As an assignment for university we had the task of researching and writing our own fashion moment resembling that of the brilliant Colin McDowell's many fashion moments. Realising that my fashion moment has only been viewed by the tutors I thought I'd post it on my blog for all to see and read.
The text reads:
When you think of luscious, thick false eyelashes, a wigmaker probably wouldn’t be the first person that springs to your mind. However that’s exactly who made the first pair for the film director D.W Griffith in the film “Intolerance” in 1916. Griffith wanted his leading lady Seena Owen to have “eyelashes that brush her cheeks”, he then hired a wigmaker who wove human hair through a gauze and gummed them to Owens eyelids.
After false eyelashes -and “Intolerance”- failed to make a huge impact in 1916 they were generally only worn by upper class society women for parties and events until they reappeared on the big screen a couple of decades later, although this time adorning the eyes of stars like Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis. However models were responsible for igniting the popularity of false eyelashes: German-born model and actress Veruschka, made a statement with false eyelashes when she accessorised her eyes with a pair in the film “Blow Up” in 1966. Then there was Twiggy, who seemed to become a poster girl for synthetic lashes; In the 60’s her monochromatic makeup was embellished with an elaborate pair of lashes to give a doe-eyed look.
If it’s true that the eyes really are the windows to the soul, then it’s the way that women chose to frame them that sets them apart from the rest. In 2008 Viktor and Rolf collaborated with the beauty innovators at Shu Uemura to create functional miniature works of art. These false eyelashes were distinctive; feathers, lace, even a pair from paperclips but with a certain delicacy. Traditional eyewear conventions were demolished and explored in ways that only fashion could. It was then that false eyelashes became more of a fashion statement and less of just a beauty accessory.
On today’s catwalk dramatic makeup and exquisite designs are rarely without the company of false lashes. John Galliano for Christian Dior autumn/winter 2010 is an excellent example of this with his combination of 18th century equestrian inspired collection. The seductiveness of “French romanticism” is exaggerated with the usage of false lashes where the make up took inspiration from the film Libertine by make up artist Pat McGrath.
Now we see false lashes everywhere from the girl on the street to high-fashion catwalks. No longer just for an occasion but to some a complete necessity.