THE STRIKING FRINGE

This story begins back in 2007. It was mid-October and without my mother's wheedled permission, I grabbed the scissors and executed the forehead fringe. Oh dear, my mother thought. She long felt that, out of the myriad self-help tomes published each year, it would be the book - if someone were to write it - worth buying. Kids chopping off their hair is after all, a common issue according to a psychologist friend. 

That afternoon, my mother drove me off to our hairdresser, Nicky. Time slowed down and everything else in the room became distorted and out of focus. We were left with Nicky's mind fully calibrating and assessing my uneven strands. Her astute attention to detail could have been used for the sake of national security. 

But anyway, where was I? Ah yes. So Nicky, clutched the scissors and gave me long, thick bangs. Or in other words, a blanket for my eyebrows. Et voilà: I looked like the downgraded version of Matilda. My forehead was a political heavyweight. My brows poked through my bangs with manic determination, just like an eager head sticking out of a theatre curtain. As soon as they could, the power bangs were pushed to one side. 

But ever since I started discovering my style heroes, I realised that all of those women, used their bangs to hold something back. And that's something I covet. I think of Jane Birkin, a 60s French darling and a muse to many. Birkin's sweet bangs tell a strong story, perhaps that of her charmed and scandalised love affair with Serge Gainsbourg. Freja Beha Erichsen's, mussed-up fringe, exudes a je m'en fous attitude and Lou Doillon's scruffy bangs seal the lock on the French ingénue look. Big hair, small face. Showing little skin, leaving something to the imagination. 

Being mysterious has a certain allure of its own. And bangs maintain a mysterious element to yourself that can leave people wanting more and guessing a lot. Who is that girl? Is she icy-cool and aloof? Is she bohème? Is she a sign of tetchy youthfulness? Perhaps. 

But she is definitely enchanting. Captivating. Fascinating. Interesting. Now, I want you to picture my naked forehead. Should I get bangs? 

*Update: I'd like to inform you that I currently rock a fringe. Sadly, I didn't go to Nicky's. 


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this post was originally published in November 2014