Small accessories, huge impact: Snazzy shades to suit your personality

Rayban RB2185 (Top) comes in black and Havana with polar green or G15 lenses. Polarized lenses block 99% of reflected light. Arrow II with tortoise shell and gold from The Monk has anti-glare coating
There is no cutting corners when it comes to buying yourself a perfect pair of sunglasses -- one that not only protects your eyes from the harsh glare of the sun but is also in sync with your personality. But choosing a pair has become more complex today, as one is spoilt for choice, with a plethora of options in the goggles market across shapes, sizes, colours, types of frames and material used.

Sunglass frames were traditionally plain and simple, and available in round, rectangle or square shapes. But with time, they began to get more stylish with hexagonal and other varieties making their way into the market, and today it is the cat-eye design that has taken the world of goggles by storm. 

“To add some edge to any ensemble and elevate the look, minimalist cat-eye and tinted glasses are extremely à la mode this season. It’s a great 2019 take on a timeless design,” says Keshav Kalra, CEO and designer at The Monk, a homegrown premium eyewear brand.

So, what's trending?

Technology has made it possible to create lightweight frames and frameless sunglasses that are much sought after by wearers today. Most sunglass makers are currently using high quality material such as acetate, titanium, stainless steel and other metal alloys to create lightweight frames with an extra-light integrated tubular hinge. The tech finesse has helped create ergonomic built-in nosepads for comfort, adjustable nosepads to enhance the nose bridge fits. You also have adjustable temples in which the anti-slip tips gently increase the grip of the temples while improving wearability, informs a spokesperson of the Safilo Group, an Italian eyewear creator. The company is a major distributor in India of branded eyewear such as Dior, Fendi, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo and Marc Jacobs.

When it comes to style, it’s a marriage of the classic with the contemporary. According to a Fendi spokesperson, “Vintage and classic is often married with modern minimalism to create something distinct. The Futuristic Fendi sunglasses perfectly embody the dualism between futurism and classicism, thanks to the shimmering mask characterised by sharp and flat surfaces offered in a vintage colour palette.” 

Fendi's sunglasses are available in a refined colour palette, including black/dark ruthenium with grey lenses, white/silver with extra-white mirror lenses, dark Havana with brown lenses, black/gold with multilayer lenses and black with clear lenses. Even the recent collection by brand Fossil is all about vintage rectangular-shaped sunglass for men with an acetate front, slender metal combination temples accented with the brand’s engraved iconic diamond shape and Fossil logo. Luxury brand Jimmy Choo women’s eyewear collection is a modern take on a classic shape featuring curved metal detailing. The frames are finished with sparkling details on the temples. Their rounded sunglasses in metal come with a cut-out design on the front and a rim with a glitter effect.

Break the rules 

Bold is the word that defines the prevalent mood in designer sunglasses, which have become a style statement for the fashion-conscious. The Safilo spokesperson defines the current trend in sunglasses as “putting character first”. For example, the HUGO eyewear collection is youthful and feminine, comes with cat-eye shaped frames, a cut logo on the temples with the unmistakable “C” on the front. This season’s ‘GV Midnight’ women’s style from Givenchy eyewear collection comes with a single lens bridging the nose and a constellation of Swarovski crystals over the brow.

It’s all about flaunting your persona. According to Luxottica, the parent company of eyewear collections across Ray-Ban, Oakley and Vogue in India, “The Vogue sunglasses that come in wrapped shield or racy visor and colour-outside-the-line profiles or dazzling crystal trims are all about how to #SHOWYOURVOGUE.”

Colour-wise, there is juxtaposition of the understated with stand-out elements. So a copper coloured frame will come with pink glitter rim and pink lenses, while a gold frame will have shaded brown lenses. Other such examples include, palladium frames with shaded grey lenses, rose gold with black glitter rim and gold mirror lenses, palladium with indigo glitter rim and blue shaded lenses.

How to pick your shades

The single most important thing to look for when buying to protect your eyes is a sticker or tag indicating that they block 100 per cent of UV rays. The more the eye coverage, the better they are. It’s a misconception that darker lenses protect better or that polarised lenses cut ultra violet rays - they only cut glare. To know your perfect sunglasses, you must identify your face shape and pick glasses that complement it. If you have an oval-shaped face, consider an aviator style and avoid frames that are wider than your face. For a round face, choose thicker frames with a square design to balance plump cheeks.

The Indian consumer is partial to Italian premium eyewear. However, as Kalra of The Monk says, “By nature, Indian noses are shaped differently than Europeans and Americans, and the Indian eyewear market was devoid of glasses that placed emphasis.” He says he wanted his company to address the demand in the market for meticulously tailored glasses after conceptualising designs and blending them with global trends. Other key factors that were considered are face sizes and average eyebrow to perfectly curate designs for the Indian consumer. He adds that comfort is now a bigger priority than design, with new players continuously innovating in the eyewear space.

The go-to places for any customer are a select few dealers of premium eyewear in every city. In Delhi, this would include Dayal Opticals, Himalaya Opticals, Bon Ton Opticians and Lawrence & Mayo.

Finally, the possibilities with sunglasses are endless in today’s time and it is apparent that consumers are heavily influenced by social media for their fashion choices. Brands are inclined towards offering the best of both worlds to their consumers by amalgamating style with comfort. 

What a pair of branded sunglasses will cost you
Brand Price (Rs) Brand Price (Rs)
33,432-64,885 Dior 20,577-29,726
Gucci 18,693-27,594
Mont Blanc
Jimmy Choo 16,000-27,000 Giorgio Armani 14,276-22,334
Dolce & Gabbana
14,646-20,504 Tom Ford 9,009-22,358
Hugo Boss 7,288-20,039 Carrera 7,080-15,080
Michael Kors 7,896-13,462 The Monk 5,555-15,000
5,000-12,419 Rayban 5,290-10,090
Vogue  5,990-7,190    

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