As we gradually let go of our skinny jeans and embrace a range of new shapes, M.i.h Jeans, the denim brand that helped hammer the first nail in the coffin of stretchy cigarette legs, jeggings and the like, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a limited edition capsule collection of its greatest hits called Cult Denim Project. Spanning the styles that made the brand a favourite of best-dressed list regulars including Keira Knightley, Leandra Medine and Karen Elson, the collection includes a classic boiler suit and its famous cropped kick flare. You’ll want them all. Here, founder Chloe Lonsdale talks us through the shapes of the moment.
After a near decade of skinnies, we're seeing new variety in denim. How did you decide which styles to offer in the capsule?
We’ve always made vintage-inspired cuts because that’s what we love, so it’s exciting now that the trend is for denim to capture an attitude and a style, rather than one shape being dominant. Within the 10-piece collection we have two jean fits, the straight-leg Berlin [first released for aw09] and the cropped, wide-leg Topanga [first released aw13]. Both were cult pieces when we first released them. So including these jeans within the collection was an obvious choice, they were such brand-defining jeans for us.
You were an early adopter of the cropped flare, could you talk about the appeal of the cut?
It's all about the cropped flare — ideally with a ripped, frayed hem. You can always tell when a new jean is going to get traction as they feel really different but suddenly right. It's great because it feels cool and current and yet nicely vintage.
A lot of women I know are still afraid to experiment with it. How do you recommend styling around the look?
All shapes and sizes can wear the cropped flare – it’s just a matter of how you wear it that feels right for you. It has the same balancing powers as a full length flare so it’s actually great at balancing out proportions, much more so than a skinny jean. Someone with shorter legs might prefer to wear a heeled ankle boot whereas someone with longer legs might opt for a trainer. They look great with boots underneath that are tight at the ankle, the contrast of wide hem and tight boot has a great proportion, and is wonderfully practical for winter and spring weather. They also work with flat shoes and a simple sandal. It’s an easy way to feel modern instead of relying on skinny jeans, just tuck in a top or shirt that you would have previously worn slouchy.
Available in May at mih-jeans.com/cultdenimproject