inEyes Without a Face, also features, wearing a mask to nod to her earlier film. TG The Fashion in Film Festivalis being held in London, various locations, until 26 March.Photograph: PR
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For the past few seasons, the industry has seen major progress on the catwalks during Fashion Month. by Sarah Wasilak
There's diverse casting in shows, giving way to models of more shapes, sizes, gender identities, and colours. And we're continuing to welcome change. In order to do that, we must pause to celebrate all the milestones — the major moments that gave us chills because they were so meaningful and, especially in 2017, spoke to the political climate.
Whether it was spotting a symbolic white bandana on the streets of Paris, tied around a blogger's bag to represent unity, or soaking up the powerful finale at Prabal Gurung, where models wore t-shirts carrying messages of unity, we were inspired by the action around us all month. All of the events here made us feel strong, proud, stylish — and a little bit nasty — all at the same time. Scroll to reminisce.
There Was a Women's March at Missoni
Angela Missoni knitted over 40 of her models pink pussyhats, continuing the Women's March on her own catwalk at Milan Fashion Week and making for a very Instagrammable moment. The show notes read: "Angela Missoni communicates the femininity of our times, prepared to confront the conflicts and dilemmas of our contemporary society: the conditions, needs, and rights of all women and minorities."
This was the continuation of a "march" of sorts that started in New York, when Prabal Gurung sent out a finale of tees plastered with quotes like "we will not be silenced" and "break down walls." Jonathan Simkhai, too, made a similar move when he distributed "Feminist AF" shirts to the front row and confirmed he'd be donating $5 per seat to Planned Parenthood.
Halima Aden Wore Her Hijab on the Catwalk
Autumn 2017 was definitely the season model Halima Aden made her mark. She walked both the Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti catwalk after making an appearance at Yeezy. During all of this, she scored the cover of CR Fashion Book alongside Paris Jackson. For every instance, she kept her hijab on and echoed the efforts of designers like Anniesa Hasibuan, who presented a collection in full hijab at New York Fashion Week for the second time, choosing only models who are immigrants, green card holders, or first/second-generation Americans for her show.
We Made Political Statements in the Streets
There were so many inspiring jackets and t-shirts we spotted that were particularly poignant, including blogger Aimee Song's moto coat that read "No Walls Between Us." It was a complement to all the activism on the catwalks and a sign of the industry's call to action, just like the white bandanas showgoers wore in support of Business of Fashion's initiative to stand united and equal for four weeks straight.
With this, and with the empowering runway shows, we were forced to consider our personal political stances. In other words, fashion is no longer just an art form or sanctuary where we can escape from the day-to-day but the exact opposite: it's an outlet for us to speak our minds and put our beliefs on display.
Ashley Graham Was the First-Ever Curvy Model to Walk at Michael Kors
Michael Kors is always a show highly anticipated at Fashion Week. The designer creates an "old-school" atmosphere, providing music and a clean catwalk, so guests can really take in the clothes. And while Blake Lively sat in the front row, all eyes were on Ashley Graham, who rocked a slitted dress, fur coat, and glove pumps on the catwalk, proving that girls with curves look just as fabulous and downright sexy in Kors's classic wardrobe.
The Catwalks Were Diverse
Each season, The Fashion Spot releases its diversity findings, and this season showed that 31.5 percent of models were nonwhite. We were most excited to see that no designer cast a show of solely white models, for the first time ever. Labels like Gypsy Sport, Yeezy, Marc Jacobs, Brandon Maxwell, and Tracy Reese featured the most diverse lineups from NYFW. This significant increase in diversity speaks to the future of fashion and the hope that eventually this will become the norm.
Bloggers and Influencers
Moved From the Front Row to the Catwalk With the general recognition that fashion is for everyone — every body type, every culture, and every age group — why not represent it in that light? Dolce & Gabbana took the first step by casting children, millennials, pop influencers, and bloggers in the show. As it is each season, the runway became somewhat of a party at Milan Fashion Week. Princess Olympia of Greece, Harley Viera-Newton, Sarah Snyder, and Shea Marie walked, and Austin Mahone performed.