Sarah Harris, the Fashion Features Director for British Vogue, is one of those women I click through street style slideshows searching for. What glorious thing did Sarah wear today, I ask myself, combing through all the top dot coms? The reason I look for Sarah is because, in my opinion, her denim style is perfect. She wears Paige Denim Verdugo skinnies and MiH Phoebe boyfriends – new, not-so-novel jeans that fit beautifully and are readily available online – with the most current accessories and separates by labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Céline. Her look is always polished, professional, and equally engaged in a dialogue with what’s happening in fashion and denim, both. With fashion, it’s clean-lined and not-too-trendy. With denim, it’s contemporary and not about vintage pairs that only a rare few can get (and get away with wearing). Anyone can have skinnies like Sarah’s. Click here and they’re yours.
You’ll notice, too, in these pics from the recent SS16 show season, that Sarah will wear the same jeans twice. That’s another thing to take from her street style: if you love something, wear it a lot. This is how true, personal style is established. Thank you, Sarah, for reminding us of that.
Do you have any rules for wearing jeans?
I’m quite specific on the shades of blue, I don’t like anything that looks overly worked – it has to look authentic. Same with the rips and tears and fraying, it doesn’t work if it looks contrived.
What’s your go-to jean right now?
It’s always Paige. Right now I love her Verdugo ultra skinny in Carmen Tear and Repair. [Sadly, this wash is all gone, but the Esme Destructed is very similar. Also, it’s worth mentioning that these are the same jeans that Paige’s founder Paige Adams-Geller wore when we featured her, too!]
What is it about this Paige style that works for you?
The fit is incredible. It’s also a style that works as well with heels as it does with flats, and that isn’t the case with a lot of jeans. I love how you can tuck sweaters or shirts in for more of a leggy look, the mid-rise hits at the most perfect place, or you can leave the top out for a more relaxed look. I also love the wash, which works equally well in summer as it does in winter. They’re completely comfortable; it’s like they’re made for me, and that’s the most important thing for me when it comes to my denim.
To that point, what do you have to say to people who say skinnies are over?
Trends will always come and go, I’m glad the episode of printed denim is finally over, and I think we are seeing a U-turn on very malleable stretch denim right now but I don’t see a time, in the foreseeable future at least, when skinnies will really be over.
LOOKING SHARP To the shows in Paris, Sarah wore her Paige Skyline ankle peg jeans with a Gucci jacket and gold lurex top from Rosetta Getty one day (top), and with a Vince tee and Trager Delaney leather jacket the next (above).
Denim on the runways is nothing new, but what did you think of the spring 2016 denim that was on the runways, recently. Did any of it surprise or delight you, especially?
I loved the denim at Chanel, Stella [McCartney], and [Alexander] McQueen the most. I love seeing it on the catwalk, both when it’s elevated and when its raw. London’s Meadham Kirchhoff have done a lot to make it desirable as a runway look, too. I love how we’re seeing a return to indigo washes and raw stiffened denim – it feels new.
When you’re wearing denim to the shows, as you just did, how do you like to style it or dress it up? Do the rules change when you are dressing for fashion week?
I wear denim to the office probably 97% of the time. And my style doesn’t really change when I attend the shows, but I do try to make more of an effort, that might mean adding a smart jacket or my Louis Vuitton white heels (even though I always have Stan Smiths ready to change into before the end of the day). Jeans, a t-shirt, and tuxedo jacket or leather jacket is pretty much my go-to. The concept of a day dress or skirt has never existed for me; I’m always in jeans. Good jewelry (I love Susan Foster), and a watch can immediately elevate any pair of jeans, no matter how faded or ripped.
Are the Margaret Howell overalls you wore intended to be worn with the bib down, or did you do that yourself?
I love those overalls; they are part of the collection that remains in store all the time. They were styled in a similar way for the men’s show, but I think the bib was a little more rolled and I preferred it flatter. But I like the way the clips come together to look like a belt at the front. I also wear them as overalls, and sometimes with one strap up and the other down. With heels and with flats, they’re super versatile.
FASHION CROSSING Wearing looser fits from MiH (top) and Margaret Howell (above) in NYC.
What do you look for when buying new jeans? Novelty, fit, a great wash?
All of the above! Just from looking at a pair of jeans I can pretty much tell how they’re going to look on me. Fit is the most important thing to me, but that can also mean an anti-fit, but I know at first glance whether or not I’m going to like a pair of jeans.
Do you have an all-time favorite pair? Tell me their story…
I still have my first pair of Earl Jeans. They’re probably about 17 years old now. It was when the idea of premium denim just started and Earl Jeans arrived in London. I can’t bear to throw them out and actually the fit is still pretty good and the blue has authentically faded to a perfect shade.
Can you remember your very first pair of jeans ever?
Yes, Levi’s 501s and I was 13. I wore them with a checked lumberjack shirt and pretty much lived in them.
Fill in the blank: In my jeans I feel _________.
Street style photographs courtesy of Adam Katz Sinding of Le 21ème.