Susannah Frankel: Ready To Wear

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Indy Lifestyle Online

If Victoria Beckham always seemed like an unlikely style icon, she has become just that, not only in the mainstream press – and falling down, tired and emotional or otherwise – but in more supposedly élitist fashion circles, too. Katie Holmes has, for some time now, displayed what might not unreasonably be described as Single White Female syndrome, where emulating her not-so-new best friend is concerned. And now, as pointed out last week on wgsn.com (Worth Global Style Network), it is the turn of Eva Longoria Parker to worship at the altar of the thin orange one.

As famous for her overblown dark tresses as La Beckham once was, the actor has "jumped on the Pob bandwagon", as the fashion industry website put it, "and secured a Posh hairdo".

A sign of emancipation? Well the bob has been seen that way since it took off in a big way during the Jazz Age, and when, as in the famed F Scott Fitzgerald short story, girls like Bernice bobbed their hair. For this new generation, the bob is arguably even more of a bid for freedom – after all, as anyone who has ever indulged in a full head of hair extensions will testify, they are far from low maintenance. Leave them to their own devices and these decidedly hostile creatures will not only be uncomfortable but also may be left behind in the most inopportune places, dropping uncouthly on to a friend's dining table, for example, or on to an unsuspecting bedfellow's pillow of a morning. This is not romantic.

The bob, on the other hand, is shiny, hard-edged and emphasises the line of a chiselled jaw – think everyone from Louise Brooks to the beautiful people whose hair was cut by Vidal Sassoon way back when.

More recently, the bob has become bourgeois, however – witness Anna Wintour's famed do, which is now (only whisper it) a little too far on the stiff side for comfort. And even the Pob, with its more fashionable uneven edges, is now looking dated because it, like any other style one might care to mention, is endlessly open to reinvention.

And so, Ms Longoria Parker et al, take note: there is now a newer bob in town and it comes courtesy of Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent. It is shorter, cut straight to fall just above the ear lobes, and is more dark and glossy than ever. The fringe, meanwhile, covers the eyes entirely.

The end result may not be the easiest thing in the world to carry off, but it is impressively fierce, and fiercely of the moment. The idea, according to the designer in question, is that the woman who wears her hair in this way will be able to see out even if others can't see in – a bit like an Old English sheepdog, then. Grrrrr.

s.frankel@independent.co.uk

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