Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Future Is Now

Heard about the Dragon APX? We're big fans. The first time we set eyes on the beast we were a little shocked. Frankly we'd never seen anything like it. I mean look at it - it's basically one giant bug-eyed lens, more at home in a sci-fi film than on a ski-slope.

But that's exactly what Dragon Alliance do - push the envelope and boldly go where no man has gone before. The frameless design of the Dragon APX is a world first - there's never been a goggle like it. And to make sure their world first could handle the heat of the slopes (or should that be the chill of the slopes?) Dragon set up the APX R&D cabin...

Where better to test a groundbreaking goggle than 12,000 feet up in the San Juan mountains? Looks like they had a pretty good time testing it too, in what looks like the best snow nature has to offer. We're still waiting on our invite out there though. Dragon? Hello? Maybe it's in the post...

The APX spent literally seconds on our shelves before being sent all over the world to some seriously lucky skiers and snowboarders. We've just got them back in, so get 'em while they're cold.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

When Sunglasses Retire

History is all too easily forgotten. Unless someone's there to count and record everything that happens there's bound to be things that slip the mind. It's not so bad when we forget the dull things, but when we struggle to remember the stuff we used to treasure it's a touch more troubling.

Safilo don't want to forget a thing. Their heritage of crafting the most exquisite of sunglasses is, understandably, important to them and the reason why they pooled together their resources to open the Guglielmo Tabacchi Gallery. It's the largest collection of private eyewear in the world, with pieces dating from as far back as 1285, and a testament to all things Safilo.

Currently only open to members of the press and special guests of Safilo, the gallery features everything from oil paintings of medieval eyewear, to early design sketches of current pieces, and extensive collections of vintage sunglasses.

Some of the luckier members from the Sunglasses Shop crew were invited to the gallery for a closer look at a slice of sunglasses history. While there was some really out-there vintage sunglasses locked in the glass display cabinets, there were a few styles we recognised that have since made a comeback. They do say trends work in circles after all.

Piqued your interest? Forget about passports and plane tickets, take a virtual tour over at the site instead.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Three Shades From Back In The Day

Sunglasses haven't been around forever. But sun protection goes back a little further than you might think... and in ways you might not expect. Check out this cool fella.

We don't blame you if you don't recognise them - they're not a style of Ray-Ban we're familiar with either. In fact it's an eskimo wearing an eye guard carved from the bone of a walrus - there's plenty of polar, but no polarised lenses for this cheeky bearded chap.

Once upon a time in China, judges from medieval courts wore smoked-lens eye-glasses to hide their eyes and stop them unwittingly giving away their decisions to criminals under judgment. The earliest incarnation of the John Lennon-esque teashade, the round lens trend that dominates sunglasses fashion today can be traced all the way back to the lowlands of 15th century China.

Protecting eyes and correcting eyes - glasses were doing that way before Sam Foster peddled his home-made sunglasses on the boardwalk of Atlantic city. As far back as 1752 blue- and green-coloured lenses were prescribed to people sensitive to light. Not quite as trendy as the Ray-Ban Wayfarer though eh?