Saturday, December 6, 2014
Hairway to Heaven
Sad news from Brussels this weekend - we're down one true-blue (and blue-blooded) Bouffant Aficionado with the death at 86 of Fabiola, the dowager Queen of the Belgians.
Fabiola was a hair-helmet early adopter, and once she settled on her signature style, it rarely varied. For state occasions she regularly sported a barnet that looked at a rough estimate to approach three feet wide. In her youth this airy creation was a vivid chestnut; it grew only more impressive as she went silver.
But her passing is a double loss for cosmetology, for in addition to hanging onto a hairdo that may well have been visible from space, she was also (as can be seen above) among the very last adherents of the purple-eyeshadow school of maquillage. When you add in that she was also a fan of that nearly vanished accessory, the fan, the world of royal fashions may never really be the same.
Today's Belgian king is Fabiola's nephew, and his queen, Mathilde, is a wallflower compared to her predecessor. Where Fabiola brought a quirky beauty that reflected her origins in Spain's aristocracy, Mathilde is a conventionally attractive woman who rarely takes fashion risks. One only wishes that in addition to presumably inheriting some of her aunt's jewels, she would take on some of her quirks...