Eyepatch Party!

Eyepatches have long been a staple of alt fashion. From visual kei to burlesque, the eyepatch has been used to accentuate elements of romanticism, glamour, and mystique throughout the ages.

Advertising giant David Ogilvy knew this in 1951 when he created “the man in the Hathaway shirt,” a campaign that put a tiny company on the map by featuring a distinguished-looking man with a mysterious eyepatch in a series of ads that continued to run for over 25 years and inspired dozens of copycats.

David “Wear the Eyepatch” Bowie knew this in 1972 when he popularized the patch during his Ziggy Stardust era, influencing everyone from Peter Burns to Rihanna. And of course, film directors know that an eyepatch can create the character, from Quentin Tarantino’s Elle Driver to John Carpenter’s Snake Plissen. It can be said that the most (come to think of it, the only) memorable thing from Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow was the sight of Angie with an eyepatch.

Of course, stylish eyepatches aren’t just for show. For centuries, people with eye ailments have incorporated the patch into their personal style. The first chic eyepatch-wearer may have been Spanish princess Doña Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda. Around 1545, young Ana lost her eye in an accident during a playfight with one of her guards. Donning an eyepatch only fueled her popularity at the court, and it is said that she had a bejeweled eyepatch for every dress she owned.

Film director Fritz Lang’s eye problems started in 1916, the same year he stumbled into film. While recuperating from war wounds that would eventually cost him his eye, he began to write scripts and took up acting. In his younger years, he wore a monocle over his injured eye; later in life, an eyepatch under dark glasses. Knowing the director’s struggle towards monocular vision, Maria’s lingering robot wink in Metropolis somehow feels much more significant. Other fabulous/functional eyepatch-wearers include Slick Rick, James Joyce and Momus.

I never thought I’d have to wear an eyepatch for any reason other than a fashion shoot or a fancy night out. But following some recent eye problems, I have to wear one for at least a portion of each day, for at least a little while. Thus began my trawl through Tumblr, Flickr, and fashion blogs in search for the perfect patch. The search uncovered dozens of beautiful images from Coilhouse friends and family. After the jump, an epic collection of over 60 eyepatches featuring Mother of London, Salvador Dali, PUREVILE!, James Dean, Amelia Arsenic, Chad Michael Ward, Shien Lee, Antiseptic, Jane Doe, Alyz Tale, Atsuko Kudo and many others. I suspect that many of you have eyepatch photos as well. If you’ve got one, post it in the comments!

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Coinjoined Twin-inspired eyepatch from PUREVILE! Check out Wren’s blog post titled “Obsessed: Eye Patches!!” for his collection of inspirational eyepatch imagery. Modeled by Kristen Korvette. Photo taken by Marlo Gamora.

Porcelain eyepatch by Damian O’Sullivan

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Clown Disease” by ~steamed-pepsi on Deviantart

Eyepatch set by fringefalcon on Flickr.

“Androgynously Yours” shoot from MLMLME

Blue rose eyepatch by Ane-Ue.

Angelina Jolie in Sky Captin: World of Tomorrow.

Director Fritz Lang

Bad Charlotte by Chad Michael Ward

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David “Wear the Eyepatch” Bowie

Ana de Mendoza, Princess of Eboli (bonus for ruff!)

“Steampunk Josje” by xblubx on Deviantart

James Joyce

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Slick Rick

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Agyness Dean


Another one from Eyepatch set by fringefalcon on Flickr

Photo by Jesse Paulk.

Dragon Kiss Collection by Jade Chiu

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Miss Mosh wearing Antiseptic Fashion

Model/photographer Koneko for Jane Doe Latex

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Vadim Zakharov

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Christina Lindberg in 1974 film Thriller: A Cruel Picture

Shien Lee of Dances of Vice wearing Electra Designs

Amelia Arsenic wearing a new necklace from her Taxidermia jewelry/fashion collection

Amelia Arsenic again wearing a Jane Doe latex eyepatch

Miss Amelia Arsenic yet again with a red Jane Doe patch!

atilla wearing a Jane Doe Latex eyepatch with stuntkid logo. Larger image.

Ryonai from Blam Honey

Ryonai from Blam Honey

Jimmy Dean

Salvador Dali

From “Superheroines” by Alyz Tale

Photo by JCG Photography

Sweet Lolita Cupcake Eyepatch by Neuemorin

Eyepatch by Liv Free. Photo by Dave Kai Piper

“knochen.schaeler” by Silent-View. Corset/eyepatch: AMF.

70s bikers with eyepatches.

“Mr. O Ring” eyepatch by Gothfox Designs

Eyepatch by Mother of London. Model: Daniela Kenzie. Photo by Chad Michael Ward.

Atsuko Kudo for Dazed and Confused Japan. Larger image. Patch available in their shop.

Heart-shaped lace eyepatch by Atskuo Kudo.

Miss Astrid

Anna Swiczeniuk/Aiko273

10 Responses to “Eyepatch Party!”

  1. M.S. Patterson Says:

    I have long desired a good eyepatch. But I don’t really have need of one, and so have never bothered to make the effort necessary to get/make one.

  2. David Forbes Says:

    Wow, what an absolutely amazing (and delicious) collection of photos, Nadya. Thank you.

    I’ve always found it strangely appropriate that part of the swashbuckling appeal of eyepatches developed because pirates needed to keep one eye adapted to the dark.

  3. Wolfgang Nomi Says:

    awesome pictorial!!!

  4. Angeliska Says:

    These are wonderful and inspiring, Nadya! I had to wear an eyepatch at one point as well, and as uncomfortable as they can be to wear, it’s heartening to see how goddamn sexy and fashionable they can be! I know you’re rocking yours!

  5. Alder Knight Says:


    This post is kinda overwhelming, but in a good way.

  6. Meredith Yayanos Says:



    <3 <3 <3 <3

  7. Amoelbarroco Says:

    Hello there!

    Let me show you a couple of eye patches designed by me, hope you like them:


  8. Irene Says:

    ahhhh do I love a good eyepatch!! wonderful gallery.

    the first time I wore an eyepatch as a fashion accessory to a party, I gained a whole new level of appreciation for those who regularly rock the look. turns out it’s a LOT HARDER TO SEE and function in space with only one eye. I kept bumping into things and tripping on my stripper shoes. who knew!!! lol

  9. Nadya Says:

    @Irene – Totally. But it depends on whether you occluded your dominant or non-dominant eye. I’m guessing it was your dominant one if you had so much trouble!

    Guys, I somehow accidentally omitted a couple of great images that I found. Here they are:

    Source unknown.

    Freyagushi/Cake Injection/Stuntkid

  10. Bought A David Bowie Eyepatch Shirt Says:

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