A video of Dolly Parton receiving her Covid jab while wearing a cold-shoulder top has started a trend for glamorous appointment fashion in Northern Ireland, experts have said.
The 75-year-old country music legend posted a video on her social media channels earlier this month, showing a doctor giving her the Moderna vaccine at Vanderbilt Health in Tennessee.
Never failing to take an opportunity to make a style statement, Dolly wore a sparkly blue knit top with cold-shoulder cutouts, custom-designed by her creative director, Steve Summers.
The New York Times hailed the outfit as the start of a vaccine fashion ‘moment’ after Hillary Clinton posted a message to Parton on social media asking "Shall we make this a trend?"
Twitter users subsequently praised Parton for opting for a glamorous but practical choice.
Belfast make-up artist Paddy McGurgan said the reaction was partly down to people wanting to look their best, even during lockdown.
"I think it comes out of sheer desperation of wanting a night out. Any sort of event, from getting the jab to going to Tesco, is about putting on a bit of make-up, a bit of mascara and feeling a little more back to feeling normal," he added.
He stressed that while eye make-up had grown in popularity because of face masks, people still loved their lipstick.
"It’s as if people are defiant in not letting face masks stop them from wearing their signature red," Paddy explained.
"It’s that idea of covering the mouth and lips. It has echoes of back to the Second World War, when women, no matter how rationed things were, were still buying their lipsticks.
"Back then, you still had women who were defiant and who held onto that femininity because there’s only so much that people can bend without losing themselves and their identity."
Paddy also joked that if "anyone is going to rock up in full glam" for a Covid jab, it would be Dolly.
"She obviously a glam icon. She’s kind of a symbol for people of how you can use being glam as a statement for part of your personality," he said.
Fashion expert Cathy Martin said that while she did not love the cold-shoulder style, she could understand why Dolly’s video had struck a chord with people.
"I personally prefer the fact that Dolly was singing a song about a vaccine to the tune of Jolene, but obviously it’s a very practical fashion choice for the vaccination," she added.
"It’s great people are thinking about the practical side of getting the needle into the arm.
"We get so little these days that going anywhere is an opportunity to really think about what we’re going to wear.
"We all have too many clothes, so if there’s any opportunity to put a bit of effort into what we’re wearing, (we’ll take it)."
Cathy acknowledged that the cold-shoulder look had its fashion ‘moment’ two or three years ago but stressed it remained stylish.
"I think, as a style and a cut, it will still be around for the summer months," she said.
"I don’t love the cut, but that’s me. I do think it’s a practical choice for a vaccination.
"It’s great if people are finding them in their wardrobes and wearing them."
A local fan of Dolly’s look was mentioned in the New York Times article after she tweeted in apparent support of the singer.
Alana Hughes’s post read: "I saw Dolly Parton wearing a cold-shoulder top to her vaccine, so I bought a cold-shoulder top for my vaccine."
The Belfast public relations consultant told this newspaper her comment was a play on a well-known quote from the film Mean Girls, but she nonetheless saluted Dolly’s style.
"I don’t actually own a cold-shoulder top and I didn’t have the chance to get one before my vaccination appointment," Alana said.
"When I was speaking to my GP’s surgery, I was talking to the girl about Dolly and she laughed because she said I was the second person to bring it up."
Instead of a cold-shoulder top, Alana, who was able to get her vaccine early because she suffers from asthma, wore black leather leggings and white T-shirt to her appointment.
"That was my best attempt at looking semi-put together that day," she joked.