Scissor sisters: Why waif is the hot summer look

Emma Watson celebrates freedom from Harry Potter with the season's must-have crop

For some, it can be the unkindest cut: not everyone can carry off the close crop that throws cheekbones and jawlines mercilessly to the fore. But, increasingly, going gamine is the must-have look.

Emma Watson, who plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, became the latest star last week to reveal the fearless style, which takes it name from the French for "urchin". Watson, 20, follows a trail of clippings left by, among others, Carey Mulligan, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams and Renée Zellweger.

The dramatic change was interpreted as an attempt to match efforts by her fellow Potter stars to reshape their images for the adult world. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the boy wizard, shed all his clothes in the play Equus, while Rupert Grint – Ron Weasley – got down and dirty in an independent film called Cherry Bomb.

While gamine became the hallmark of the 1960s model Twiggy and, before that, was associated with Audrey Hepburn, it doesn't flatter everybody. Keira Knightley's crop for the film Bounty Hunter was met with disapproval by the style police, as was Sienna Miller's cut for Factory Girl.

"Crops tend to work best on oval faces," the celebrity stylist Lee Stafford told Elle magazine, which concluded that Watson's pixie look "gives her a striking resemblance to Mia Farrow". The magazine advised that crops are "fresh, fun and a great way to survive summer heat".

But Carey Mulligan, nominated for an Oscar for her role in An Education, told The Independent on Sunday in February that she didn't like it and couldn't wait for it to grow out. Her problem was that with so many award ceremonies to attend she kept having to crop her hair back rather than show up with it at an "in-between" stage.

Watson has few such doubts: "Cut my hair off a few days ago," she Tweeted. "I love it. It's the most liberating thing ever. I missed all that experimentation that most teenagers go through. I've wanted to do this since I was about 16, so as soon as I had the chance I was like, 'Right. This is it.'"

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Glazier

    £16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist historic buildi...

    Recruitment Genius: Office and Customer Services Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small but very busy (and f...

    Recruitment Genius: Portfolio Administrator

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...

    Recruitment Genius: Mechanical and Electrical Engineer - Midlands

    £35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot