Behind the Shades

Behind the Shades

Pastels, metallic or just basic black – even though sunglasses work as a shield from the sun, in today’s society they function even more so as a way to reflect your personality. Choosing shades has become a way of choosing the identity for the season. A pair of Wayfarer’s has been branded classic chic whilst the cat eye pair flirts like the 50’s pin up. No matter the season, people will be seen in their shades and one might ask: why has this piece of plastic become such an important part of an outfit?

The essence of incognito can be found in any pair of sunglasses. It was in fact a Chinese judges who started to wear smoke colored glasses around the 1300’s to hide their eye expressions. Though, the sunglasses of today were created much later, in 1929, by Sam Foster and had then, as now, the main function of sheltering the eyes from the sun. However, celebrities soon copied the ancient judges and used sunglasses to stay unnoticed when walking amongst the regular ‘mortals’. Shades state to give a sense of privacy while making a fashion statement, putting the exclamation mark – of what a strong wearer can give – between brackets. On the other hand, the right pair of sunglasses can also add a sense of harmony to a bold print or vivid outfit.

More than putting the wearer at ease, sunglasses have also become the affordable way for people to discover and take part in the world of the fashion houses. Hearing from the red carpet the designer that a celebrity is wearing is probably not going to generate a vast increase in sales at the haute couture department, but more likely it will be the make-up and sunglasses sales that are affected: it is the affordable luxury.

All in all, sunglasses may just technically be a piece of plastic but the meaning to the wearer can be a number of things which makes them a key accessory in anyone’s wardrobe.

Victoria Edman