“Is this real life?”
Sunglasses and spectacles nowadays truly test the limits of idiosyncrasy so much so that ‘eyeglasses’ have become too constricting a descriptor. Eyewear today has more in common with masks than glasses: You could barely see through them!
But that is the punchline. You’re not here for these glasses’ utility but their utter stylishness. For your consideration, in no particular order:
Everybody loves seeing women with melting eyeliners, short of black tears. Since no human could cry ink yet, designer Anna Ter Haar posed a solution: dripping sunglasses. The strange sunnies made their debut in 2009 at the Klavers van Engelen show during Milan fashion week. Commoditised by Sheefun Chan for Ann-Sofie Back, the fashion crowd has not been the same since.
In 2009, shuttered shades were everywhere, thanks to Kanye West. Credit is due to Australian pop star Kylie Minogue though, who rocked the shades a year earlier in her video for “In My Arms.”
Monoglasses by Martin Margiela, MackDaddy, Sunblade, and Dior
Single-lens eyewear makes you look like Cyclops from X-Men but they have become fixtures in recent years within the hipster community. Prime examples include Martin Margiela’s Mono Lens and MackDaddy’s Line Sunglasses. Alternatively, you can have the much narrower sunglasses by Sunblade: nothing but a thin light-blocking strip across your peepers. On the higher end of mono-glasses, you have Dior’s Blow, which come in black, white, orange, blue and fuchsia frames.
Black Bars by Stupididiotic
In an age pushing against censorship, black bars can be seen as a setback—or are they? The company Stupididiotic had the bright idea of bringing these journalism tools for identity protection into life. The great irony is that you would want nothing else but to be seen wearing these.
Futura by Silhouette
You might construe these shades as Jetsons property circa Year 3013, but these sunglasses are actually classics from the Seventies. They were attention getters then, and they are certainly attention getters now.
Pixel sunglasses by Dzmitry Samal
From the 1970s, we move on to the 1980s, the inspiration behind these ‘pixilated’ frames by eyewear overlord Dzmitry Samal. One look at these glasses and you’re instantly reminded of Family Computers and 8-bit games. The lenses are optional, apparently so you can make out the lyrics to “Together in Electric Dreams” at the karaoke room.
French eyewear maker Lynx Optique collaborated with everyone’s favourite building-block maker to manufacture these sunglasses. The glasses’ arms have moulds where the Legos go in: perfect perhaps for creating Hermes wings on your head?
Pearl sunglasses by Sonia Rykiel
These pearly sunnies are the brainchild of Gallic designer Sonia Rykiel, who first showcased them in her spring/summer 2009 collection. These cost nearly a thousand dollars, of course.
Yuri by Romain Kremer
Designer Romain Kremer said the eyewear carries a “sci-fi warrior touch.” That is, if the warriors consisted of man-sized mantises in another planet. Part helmet, part eyewear, these things supposedly derive inspiration from cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
SP Temple Glasses by Staffan Preutz
Crank up the crazy with these glasses. Instead of relying on your ears, these specs simply hang from your temples.
Funglasses by Limedrop
These acrylic glasses by Melbourne-based accessory maker Limedrop augment reality, i.e. literally let you see rainbows and silver linings. Wear these to the party and you never have to try drugs again or ever.
Urban Goggles by L’wren Scott
L’wren Scott has designed an eyewear that uses grosgrain ribbons where the arms should go. You never have to fear losing these sunnies; you have to tie the ribbon to wear them. Very anachronistic but they actually work.
X-Ray Sunglasses by Jeremy Scott and Linda Farrow
In an ode to alien B-movies, eyewear doyenne Linda Farrow partnered with Adidas’ Jeremy Scott to give us these eccentric dimmers. The lenses have spirals of white and red, purportedly to let you see through solid objects. You might call their bluff on that one, but believe us when we say these give you instant style points.