Thursday, 20 September 2012

The 5 Most Bizarre-Looking Vintage Sunglasses

Don't get us wrong - we love vintage sunglasses. How could we not? Most of the current trends in sunglasses are directly inspired by the shades of yesteryear. All of today's sunglasses came to life after experiments with style, but sometimes the results of those experiments caught the eye for all the wrong reasons.

#5 Ridiculously Oversized

Victoria Beckham helped springboard the oversized sunglasses trend almost ten years ago - but maybe she took her inspiration for her bug-eyed style from the dress sense of fashionistas from the past? These bug-eyed shades can definitely be called oversized... 

#4 The Blackout Effect

Probably not the most practical sunglasses - but when has fashion ever been about practicality? The silhouette of the shades are really feminine - almost cartoonishly so - and teamed with the model's pout they actually look quite good. Maybe it's time for a catwalk revival?

#3 The Asymmetric

One of the key rules of sunglasses is symmetry. They should always match - so this sixties frame from the mod sphere of fashion is about as wild as it gets. It's impossible to say what kind of face shape these would suit - if one side of your face is gently curved and the other square, maybe you should hunt down a pair.

#2 The Wraparound

Wraparound sunglasses have been on the market for years, but the concept has never been taken this far. The whole point of sunglasses is to keep sunlight away from eyes - so maybe these are the best sunglasses ever?

#1 The Venetian Blinds

Kanye West may have popularised shutter shades after famously wearing them in his video to Stronger, but he certainly didn't invent them. They first appeared halfway through the Twentieth Century, but that didn't stop Time Magazine putting Venetian Blind sunglasses at number 32 in the top 50 worst inventions of all time.

If you're after vintage style, then give our collection a browse. We have hundreds of wild, retro-inspired styles available, like the newest Prada frames:

Monday, 17 September 2012

Chanel sunglasses in 2013 - the collection of glamour

Chanel sunglasses are always at the top of the bestseller lists. Interest in Chanel never dies. Coco Chanel forged a legendary career by designing truly timeless pieces that don't fall foul of changing trends. As that other famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent said: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

And the same goes for Chanel eyewear. Karl Lagerfeld sits at the helm of the world's biggest fashion house and adheres to the same principles of design that Coco did when creating famous pieces like her luxurious quilted handbags. Timeless style is everything.
Maïwenn Le Besco models a pair of sunglasses from Chanel 2013

Karl has taken to a new muse - Maïwenn Le Besco - and his inspiration can be felt throughout the 2013 collection with much of the style taking tips from Chanel's Little
Black Jacket exhibition, shot by Karl himself.

The 2013 collection features a range of experimental styles that push the style envelope further than it's gone before. Building on Dolce and Gabbana's experiment with embedding lace deep inside the acetate of the frame, Chanel have taken it a step further and embedded material at a shallower depth. The aesthetics of acetate and material combine to create a ridged effect quite unlike anything seen before in a sunglass - it can be seen on the arm of the frame in the press shot hovering just a little bit above this sentence.

Chanel's eyewear collection for 2013 is full of unique flourishes of style. The idea of embedded materials goes a step further with the Chanel 501S6 - this feminine frame is complete with pearls embedded along the entire length of the brow. A new definition of glamour in sunglasses.

Friday, 14 September 2012

What Are Polarised Sunglasses?

What are polarised sunglasses? It's one of the most frequent questions we're asked. Making sunglasses isn't quite as simple as sticking a brown-coloured lens into a plastic frame. There are a whole variety of ways that lenses can manipulate the Sun's rays, and polarisation is one of the many techniques of limiting the light that streams through a lens. But why describe with words when you can see for yourself? 

Both of these images were taken today. The image to the left is just a standard photo from a cameraphone, but the other is slightly different. In the image to the right, the reduced glare on the water's surface and smaller halo of light around the Sun are thanks to a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses (with PolarisedPlus2 lenses) held over the camera lens.

At least half of the bright light is reduced in the photo to the right - which shows that when you wear polarised lenses for an extended period of time, the amount of bright light your eye encounters is dramatically reduced. It's good for your long term eye health, for one thing, but even better for your quality of vision.

In more technical terms, polarised lenses filter out sunlight of a specific polarity. Light from the sun is completely raw and without polarity, but when it reflects off a surface it becomes horizontally polarised light - also known as glare. Polarised lenses filter the horizontally-polarised light and cut out glare - as seen above. The clearer sea and darker clouds are all thanks to the glare reducing effects of polarised lenses.

These photos were taken during a hot and dry day, so imagine how the glare can get during an autumn evening when the road is drenched with rain and the Sun is lighting up the whole sky. Not only is it distracting, if you're driving it can even be a danger to your safety.

If you want to to see the difference that polarised sunglasses offer, grab a pair from our polarised sunglasses range. You won't regret it.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why you should know the name Italia Independent

It's not every day you hear of a brand overtaking Ray-Ban in the sales charts. Ray-Ban is one of the most successful brands EVER and dominates the global sunglasses market - when you say “sunglasses”, most people will immediately think of “Ray-Ban”. So for a brand to outsell the big RB... well, it's pretty impressive news. Especially when it's a newcomer to the scene like Italia Independent.

Brand owner Lapo Eduard Elkann lives for fashion and style
So what's the reason behind the recent success for II? It might not be immediately apparent – there are so many designer sunglasses available right now that it isn't easy for your brand to stand out, especially among the high fashion frames constantly jostling for attention by dressing up in materials of ever-increasing luxury. 

But on closer inspection, there are a few key things that II do differently. They have a simple rule - the sunglasses must be glamorous but simple. Wearable, but not pedestrian. Casual, but never forgettable. The II eyewear offers something different and, in a market saturated by black wayfarers, that goes a long way for people hunting for new eyewear.

Sure, II have frames that cater for the more outlandish trend hunters - deep in the 2013 II range lurk the only sunglasses available on the market with a frame covered in mirrored material - and a selection of their sunglasses come dressed in a velvet material that can be washed clean. There's that rule again - glamorous, but wearable. It's no use wearing a luxurious velvet if the material gets ruined after the first wear.

It remains to be seen how the brand will fare in 2013 - will it overtake Ray-Ban in the UK sales chart? Perhaps not yet, but Italia Independent is on the rise and will be hitting the boutique websites soon. If you can't wait, browse our Italia Independent frames from the 2012 collection here.