Sunglass styles for summer 2009: Flashy and extra large

April 4th, 2009 - 9:39 am ICT by IANS  

By Melanie Brandl
Hamburg (Germany), April 4 (DPA) Large, colourful and flashy. Sunglass fashion this summer is definitely conspicuous.

“Colourful frames are hot and as well as frames with way-out patterns, such as spider webs, peace signs or skulls,” said Gabriele Gerling of Germany’s central association of opticians in Dusseldorf.

Retro is the number one catchword. However, the styles are not reverting to fashion trends just from the 1950s and 1960s. This year everything from the 1930s to the 1970s is represented.

What all new styles have in common is the extra large format. Especially large, striking sunglasses are setting the tone, according to Kerstin Kruschinski of an independent initiative in Berlin dedicated to awareness training in everything to do with eyewear and vision.

“The large lenses protect the eye and the sensitive thin skin in the eye area,” said Kruschinski. In this way, the glasses help prevent early development of wrinkles and conceal, when necessary, the aftermath of a long night of partying.

The large lenses are combined with new materials, colours and design. All types of adornments and precious optical characteristics are a must for sunglasses in the glamorous look category, said Kruschinski.

“Elaborate design elements turn the frame into a proper piece of jewellery,” she said. Gucci, for example, has adorned its current models with flowering rivets and coat-of-arm details. Dior has lavishly decorated its wide-framed sunglasses with Swarovski-Strass elements. And fashion designer Christian Audigier has come up with shrill colours in his Ed Hardy label.

The logos of the makers are also eye-catching. Whether the designer is Emporio Armani or Adidas, their logos are both an identifier and decoration at the same time. Esprit has gone ahead and packaged its sunglasses as jewellery. Protected in a soft clutch bag, which comes in lacquered black or gold, the sunglasses make an impression even when they are stored away and tucked under the arm.

Luxury and opulence are hot, said Frank Hof of Munich’s trade fair organisation, which runs a show for opticians, referring to the most expensive sunglasses in the world.

“Rodenstock has just presented them as a prototype. The front of the frame is made of carbon and the part that goes over the ear is made of 18-karat plated gold,” said Hof. A hundred sunglasses will be made, each costing about 10,000 euros ($13,500).

But not everyone likes to wear sunglasses that are as valuable as a small car or glittering piece of jewellery. Those with simpler tastes can choose aviator sunglasses for the coming season. There are many interpretations of the classic style on the market.

“Aviator sunglasses are becoming a basic in the classic-sporty area,” said Kruschinski. “Their advantage: They have a style that is irrespective of age, gender and class.”

Aside from the shapes and colours of the frames, the colour of the lenses can also vary. Gerling said especially popular are tint-in-tint lenses. Brown-to-grey tints are suited especially well for the street because they distort colour perception the least. Red, violet and green lenses are also found in this year’s array of sunglasses.

Rodenstock is even offering its customers the opportunity to select their preferred lens colour. This ensures that the sunglasses match make-up and the colour of the paint on the convertible.

How well sunglasses filter sunlight depends not on the colour of the lens, rather on the darkness of its tint. Sunglasses worn for a walk on the beach should be relatively dark in tint, said Kruschinski.

The glare shield scale goes from zero to four, and because water and sand reflect sunlight, sunglasses worn in the Mediterranean area should be category three at least, she said. Sunglasses worn shopping in the city should be category two. Glasses that change turn darker as UV light intensifies are especially practical.

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