Fashion: False dawn for lashes

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If the eyes are windows to the soul, don't expect anyone to pay too much attention to your inner beauty this summer. They are going to be far too busy marvelling at your lashes, if the extravagant looks on the catwalks are anything to go by.

Traditionally the season of the "natural" look (that is, painstakingly applying several layers of make-up to create the impression of wearing none), summer beauty tends to err on the side of pretty but boring. So it's refreshing to see a healthy dose of drama added to the mix this season thanks to some seriously theatrical false eyelashes.

John Galliano, Paris's premier exponent of haute couture decadence, made sure there were wide eyes both on and off the runway at his show – his models wore super-long lashes in the centre of their upper and lower lids to perfect the china-doll look.

Versace and Missoni took a retro turn with feline eyeliner and 1970s-style falsies, while at Alessandro Dell'Acqua, bare skin and pink lips made feathery black lashes look clean and modern.

But the prize for elaborate eyewear of the season goes to Viktor & Rolf, who have teamed up with make-up brand Shu Uemura to create three limited-edition couture pairs of lashes, available at the end of the month. The duo cryptically describe the styles as "fairytales of love and hope transformed into eyelashes" but, lofty concepts aside, you can't help but be won over by an accessory that is guaranteed to catch the eye.

The Viktor & Rolf eyelashes will be available from Harvey Nichols and Shu Uemura boutiques (