Top five unlikely style sensations

After pictures of grandfather Liu Xianping modelling women's clothes went viral, we reveal five of the best most bizarre fashion and beauty icons

Liu Xianping might not have been a name synonymous with the fashion industry - until now.

But the 72-year-old has taken the internet by storm, after pictures of him modelling teen girls' fashion went viral recently.

The cross-dressing grandfather isn't the first unlikely star to become a fashion icon overnight though.

[Related: Are these the most bizarre style icons ever?]

In fact, he follows in the footsteps of a whole host of bizarre style sensations, including a real-life Barbie, an Anime character and spoof artist P’Trique - who shot to fame with his YouTube videos mocking the industry.

Here is our pick of the other five unlikely fashion and beauty sensations, who became viral stars overnight...

Liu Xianping - Grandfather dressed in teen girl fashion

Liu Xianping, from China, made jaws drop around the world when photographs of him modelling women’s clothes went viral overnight. The 72-year-old grandfather became an online star after sharing his style tips with his granddaughter, Lyu Ting. He picked up one piece and shared his advice on how to mix and match and ended up posing in some shots to promote her online clothing store Yuekou.
Liu Xianping models clothes from his granddaughter's clothing store © Yeukou
Now you can see Liu sporting over-the-knee socks and brightly coloured coats with plenty of ribbon, lace and frills. The unlikely style icon finished each of his looks off with a pair of aviator-style sunglasses and burgundy box bag.

[Related gallery: See more pictures of the top five unlikely fashion and beauty sensations]

Liu said: “Why unacceptable for someone like me to wear women’s clothes? Modelling for the store is helping my granddaughter and I have nothing to lose. We were very happy on the day of the shooting. I’m very old and all that I care about is to be happy.”

Liu Xianping models the latest coats from the collection © Yeukou


All of Liu’s efforts paid off as this lighthearted joke ended up boosting sales for the online store and made this grandpa China’s greatest gift to the internet.

1. Cassandra Bankson - Make up artist who revealed how to perfectly cover blemishes


Cassandra Bankson’s 10 minute video of her covering her blemishes with make up propelled her to stardom. After some prompting from her boyfriend, the teenager bravely took to the internet to broadcast a before-and-after video of her daily make-up routine.

[Related: Teen's anti-acne video makes her a web star]


Having suffered for many years with severe acne, Cassandra didn’t let it stop her from pursuing her career as a model. She even took to the catwalk at New York Fashion Week in September.

To date, Cassandra has clocked up 40 million views from self-conscious viewers who have tuned into her video channel to learn her beauty secrets.

2. Anastasiya Shpagina - Real-life Anime doll
Anastasiya Shpagina's flower fairy tutorial was popular with fans © Facebook
Anastasiya Shpagina is a real-life anime doll. The 19-year-old from Ukraine gained a global audience from her quirky fashion and beauty tutorials that act as a step-by-step guide to transforming into a Japanese cartoon character.

One video that shows how she achieves her ‘Flower Fairy’ look has clocked up 4 million views on YouTube.

[Related: Real-life anime girl's bizarre makeup tutorial]


It takes Anastasiya an hour to achieve each look that she then shares through on her Facebook with her 35,000 fans.

3. Tavi Gevinson - American fashion blogger who shot to fame at 13
Tavi Genvinson at the Rodarte AW12 after party in New York © Rex
Tavi Genvinson started her blog Style Rookie when she was 11; posting pictures of her quirky outfits alongside commentary. Tavi’s sharp and curious eye for fashion and culture quickly caught the attention of US editors and fellow bloggers in 2009 and she went from girl playing dress up to a fashion wonderkid.

At 13 she was personally invited to shows at New York Fashion Week and since then has become a regular on the front rows of the biggest catwalk events. Tavi has been on the cover of high fashion magazine Pop, was a source of inspiration for Rodarte’s Target collection and now editor-in-chief of her own website aimed at teenage girls.

Her rise to fame signifies the role that the internet has played in breaking down the boundaries between bloggers and the editorial elite. 

4. Patrick Pope - Created satirical alter-ego P’Trique


Patrick Pope is an LA-based web producer who found fame in a video dressed as a sassy bearded blonde who loves fashion. Yep, that’s right Partick’s alter ego, P’Trique featured in the viral video ‘Sh*t fashion girls say’ mocking women in the fashion industry and become something of an internet sensation.

P’Trique’s favourite buzzwords ‘Chic’, ‘So chic,’ and ‘Mega chic!’ seemed to resonate with an army of fashion fans who have helped to generate over a million views on his infamous clip. P’Trique has added to the ‘S*t Fashion Girls Say’ series with multiple videos, that include him opening up his beauty bag in one spot and making an appearance at New York Fashion Week in another.

The fashionable viral star has also made a series of cameos on Cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model - yet to be aired in the UK - and teamed up with Maybelline in a promotional campaign.

5. Valeria Lukyanova - Human Barbie
Valerie Lukyanova's pictures went viral © Facebook
Valeria Lukyanova’s tiny waist, sharp features and long blonde hair quickly earned her the moniker the ‘Human Barbie’. She became an internet phenomenon as pictures of her doll-like looks spread across social networking sites.

The 21-year-old from Russia has an endless stream of pictures on her Facebook that resemble Mattel’s Barbie doll. Valeria says her dramatic makeup looks are inspired by her love for art and depends on her mood.

The Barbie lookalike as been accused of being a fraud by cynical web users who believe she has photoshopped her images to achieve her extreme appearance.

Valeria appeared in an interview in V Magazine where she addressed the rumours of her looks being artificial, she said: “There are plenty of video clips on the internet showing what I really look like.

"Some people even spread rumors about me and retouch my pictures to hurt me. But I don’t take them seriously. I’m even flattered! It’s what success is like. I’m happy I seem unreal to them, it means I’m doing a good job.”

Check out our gallery of the Top 5 unlikely style sensations and tell us what YOU think of them over on Twitter, now.

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