Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Shady ladies: Sunglasses that transform your look

Whether they’re retro or quirky, cutting-edge or glamorous, the right sunglasses will transform your look. Carola Long picks the hottest pairs for summer

Published 03/05/2010

Chloe, £180, 0208 896 8799
Chloe, £180, 0208 896 8799
Topshop, £18, 0845 121 4519
Kurt Geiger (available mid-May), £140, 0845 257 2571
John Galliano, £223, 01635 277 299
Miu Miu, £140, Sunglass Hut, 0844 264 0860
Diesel, £120, 01423 520 303
Sunglasses from Giles
Sunglasses from Versace
Retrosuperfuture, £159,
Alexander Wang and Linda Farrow, £162,
Oliver Peoples / Balmain £350, 020 7813 1234
Sunglasses from Erdem
Ray-Ban, £109, Sunglass Hut 0844 264 0860
Balenciaga, £185, 01423 520 303
Polo by Ralph Lauren, £110, David Clulow 0844 264 0870
Sun-seeker: Chloe Sevigny

Whether it’s making us look as if we’ve just stepped off stage at Coachella or straight off a yacht, we have high expectations of our sunglasses.

We want them to create mystique, hide a hangover and protect our eyes, but actually this isn’t too much to ask. A well-chosen pair really will bestow instant cool – at least from the neck up. As Jack Nicholson, one of the few people who can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors once said, “With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 70.”

For years, the sole goal of sunglasses was glamour and Jackie O was the poster girl. That era was followed by a wave of giant bug shades favoured by celebrities pretending they didn’t want to be photographed; then the reign of the Wayfarer.

Now, however, the look – or rather looks – are a whole lot quirkier and there’s more variety. Ray-Bans are still going strong – Mossy continues to favour oversized Wayfarers in black or tortoiseshell – but it’s no longer a uniform. Surprise, surprise, the desire to make a statement is partly thanks to the Lady-Gaga effect.

While her shades made of cigarettes are unlikely to catch on, bold designs such as the Jeremy Scott mouse-ear glasses she wore in the video for Paparazzi or her penchant for a robo-visor, make us more amenable to experimenting. After all it’s a lot easier to pull off some crazy shades than a lace bodysuit.

One of the biggest trends at the moment is for round shapes. While they aren’t recommended for the round-faced – that way the Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne effect lies – the style beloved of Magenta Devine is back. Even bug-shades fan Victoria Beckham has introduced a circular pair to her range. Favoured by Florence Welch, the Ray Ban 4141’s are an easier-to-wear take on circular frames and Erdem’s first sunglasses – in collaboration with Cutler and Gross – include small, round frames with a watery floral pattern that echoes the prints on his s/s collection.

Florals are also a micro-trend: note Ray-Ban’s flowery Wayfarers and Retro-superfuture’s floral print frames for Liberty, while pale and dusty pink frames – rose-coloured spectacles, so to speak – are also having a moment.

Anyone who wants to strike a rather harder, edgier pose might prefer a more futuristic or visor style. Balmain have launched their first eyewear designs in collaboration with Oliver Peoples, and the two limited-edition pairs of sunglasses focus on an ultra-sleek rock look. Hippies need not apply.

Other hip collaborations include Alexander Wang’s new capsule collectionof frames, produced with Linda Farrow.

Not everyone has the bravado or desire to look like a character from Futurama, so thankfully retro frames are still going strong. Look out for John Galliano’s first sunglasses collection, which “blends old- school glamour with high-tech romance,” for styles with plenty of depth to the lens and high arms, and Seventies colours such as smoky pinks, browns and creams.

These are often much more flattering than black, as is tortoiseshell, against paler skins, while brights look great on darker complexions. Don’t get too hung up on face shape rules though – one can’t imagine iconic sunglasses wearers such as Patti Smith or Debbie Harry in Specsavers agonising over whether Wayfarers make their face look long.

>> Click on the image to launch our gallery

Leave your comments and suggestions below

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph