First there were blue jeans, simple and straightforward, favoured by those with staunchly proletariat roots, and even Bruce Springsteen and Obama. Jeans are quite possibly the only item of clothing where you can choose to be stylish by spending Rs 500 or Rs 10,000. Nothing reflects a particular era like the jeans people wore, and over the years there’s been skinny, hipster, bootleg, high and low waisted, to name a few. Besides one particularly bad fashion decade, the 1980s, when acid bleached jeans ruled but never really came back, variations of the blue jeans have remained constant and flourishing.
Designers have reinterpreted them with Swarovksi crystals and paint splotches, mud patches and holes of varied sizes, yet nothing comes close to what is currently trending, the Extreme Cut Out Jean being sold by a Los Angeles-based brand Carmar Denim.
To call the Extreme Cut Out wildly revealing, is an understatement. There’s a little fabric at the knees and the ankles. That’s it. The waist is held together by a zip and buttons. The pockets are exposed. Carman Denim describes them as a relaxed fit high rise with “large statement cutouts on front and back”. One has to wrack one’s brains to come up with any occasion or place where these jeans might be considered appropriate. “They’re completely ridiculous,” scoffs Arjun Sawhney, Director, Communication Council, “Novelty is one thing but nobody wants to go out and look like a fool.” The argument can be made that ripped and torn jeans with exposed threads are within the same space, and are equally tacky. “Ripped stands for ruggedness and it has a certain grungy appeal,” explains Sawhney.
Extreme Cut Out certainly can’t lay any claims to Bohemian chic, but they do have a lurid sort-of slapstick appeal. It’s perfectly acceptable for fashion boundaries to be challenged and a little humour, along with political correctness is welcome. (Like after the #metoo movement a pair of sequinned pink Tom Ford shoes were emblazoned with: p***y power.) However, the Extreme Cut Out is less funny and more downright idiotic. “It’s a classic example of reinvention for the heck of it, to be in the news, not as an improvement on the original design,” says Avantika Sujan of the vintage fashion label, The Materialist.
In the unlikely event that somebody actually might want to procure a pair, the fashion website Shein is selling a moderated version of the Extreme Cut Out for Rs 1,236, a far cry from the outrageous $168 (Rs 10,000) of Carman Denim. Better still, since they don’t appear to be very complicated to copy, just take a pair of scissors and make your own.