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All the Rage

Category: Glasses

Specs appeal: the eyes have it

Eyewear LA Eyeworks, Salt and Oliver Peoples
Remember when everyone who needed prescription eyewear seemed to be sporting a pair of barely there rimless spectacles with low-profile lenses barely bigger than a pair of postage stamps?  

While that look (circa 2002 to 2005) hasn't gone away completely, over the past half decade there's been a decided shift in the opposite direction and today ophthalmic glasses are treated as much like a fashion accessory as are their in-your-face, dark-lensed sibling sunglasses.

Why and how that happened is the focus of my story in Sunday's Image section, which has eyewear industry experts near (L.A. Eyeworks' Gai Gherardi, Oliver Peoples' Larry Leight and David Rose from Costa Mesa based Salt Optics) and far (Milena Cavicchioli, from Milan, Italy-based eyewear behemoth Luxottica Group) framing up the factors that helped eyewear, in Cavicchioli's words "step out of its traditional cage and expand into different areas of the fashion world."

In fact, eyewear frames have become such a popular accessory that even people who don't need to correct their vision are wearing glasses anyway. And we're not the only ones that have noticed -- even as Sunday's Image section was going to press, I received an email pitch on just that topic from the LasikPlus folks who noted: "Even celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Kim Kardashian who underwent LASIK have been photographed wearing frames again."

For the record, we have no idea if or when either of the two aformentioned celebrities underwent said laser vision correction procedure. But we do know that Brad Pitt turned up at the Oakland premiere of "Moneyball" in October sporting a pair of eyeglass frames with lightly tinted lenses -- which just so happens to be another topic I tackle in Sunday's Image section.   


Tom's next chapter: Sunglasses

Warby Parker's affordable, vintage-inspired eyewear

Dakota Johnson takes the plunge in Oliver Peoples' latest short

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The current crop of eye-catching eyewear includes, from left, L.A. Eyeworks' Dip (in Two Mints, $230), Salt Optics' Annabel (in Toffee Tortoise Pink, $315) and Oliver Peoples' Reeves (in Pewter/Matte Black, $440) Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Currently Coveting: Barton Perreira's retro-inspired shades

Chelsea The recent warm weather has us pining for a new pair of sunnies. And while L.A. boasts its fair share of stylish homespun eyewear companies — notably Salt Optics and L.A. Eyeworks — we're especially smitten with the fall collection from Venice-based brand Barton Perreira.

Oversized and decidedly retro, the label's looks for autumn take inspiration from iconic muses and movies from the '60s and '70s, including Marianne Faithfull and characters from "Love Story" and “Rebel Without a Cause," said brand co-founder Perreira, who explained,“Some of the frames in this collection have a real collegiate feel to the shape, while others embody the more glamorous and defiant spirit of the Chelsea music scene.”

Faithful Some of our favorite styles among the new offerings include the Faithful, oversized plastic frames that flare out at the corners in that groovy '60s way; the Chanteuse, a semi-rimless design that boasts a hand-foiled animal print detail over the eyes; and the Barrett, which was inspired by Ryan O’Neal’s character, Oliver Barrett IV, in “Love Story."

Perreira, who founded the label with Bill Barton after the pair met while working at Oliver Peoples, claims to not follow trends when she's designing — but the trendy have definitely come calling.

Celebrities including Kate Beckinsale and Angeline Jolie regularly sport BP spex, and the designer recently collaborated with Opening Ceremony and Chloe Sevigny on a limited edition collection inspired by Warhol superstar Candy Darling.

Prices for the fall collection range from $425 to $550 at Opening Ceremony and Neiman Marcus.

--Emili Vesilind

Photo: The Chelsea (top) and the Faithful (bottom), both Barton Perreira. Credit: Barton Perreira.


Your morning fashion and beauty report: Andre Leon Talley explains how to dress for Oscars' red carpet, Britney Spears' new video rocks product placement

-- It's only a few more days till the Academy Awards and Vogue's editor at large Andre Leon Talley is hoping for a red carpet that's a bit riskier. "I get so tired of people on the red carpet wearing the same borrowed jewelry, same dress with train and a few little girls with messy hair," Talley told Martha Stewart on her daytime talk show Wednesday. "I want to see people like Cher. She came like she was on her way to Las Vegas. I want to see people who take risks with their Oscar dresses." Are you listening, Hollywood? [StyleList]

Abritney -- Britney Spears reportedly made about $500,000 on product placement in the video for "Hold it Against Me." How? In the video, we see her spritzing on her own Radiance perfume, and applying Makeup Forever cosmetics, for example. Sony and the dating site Plenty of Fish are among other featured-on-purpose brands. [StyleList]

-- Kate Moss has laid to rest speculation that she will design her own dress for her wedding to rocker Jamie Hince in July. She says she has asked John Galliano to create the gown. [Telegraph]

-- Keds have been a favorite on young feet for almost 100 years. Now the brand plans to venture into sportswear, with clothing aimed at the Millennials starting in spring 2012. [WWD] (Subscription required)

-- Gogosha Optique, a favorite in Silver Lake, plans to expand with a new shop slated to open on West 3rd Street in April. [Mondette] 

-- Christopher Kane is collaborating with Los Angeles based J Brand on a denim capsule collection for resort 2012. [WWD] 

-- Todd Snyder, formerly with Ralph Lauren and J Crew, plans to launch his own men's line for fall.  [WWD] (Subscription required) 

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Britney Spears, who indeed should be smiling because her new video rocks product placement to the tune of $500,000. Credit: Radek Pietruszka / EPA

Your Stylist: Chic eyewear that looks good day and night

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column

Dear Melissa,
I am a 40+ woman who can't wear contact lenses and doesn't want to get Lasik surgery. I wear smaller earrings than I'd like, never wear a hair ornament that's visible from the front, and generally just never feel really dressed up when I still have to wear my glasses. (Which I've worn since age 7.)
It looks like the celebs who have to wear glasses are not concealing them, just wearing the boldest, thickest frames out there. But I'd also bet that they don't wear them all evening long, just when they have to read something. Please advise. Thanks very much. FS, Los Angeles

DinaelanecharleygallayGetty You’re right. You won’t catch many celebrities sporting non-tinted eyewear on the red carpet. For one, clear eyeglass lenses catch the glare of all the paparazzi bulbs flashing in their face and two, what’s the point of wearing eyewear that shows your eyes? It’s like celebrity rule No. 1 to hide behind giant sunglasses!

They may slip them on to read a Teleprompter or while scoping out the crowd to see who’s seated next to whom, but for the most part, eyeglasses are almost nonexistent at red carpet events. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

As long as you’re not going to be facing a million little flashing bulbs when you step out to go somewhere fancy, wearing eyeglasses with a more dressed up look is totally possible. Take a look at how Diane Lane did it at the Artists for Peace & Justice event. She wore a simple, nude sheath dress and a pair of barely there, clear frame eyeglasses that kept in line with her minimal look. She looked chic, modern and understated and seemed to wear her specs on and off the red carpet.

If you’re wearing a simple outfit with clean lines, in earth tones like Lane, this minimal look in eyewear is best. Prada makes a pair of glasses that are almost frameless, except for a thin gold top and simple black arms ($315). Tiffany & Co’s beige frames have a skin tone quality that will blend in to the rest of you and not compete with your other accessories ($220)

Keeping your specs really understated so they hopefully go unnoticed is one way to work this. But as youVPR 53N AB6-1O1  mentioned, you can also go for bold and really make a statement with your eyewear. 

A lot of celebrities such as Justine Timberlake, Jay Z and Katy Perry have worn their thick, black eyeglass frames onto the red carpet or out for a formal event. Perry went for a very retro cat eye shape, with rhinestones speckled at each corner. While the pop star looked the part of a very glamorous DG3088G 501'50s housewife, wearing such a dated shape can look costume-y when trying to pair them with something more formal, as well as overshadow the rest of your outfit and other accessories. Choose something bold, but a bit less intense. This pair from Dolce & Gabbana ($375), has a statement-making shape and color, plus a smattering of rhinestones on the temples. These look much more "Mad Men" than Dame Edna and I’m guessing you would agree with me, that that’s a good thing.TF 2034 8106

Color is obviously a great way to make a statement with your eyewear, but it can also be limiting to how you can wear them. If you’re wearing a gown, I’d stay away from funky frames in a bright color, but if you’re wearing a chic gray or black suit, heels and a few pieces of great jewelry, colorful frames can really set off the whole look. L.A. Eyeworks makes some really fun pairs like the “Bent” in white, “Bing” in Big Pink and “Drago” in Red Rose Split. They’re slightly eccentric, but memorable and definitely stylish.

Dragoredrosesplit Just because you wear eyeglasses doesn’t mean you must forgo jewelry or settle with feeling un-dressed up. Glasses, like any other accessory, can work to shape your overall look -- be that formal or casual. Just pick the right pair that goes with your face shape and taste and maybe invest in a dressy pair to wear to nice events or just whenever you feel the need to look a little more glamorous.

Send your style queries to

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Top, Diane Lane at the Artists for Peace and Justice event/Charley Gallay, Getty; right, Prada, $260, at Lenscrafters/Prada;  left, Dolce & Gabbana, $375, at Lenscrafters/Dolce & Gabbana; right, Tiffany & Co., $220, at Lenscfraters/Tiffany & Co.; left, L.A Eyeworks "Drago" in red rose split at L.A Eyeworks/L.A.Eyeworks

Prada launches a collection of customizable sunglasses

Lettering prada privateTapping into our current fascination with all things personalized (thanks, Facebook), Prada will launch a collection of sunglasses exclusively at The Sunglass Hut on Thursday that enables wearers to customize the letters and symbols on the temple of their frames.

The collection, called PradaPrivate, features chic, oversized plastic frames in black, white and tortoiseshell ($365 each) that come with 45 letters, numbers and symbols (a heart, a skull and a star, chiefly) that are interchangeable.

Each sunglass arm has a tiny removable section that screws on and off, allowing the letters, symbols and numbers to be screwed on in any configuration.

So you can sport your initials one day, and "E+J" the next. Because shouldn't your sunnies — at the very least — be all about you?

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: PradaPrivate's interchangeable temple pieces. Credit: Prada.


Gucci, Armani Exchange debut stylish 3D glasses


3-D never looked so good. Gucci and Armani, two of the biggest names in Italian fashion, have announced plans to sell branded 3-D glasses for use while viewing movies and television in the increasingly common 3-D format.

Both unisex versions are based on the classic '80s aviator silhouette, are produced under license by Safilo Group, use the same technology in their lenses, and look pretty similar.

True, if you look close enough, there are subtle details; Gucci's version bears its familiar green and red web stripe detail at the temples and center brow bar, and a "Gucci 3D" logo on the right lens. The Armani Exchange-branded version (which the company describes as an updated navigator silhouette) has "AX 3D" printed on the upper left lens and "Armani Exchange 3D" printed on the left temple. 

The biggest difference seems to be the price tag -- Gucci's pair, which will be available exclusively at the brand's U.S. boutiques in December, sells for $225, while the Armani Exchange spectacles, also available in December, will retail at Armani Exchange stores and online at for just $58.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Luxury labels now offering stylish 3-D eyewear include Armani Exchange (left, Credit: Armani Exchange) and Gucci (right, Credit: Gucci.)

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Ray-Ban aviators are back. Samantha Cameron's fashions. Chanel's Cruise 2011 show

Tom cruise top gun

Someone tell Tom Cruise: Ray-Ban relaunches aviator glasses. [WWD, subscription required]

Britain has a new prime minister. So what's in his wife's wardrobe? [Huffington Post]

Chanel's Cruise 2011 show involved motorboats, a motorcycle and Crystal Renn. [Fashionologie]

Cate Blanchett will wear Alexander McQueen at Cannes. [WWD]

Former supermodel Beverly Peele is in "serious condition" after a car crash. [TMZ]

Whitney Port talks her clothing line, Kelly Cutrone. [Elle]

"Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher launches lifestyle website. [Daily Mail]

Rosella Giuliani tapped to oversee Gap's 1969 jeans collection. [WWD, subscription required]

Kim Kardashian launches contest to design fragrance packaging to benefit breast cancer. [StyleList]

Model Noémie Lenoir is hospitalized after being found unconscious in a forest. [Daily Mail]

Transgenders win discrimination issue with American Eagle, whose employee handbook had stated that men couldn't wear women's clothing and vise versa. [N.Y. Daily News]

More photos of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's modeling days. [Styleite]

Louis Vuitton launches Young Arts project in London. [Guardian]

The latest counterfeiting trend? Big brands swipe from boutiques. [The Trim]

Victoria's Secret asks 'what is sexy?' Jezebel is not amused with the answer. [Jezebel]

Discreet and retro-style handbags [Telegraph]

-- Whitney Friedlander

Photo: A scene from "Top Gun." Credit: Paramount

A Balmain accessory for $595? You heard right.


You might not be able to afford Balmain's signature military jackets that can cost about $11,000, but now you can wear a spring accessory from the Paris fashion house for a fraction of that price: $595.

Christophe Decarnin, who led a revival of the 65-year-old name by foisting a broad-shouldered silhouette that had Beyonce and Rihanna rocking his epaulets last spring, collaborated with local eyewear company Oliver Peoples for two limited-edition unisex sunglasses. The first style, the Balmain I, is out in April and available at Oliver Peoples' boutiques.* The Balmain II is slated to drop in June.

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with such a talented designer," says Oliver Peoples founder Larry Leight. "Christophe’s visionary designs and his progressive, bold styling has revamped the concept of rock 'n' roll chic. I swear that guy could send a mullet down the runway and make it look sexy as hell.”

The Balmain I features a metal top-bar wrap in a 1980s retro-wrap style that resembles specs worn by "Rio"-era Duran Duran. The Balmain II is an interpretation of a double-bridge aviator in gold or silver. 

-- Max Padilla

* An earlier version of the post said the Balmain I glasses would be available in late March. A company rep said the sunglasses would be available in Oliver Peoples stores in April.

Photo: The Balmain I. Credit: Oliver Peoples

Shopping: Gimme Albert Maysles’ eyeglasses!

Albert MayslesBarneys New YorkBarton Perreira

ALBERT MAYSLES2_5X7_1Albert Maysles, along with his late brother David, directed documentaries such as “Gimme Shelter” and “Grey Gardens” that captured the 1970s-era zeitgeist and set the bar for documentary filmmaking.

“Grey Gardens,” which revealed the squalid surroundings of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis'  cousin Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, set fashion trends in recent years. The film unsparingly depicts former socialite Beale’s ingenuity as she crafts outfits and her trademark turbans out of old swimsuits, flags, aprons and tablecloths. Maysles appears in the film with his signature eyeglasses interviewing Little Edie.

Barton Perreira, based in Irvine, teamed with Barneys New York to honor the legendary documentarian with an Albert Maysles frame sold exclusively through the department store.

Maysles, egged on by Judy Collinson, Barneys' general merchandise manager, mailed in his own eyeglass frames that he’s worn since the 1960s to Patty Perreira, Barton Perreira’s designer. She reproduced the spectacles in new lighter materials and colors, including black, cloud and white.

The limited-quantity Albert Maysles frame sells for $350 and a percent of sales benefits the Maysles Institute, which operates a documentary film theater in Manhattan and a summer youth film program.

9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 276-4400. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

-- Max Padilla

Photo credit: Barton Perreira

Complete your Public Service hours at this Fairfax Avenue grand opening party

Public Service clothing shop Public Service sounds like the latest traffic court penalty, but it’s actually a new men’s boutique behind Shorty’s Barber Shop on Fairfax Avenue.

Owners Lauren Megson and Chris Bair, who also owns Shorty’s, decided to convert the rear of the barbershop into a retail area that resembles a 1970s rec room with table tennis, air hockey and gymnasium wood floors.

Public Service stocks shirts, outerwear and leathers from L.A.-based brands NSF, Ever, Apolis Activism and Shades of Greige. Angelenos can’t get enough of loungewear, so the boutique carries an large assortment of hoodies, henleys and sweat pants from LnA, Alternative Apparel and Plain Gravy.

Gift merch (yes, that season is upon us) includes novelty graphic T-shirts ($30-40), Comme des Garcons fragrances, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Brixton fedoras and a contraption called Clocky, which is an alarm clock that falls on the floor and keeps ringing before you have a chance to knock it off the nightstand. 

Public Service clothing shop On Thursday, Public Service celebrates its grand opening with an open-bar celebration from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call store to RSVP.

755 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 951-1191. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

-- Max Padilla

Photo credits: Public Service


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