Fashion Accessories or Fancy Dress Wear?

Sitting down to watch Janet Devlin’s X-Factor performance last Saturday, I couldn’t decide what was more mesmerising: her undeniably beautiful voice, or her undeniably distracting fake eyelashes. Crafted by Fashion Week favourites PAPERSELF, and inspired by the art of Chinese paper-cutting, these adhesive paper eyelashes come in a host of designs based upon ancient Chinese symbolism. There are horses for success, peonies for fortune, and butterflies – sported by Janet on Saturday – which represent youth and love.

The reason I bring Janet up is because, though beautiful to behold, it is very difficult to see how anybody could get away with attaching a giant pair of butterflies to their eyelashes away from the dramatic environment of the stage: what lends itself well to a performance does not necessarily lend itself to everyday life, or even a night out on the town.

…had this display been intended for a fancy dress party…

The other day, for example, I was sitting opposite a pair of party-goers on the tube, and couldn’t help but notice their larger-than-life fake eyelashes. While one girl appeared to be sporting a fringe of feathers over each eyelid, the other’s pair of falsies made me think that she must have had an accident with an exploding pot of glitter…

But no, on closer inspection, it became apparent that her false eyelashes were in fact designed to look like strands of sparkles. Now, don’t get me wrong, had this display been intended for a fancy dress party I would have applauded the girls on their choice of accessories, but it was clear from their outfits that they were simply off to a club on a Friday night.

…the more demure variety of false eyelash…

Of course, not all fake eyelashes fall into the realm of fancy-dress apparel. Applied with taste and discretion, they have the ability to frame the eye, and often compliment the dramatic sweep of liquid eyeliner. For decades, the more demure variety of false eyelash has been associated with the starlets of the cinema screen and darlings of the music hall, adding a touch of class and glamour to their makeup.

But I’m thinking about Marilyn Monroe here, not Lady Gaga. Again, I’m afraid I must insist that crazy, kooky eyelashes belong on the stage… Or else on drag queens.


About The Author

Currently studying English at UCL; interested in literary, music and fashion journalism.

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