Faux

Strong brows matched the bold, powerful mood of the clothes in Prada’s Fall 2008 show. (Prada)

STEP away from the tweezers. The tapered, pin-thin eyebrows you've been meticulously sculpting every week since the '90s are looking about as dated as a Menudo T-shirt.

Call it recession chic (visiting a brow specialist suddenly feels so indulgent), or further proof that we're moving toward a less coiffed -- even grungy -- era in fashion. But bushy brows are back for fall in a big way.

Think Brooke Shields in her skin-tight Calvin Klein jeans, with those thick, healthy arches that veiled smoldering eyes. Only now, it's Hilary Rhoda who's the model-of-the-moment, with her considerable brows and all-American good looks.

A hefty arch was key to the fall runway beauty looks at Fendi, Donna Karan and Rag & Bone, among others. Prada even took the trend to a camp extreme, furrying up models with faux brows that resembled slumbering caterpillars. The look matched the bold, powerful mood of the clothes; with strong brows as an anchor, the face held its own against head-to-toe lace and menswear-inspired ensembles.

The trend is already underway in Hollywood. Keira Knightley sports some seriously heavy brows on the September cover of Vogue, and Leighton Meester has been flaunting her above-the-eye assets on " Gossip Girl." Christina Aguilera has grown her painfully thin brows into something resembling natural, while other fair-haired celebs such as Sienna Miller and Mary-Kate Olsen have been darkening their arches to get the big-brow effect. Even Shields' brows are back on the bushy side, on the fashion-savvy TV show " Lipstick Jungle."

In the real world, we've seen signs of regrowth on Melrose Avenue shopgirls, East Side hipsters and Malibu moms.

"People aren't asking for thin brows anymore," said Veronica Larios, an aesthetician at Ole Henriksen spa in L.A. "They want a nice, thick shape."

Such a shame that doesn't apply below the neck.

emili.vesilind@latimes.com