The trendy monocle? It sounds nuts
On the way in to work today, NPR let me know that -- based on a report in the Daily Telegraph -- the monocle is poised to become trendy across the pond.
According to the Telegraph article by Harry Wallop, the Vision Express chain is responding to an "unexpected spate of requests" for the nearly extinct style of eyewear, and will start offering the affectation of aristocracy in its central London stores for 50 pounds (about $81 at current exchange rates).
Locally, trendy eyewear boutique L.A. Eyeworks -- which stocks a surprisingly wide selection -- hasn't experienced a noticeable spike in sales recently, though marketing director Angela Gee noted that it had sold out of a special 2009 version that commemorated the company's 30th anniversary (as well as the 50th anniversary of the peace symbol).
"Magnifying peace monocles" have been a staple at the store for over 15 years -- crafted from optical plastics and available in a range of styles that have, in the past, included frames in purple, tortoiseshell, and neon orange and black.
And if the idea of clenching the lens between brow and cheek whilst counting your cartoon bags of money conjures up images of Planters' Mr. Peanut mascot or "Hogan's Heroes" Col. Klink, think again.
"Ours aren't intended to be worn in the eye," Gee explained. "They hang around the neck on a cord and you hold it up to your eye when you need to see something better."
The peace monocles can be found at both local L.A. Eyeworks outposts (7386 Beverly Blvd. and 7407 Melrose Avenue) for $65, as well as at A + R (1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice) and OK (8303 West 3rd St.).
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: Well-known users of the aristocratic affectation known as the monocle include Planters' Mr. Peanut mascot (top) and the Col. Klink character from "Hogan's Heroes" (played by Werner Klemperer, center). Local eyewear boutique L.A. Eyeworks has been making a monocle with a decidedly less stuffy feel (bottom) for the last 15 years. Credit: David Fitzgerald / Los Angeles Times (top), AP file photo (center), and L.A. Eyeworks (bottom).