In Living Color: Paint a New Perspective with a Fresh Pair of Sunglasses

Dita’s Xanadu

Text by Mengly Taing

Temperatures are dropping and so is the dreaded stock market, but that doesn’t mean style has to fall by the wayside this Winter. Although they normally disappear at the end of summer, sunglasses were scattered throughout the fall shows—from Karen Walker to Marni to Yohji Yamamoto. Their light-heartedness on the runways seemed to send a message of optimism in their wake. Providing more than just a barrier from the sun, sunglasses offer a mental escape from the doldrums of everyday life, protecting us from the outside world. So, as the chill sets in, focus your attention on a hot set of frames—they’re sure to make the new year look bright.

Bold Hues / Designers step away from traditional black to play with colors ranging from pink to green to purple. Xanadu, Dita’s rose-tinted stunners, come in an over-sized gold frame. The unique bridge design adds to its allure. Whether it’s the lens or the frame, color is important this season. Face a Face boasts collections of colorful frames in different sizes and shapes to fit every occasion. Spray comes in lagoon blue and translucent fuschia, which gives a playful look and feel to the retro-inspired sunglasses—not to mention the subtle cat-eye shape is flattering on many faces. If one color is not enough, try two. The Paris-based line also offers frames in multiple color combinations. Bulle, which comes with a double bridge design, is available in black and deep pink or chocolate and mauve. The unique frames also feature a circular cutout design at the temple which add even more charm to the look.

Detailed Frames / Color isn’t the only thing that will stand out. Pay attention to intricate designs, which can add flair to any wardrobe. “A person’s sunglasses should be an extension of their personality and style,” says Dita Eyewear Creative Director, Bryan Crabtree. Crabtree, however, insists any embellishments should be kept to a minimum. Leave something up to the imagination.

Sama’s Sahara Collection features a series of frames inspired by the great pyramids and ancient Egyptian deities. Step through time in a pair of those or step through the looking glass as Badgley Mischka does for its couture-inspired eyewear collection. Each piece is named after one of Hollywood’s golden stars. The designing duo’s Elizabeth frame features a rotating freshwater pearl on each temple while Lucille incorporates real feathers inlaid into the frame. “With the economy the way it is right now, sunglasses are a great way to upgrade a look,” says James Misckha.

Classic Shapes / “You shouldn’t buy a frame based on a logo, it should be all about fit and quality,” Crabtree says. “People are starting to realize that.” And it shows. Less focus on the brand distinction means greater emphasis on refining the overall look. While women continue to stick to their over-sized shades, men favor aviators and square-shaped frames. New materials have replaced logos in areas of status because they add sophistication to a familiar look. Barton Perreira’s Breedlove aviators are made from titanium, but the piece of genuine leather, which covers the top bar over the bridge, lends a modern touch to the well-worn classic. Meanwhile, Salvatore Ferragamo updates his beloved black-frame by weaving ribbons of nude-colored plastic in and out of the arms. Bottega Veneta’s 63/S is made of buffalo horn and comes with a braided leather chain attached to the frame.

Luxurious Accents / Although budget wayfarers continue to be all the rage right now, diamonds remain a girl’s best friend. Even when it seems ridiculous to spend thousands of dollars on a pair covered in them, consider it an investment. Barton Perreira’s stunning Jeweled Collection is a feast on the eyes—and the wallet. The leopard pattern found on the limited edition Emmanuelle frame is composed of brown, yellow and black diamonds from Lugano, while Linda Farrow goes the extra mile by offering bespoke service for their Fine Jewellery Collection. Their 18-karat gold frames are available in three different shapes, which come embellished with a custom selection of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Each pair is unique to the owner, and who doesn’t want a choice in the way they see the world? During tough times, that makes all the difference.