When bags, shoes, and clothes undergo changes in the haute couture world of fashion, why not the sunglasses? From the conventional fabrication and design, to using unconventional and rare materials like wood, gold and even stone with fancy shapes and sizes, sunglasses seem to be traveling the style timeline and delve into a whole new dimension. We have earlier seen the jeweled editions like Chopard gold and diamond glasses which were incidentally the world's most expensive sunglasses with a price tag of approx. $408,500. Then came Clic Gold most expensive eyeglasses, which introduced its patented magnetic front connection system, with the construction of solid gold and anti-reflective sapphire coating. For those who love bling, there were the Vintage Frames Diamond sunglasses which used 2,000 VS quality diamonds each put selectively on the vintage retro style frames. But its not the big luxury fashion brands who have reinvented the wheel; brands like Gold & Wood and Shwood Eyewear of Portland, Oregon, have taken the world of sunglasses by storm with their bespoke and eco friendly eyewear. We have earlier told you about Shwood wood eyewear made from the Oakwood barrels used for brewing Irish whiskey. Looking at the trend, and the difference it has bought about in the fashion world, the likes of Lady Gaga and Sir Elton John, who are famous for their eyewear collection, has certainly got busy with their second passion for collecting the best trendsetting sunglasses.
Shwood Canby Stone / White Slate Eyewear
Shwood Eyewear, known for using the rarest and most abstract of materials for their exotic eyewear has introduced its latest collection handcrafted from layered slate-stone and premium quality birchwood. The lenses used here are 100% UVA/UVB ray proof from Carl Zeiss, which altogether comes packaged in custom made leather embroidered leather patch.
Perhaps they have been very aptly named as 'Stone Collection', where they combine the refinement of design and rugged texture generally associated with stones and wood. Limited to just 200 pairs, each of them bear a price tag of $325 a pair.
Hardy Amies Eyewear
Then comes the Hardy Amies eyewear, from Claire Malcom behind Savile Row tailoring house, who relaunched the brand big time. The brand's latest collection doled out unique round shaped glasses, crafted from crystal acetate. Inspired from the 1930's Ada frames, Hardy Amies SS13 sunglasses collection features different shapes and fabrication style, namely Carlton, Maryland, Randolf, and Clifton. Prices for the range start from £240 ($366).
The Montblanc Eyewear Collection 2013
Montblanc is another brand known for their craftsmanship, exquisite materials and timeless style. The Montblanc Eyewear 2013 collection shows classic shapes and shades, but with the use of ultra-refined fabrication, for both men and women. The Montblanc Montevideo frame for that matter brings in the use of rose gold, a favorite amongst jewelers coupled with acetate, a mineral deposit known for varied patterns. Wherever the gap remains, the use of rare wood is seen as well, in the handle of the frame. The lenses are available in the traditional green, black, and grey shades whereas one could pick from the matte dark grey or rose gold frame.
Montblanc has bought in something for the ladies as well. The shapes here are classic with big round frames, but the finishing has been given regal touches, like the pearl finish seen here in the Luna Bay model glass. Shades like ivory or black add to the overall appearance, and maintain that elite positioning. If these dont satisfy every lady going to buy her shades, there is the Almeria model too. A rather sophisticated alternative, these grey acetate temple frames coupled with pink polished leather, and a 2-tone Montblanc logo will perhaps turn heads wherever they are seen.
Trends Summed up
- Use of cystal acetate with natural fabric patterns, birchwood, stone such as slate, shaded leather.
- Use of precious stones such as diamonds and metals such as rose tinted gold, especially on the frame.
- Shapes retained are more or less classic, older designs, but main experimentation has been with the fabrication.
Other than the ones noted above, there will always be more trend defying and abstract creations like the Sheils Jewelers' emarald and gold glasses. The inspiration has been from what the Roman emperor Nero used during his time, to watch gladiator fights. We won't place those to be in the best bets for wearing on a daily basis, but its designed to flaunt.
Gucci Liquid Wood Biodegradable Sunglasses
The Italian luxury brand partnered with sunglasses manufacturer Safilo, to design an eco-friendly eyewear collection made out of liquid wood - a biodegradable material which has never before been used in the eyewear sector, recycled metal and mineral glass lenses. Liquid wood, a composite of bio-based substances, such as wood fiber from sustainably-managed forests and lignin extracted from paper and candle wax during manufacturing processes, can be shaped in nearly any way through injection molding.
The luxury eyewear continues to redefine fashion with sophisticated styles in timeless shapes, to the usage of new, precious and extraordinary materials such as finest wood, leather and other eco friendly elements to add a touch of class and style.