Summertime and warm, sunny holidays are fast approaching, and sunglasses are the magical accessory. A beautiful pair of sunglasses immediately uplifts summer fashions, as well as the wearer. This season, the choices are superb – noteworthy designs with flair, in alluring colours and lovely materials. Whatever your personal fashion look and influence, there are sunglasses to fulfil your style demands and desires.
Sunglasses can be traced back to Emperor Nero who watched gladiator fights with protective lenses. Fast-forward to the 18th century, and early experiments started with tinted lenses. Sunglasses, as a statement, began in the 20th century. Hollywood movie stars wore glamorous examples of the era, and an enthusiastic entrepreneur sold his sunglasses on the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This set the stage for the sunglass phenomenon, characterised by film stars, including Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, who both looked stunning in luxurious designs.
What has followed is that sunglasses are now not only for eye protection, but they make an impressive style expression. This is a particularly exciting year for sunglasses – designers and companies have allowed their imaginations to soar, and the results are spirited frames that are desirable – and above all – wearable. Variety in materials, colours and shapes indicate that designing sunglasses is great fun for those involved! With sunglasses, the sky is virtually the limit – you can experiment with an unusual colour, try a new shape, or select a material you’ve never worn before. Sunny highlights include the following trends.
Shapes are reinterpretations of beloved favourites crafted into modern classics, often with a touch of the unexpected, achieved with colour and high tech processes.Classic aviators, ovals and round shapes have new proportions and strong silhouettes. Oversized sun specs lead the way – with a notable difference. The volume is retained, with a new light, airy feeling. The frames are comfy, while protectively covering the eyes. Retro themes are evident, but with a soft touch.
Bright Lenses! This is the moment to pull out all the fashion stops, and wear coloured lenses. In tones of red, gold, yellow, blue, violet and green, the lenses are catchy, fun and fashion noteworthy. Mirrored lenses in bright tones are also statement style.
Quality materials – sunglass craftsmanship is essential – frames that are well made are a priority for comfort and durability, as well as that all-important ingredient – smart style.
Acetates are more beautiful and diversified than ever. Solid colour acetates boast luxurious finishes – rich and smooth. Luminous acetates have a lovely see-through glow, and shimmer beautifully in the sunlight. Multi-toned acetates feature unique colour combinations, including mosaic patterns. Elle sunglasses evoke the spirit and style of Paris with frames that are fused with femininity and gorgeous colours.
Metal magic is found in titanium, stainless steel and metal mixes. Metals used to be the special preserve of men’s sunglasses, now women are discovering the benefits of wearing metals with sartorial panache. They are lightweight, and new frame interpretations are gently sculpted for a timeless, refined look.
Colour! Striking hues highlight sun eyewear – including sensational blues – a range from ocean turquoise to vibrant deep blue – the signature colour of French artist Yves Klein. Glossy violet tones, captivating greens, radiant reds, and flashes of orange are also alluringly captured on sunglass designs.
Forever Favourites – no matter what road the ambiguities of fashion may take; there are certain colours that possess eternal spirit and style.Tortoiseshell and neutral tones are supremely elegant. Black sunglasses remain the epitome of chic, elegance, mystery and confidence. Céline Dion keynotes a volume shape accented with silver touches on the temples. This season, skilled shapes and luxurious materials ensure that black sunglasses are innovative and sensual. Decorated temples with gold or silver, or a bold colour accent add a further distinctive touch. Paul Costelloe’s designs for women provide outstanding sun style in black highlighted with gold temple strips.
What Style Shall I Choose?
With so much variety and so many desirable styles, how do you choose the best sunglasses for your particular face?
Barbara Spybey at Spybey Opticians in Nottingham offers the following sage advice: “There really isn’t just one shape for every face. Fashion changes so much, and the only way to be certain that a shape is right for your features, is to try on several frames and judge from that. Of course, there are basic realities: If you have a square jaw, do not select a square shape, or if you have a round face, don’t opt for a round frame.”
She added: “Sunglasses must fit well in the space between the eyebrows and the checks. Venture to try something new, because people often see themselves in a certain way, and are not open to new ideas. It’s good to take a friend with you for shopping, or visit an optician, someone you trust, who can help with your selection. The glasses on your face are more important than the shoes on your feet. And most of all, be excited about what you are buying.”
There is much to be excited about regarding sunglasses this season, so when you are selecting frames, as Mrs. Spybey suggests: “Be open to new ideas and think outside the box. There are so many different shapes and variations that are visually enhancing.”
Words of Wisdom indeed!