Having jumped on this bandwagon long before I ever got the chance to write about it, I figure it’s more than time to fortify the status of cat eye glasses as a 2011 fashion trend. So without further ado let’s take a trip back in time as we explore the ’50s eyewear phenomenon as it was then, and how to translate it to today’s look.
Cat eye sunglasses at Giles Deacon, SS11
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Far from being a stand-alone trend, the resurgence of cat eye glasses and cat eye sunglasses is rooted firmly in the revival of ’50s and early ’60s fashion. Some designers featured them prominently in Fall – Prada, notably – and since then a plethora of alternatives have surfaced.
Prada AW10 cats eye glasses
The trend towards ’50s sunglasses continued on the spring 2011 runways: from the extreme retro frames at Giles Deacon and Jeremy Scott through to subtle cat eye shapes at the likes of Paul Smith, Tommy Hilfiger, and Twenty8Twelve.
Cat eye glasses at Jeremy Scott, SS11
Generally speaking a cat eye frame with rounded-out edges will work wonders for a square face or diamond shaped face. A round face can benefit from sharper edges, or large frames that curve upwards subtly. All that said though, the rules are never hard and fast: the best option is always to try, try, try on pairs until you work out what’s right for your face shape and hairstyle.
Cat eye sunglasses at Paul Smith SS11
Get the right pair of 50s-inspired glasses or sunglasses and you’ll find they can work with many an outfit, from the very modern to the utterly vintage. If you’re going for a vintage inspired look, stick to anything from the ’40s through to the ’60s. While ’70s fashion is also seeing a major comeback, it’s an era best suited to round frames.
Anna Dello Russo in cat eye sunglasses
For those afflicted, it’s useful to see myopia or hyperopia as an opportunity to accessorise, rather than as a disadvantage. And why shouldn’t we? Specs have become the accessory du jour even for those who don’t require them. So regardless of whether you wear glasses by necessity or by choice, remember that an on-trend pair are the way to go. And retro glasses are definitely the way to go right now.
If you want to make a strong statement, try a pair of cat-eye or harlequin glasses with diamond-shaped lenses that point sharply out. For an everyday pair pair that will last, keep low-key and subtle with a slight flare out at the edges.
Anna Dello Russo's puff of white (14 Feb 2012)