Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fringe vs Bangs – aka ‘the big bang theory’

There are a few hilarious terminology differences between America and England that us Aussies are exposed to. We usually default to the mother country version of things but as we are well travelled and are a destination for our American cousins we are often exposed to all sorts of fun word variations. 

One example of this is when you hit a ‘petrol station’ in England you are asked to open your bonnet to check the oil and the boot to check the spare tyre…in America you would pull up to a ‘Gas Station’ and be asked to lift your ‘hood or trunk’…these ‘lost in translation’ moments are part of what makes travelling fun, except when you are left completely stumped when someone compliments you on your ‘Bangs’ in New York…this happened to my dear friend and has since been a topic of interest for us.

‘Bangs’ are of course the Americanised hairstyle term for what we know as the ‘Fringe’. 
Being a Melbourne girl where Fringes are VERY prominent I decided that the term ‘Fringe’ is quite practical, as hair cut this way is rather ‘fringey’ like a rug or those dangly leather fringey bits on a country singers jacket. But to be sure, I looked up some etymology sites and found that the American term for ‘Bangs’ comes from hair cut bang-off (straight across at the front). I’ve also read that it is probably related to a bang-tail, a term still used for cutting horses' tails straight across. 
So I can now make an educated decision on what term to use and as I don't want my forehead to be compared to a horses arse, I’ll stick with ‘Fringe’.

The Fringe has been a staple hair favourite over the decades and gone through many face-lifts, a true Melbourne girl is often spotted with her blunt fringe, tattoos and confident attitude, mostly raven haired but sometimes dyed red. The Melbourne ‘look’ loves the diversity of the ‘Fringe’ and the pop-cultural references it conjures…here are some types of fringes that define the style into sub-categories:
Straight fringe: A fringe combed straight down with no interference - See Lily Allen

Blunt fringe: A fringe cut straight across the forehead in a blunt manner. See popular
Melbourne girls – Chelsea Wheatley and classic fixed gear riding, tattoo and specs donning
Melby gal: 

Side swept fringe: Hair cut longer than a normal fringe and swept across one side of the face - 

Pin-up bangs: The bangs are cut in a short "U" shape above the brows, which was made
famous by Bettie Page and is now worn by many pin-up girls. My favourite is Traci Lords in
John Waters film Cry Baby totally rocking this look: 

Messy fringe: A tossled fringe like Michelle Pfeiffers in Grease 2 - 

Power-fringe: Sometimes referred to as power bangs in the U.S. The fringe is unusually large
and protrudes from the top of the scalp near the forehead to up to great lengths is a bit of a
FAIL - See Fergie

Shaved fringe: The hair that frames a fringe is shaved so the fringe is very prominent – see
adorable Ri-Ri

Forehead covering fringe  - Tyra rocks it: 

Fringe Fail = Donald trump

Some gals bond over their love for Fringes – here is a pic of me and my best gal, with our Fringes! We both had this style before we met some years ago and since then when we’re out, we’re often mistaken as sisters…

Another pair of Dopple-fringies are Zooey and Katie - who can tell them apart?

Fringe’s have a fantastic style history and would make an excellent coffee table book *hint for anyone who has any contacts at Taschen… Here are my favourites:

Silent movie actress Louise Brooks – who is a constant source of inspiration with her 20’s look and strong attitude:

1950s actress Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Cleopatra.
This look inspired generations of gals to chop their locks and rock the Fringe!

In the 1980s and early 1990s, poofy, curly, teased fringes. EWWW….

In 1990 we had John Waters movie Cry Baby rock some hottie boy fringe action: 
See - Johnny Deep 

In 2007 – Current day, the fringe saw another massive revival as a hair trend. See - Kate Moss

My fringe bestie and I so adore the fringey attitude of Melbourne culture and also love how the term 'Fringe' has a dual meaning, so we developed an adorable accessories line which we named ‘Fringe Club’ due to our devotion to the concept…however just to make things easy for me, the label has it’s own blog (coming soon) and I will keep all that label talk there…but as a sneak preview here is some mock-ups of our logo I’ve been working on:

If this has inspired you to Fringe up I would love an email of a before and after pic!


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