By Eva Wiseman
How the loo became fashion’s favourite backdrop
A long row of sinks and at each one a woman, leaning. “They rummage through their handbags, pulling out various make-up items; applying blushers, concealers and brightly coloured lip-glosses.” In the academic book Women And Alcohol: Social Perspectives, under the titillating heading Glamour Over Consumption, this ethnographic data from a city-centre pub in Canterbury explores the way a bathroom allows women to “assess their intoxication and femininity”, taking part in a familiar form of “calculated hedonism”. Backcombing her hair, one turns to the stranger at the next mirror and asks, “I don’t look too drunk, do I?” The stranger reassures her, of course, because that’s what women do, in the toilets, at night. We urinate, we check our lipstick, and we comfort each other that we look exactly the right amount of pissed. And sometimes, perhaps knowing that otherwise we might forget this moment of uncommon warmth, we take a photo, too.