Trends, be definition are fleeting. But, what about cat eye sunglasses? Are they something that will be obsolete to the fashion conscious next season, or are they built to last?
Cat eye sunglasses seem to be that rare fashion article that is a permanent part of our lives. Much like denim will always be around in one form or another, it seems that cat eye sunglasses may evolve, but they will never go out of fashion.
Part of the evidence lies in the fact cat eye glasses have been around since before World War II, and are still considered the height of fabulous fashion. The face that updates like the Korean style cat eye sunglasses become so popular also indicate that cat eye sunglasses are here to stay.
The endurance of this design is a tribute to the vision of their creator, Altina Schinasi. Schinasi wanted to create eyeglasses that were a work of art. Art never goes out of style. She managed to create a design that does everything she wanted. Cat eye sunglasses look great on the human face. They project sexiness and femininity while also being symbols of strength. Everything in the design blends together to make something more beautiful than the component parts. The glasses are also practical. Cat eye glasses work great with long hair and short hair. Unlike many glasses, they also look great when a woman puts her hair up. (This is no doubt, part of the reason cat eye glasses are so often associated with the beehive hairdo).
Schinasi’s design has something for everyone. It is youthful, but elegant. Cat eye sunglasses are not out of place at an exclusive Greek Mediterranean resort or at a rock concert. These glasses manage to be modern and retro, chic and practical, all at the same time.
Cat eye sunglasses will always be what the cool kids are wearing.SHOP THIS LOOK
Why All the Cool Kids Are Still Wearing Cat Eye Sunglasses
If you care at all about fashion or celebrities, you have noticed the return of cat eye sunglasses. These sunglasses are by everyone from Katy Perry to the Kardashian sisters, to hipster icon Zooey Deschanel. For many, this current fashion trend is a throwback to the 1950’s and 19660’s. But, cat eye sunglasses are even more retro than that. The complete story of this staple of eyeglass fashion is worthy of a blockbuster Hollywood movie, filled with chic heiresses, bitter disappointments, torrid romances, and driven by girl power.
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Each generation of fashionistas put their own unique twist on cat eye sunglasses. The most popular glasses today are the Korean style cat eye sunglasses, slightly more rounded and oversized. Originally this style was not for sunglasses at all. Cat eye glasses were created as an answer to the ugly utilitarian glasses made for women by men who didn’t understand how vital glasses would be to fashion for the next century.
The Korean style cat eye sunglasses are just the most recent take on a classic look that has captivated movie starlets, artists, designers, and lovers of beauty since the 1930s.
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Today eyeglasses and sunglasses are normal and accepted. But, that was not always the case. Before cat eye glasses and sunglasses, most eyeglasses were ugly. People were ashamed to wear them. There was a cultural idea that glasses made you weak if you were a man and unsexy if you were a woman. This was a time when feminist write Dorothy Parker was writing articles with titles like, Men Seldom Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses.
Cultural attitudes began the change towards glasses as intelligence began to me more valued as the world moved into the Atomic Era. But, the biggest thing Harlequin glasses did for women was make wearing glasses fashionable and sexy. The advent of the Harlequin glasses and later the cat eye glasses and cat eye sunglasses were about girl power. They came along with the rise of the women’s movement as women everywhere became empowered and sought to control their own bodies and image.
Cat eye sunglasses are a symbol of changing cultural changes that started as a ripple in the 1940s, became a wave in the 1960s, and are now a normal part of our cultural currents. Cat eye glasses are more than just a fashion statement; they are a statement of belonging to a tradition of strong, fabulous women.
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No discussion about cat eye sunglasses would be complete without mentioning the global fashion icons that have helped propel the signature look since the 1940s.
Successful actresses Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, and Eleanor Parker helped popularize the look of Harlequin glasses by wearing them both in their movies and in various publicity shots meant to show them in their everyday lives. New York socialite sisters Jayne and Audrey Meadows also helped popularize the look among the City’s elite.
But, it is in the 1950s and 1960s that the look becomes iconic. Two women in particular are mostly responsible for making cat eye sunglasses and eyeglasses an essential piece of fashion: Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy.
The First Lady of the United States and the First Lady of Hollywood wore the cat eye sunglasses in thousands of different pictures in magazines and newspapers. Audrey Hepburn, unforgettably, wore a pair of cat eye sunglasses in her iconic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Jackie Kennedy was often seen in newsreel footage wearing her famous pillbox hat and a pair of dark cat eye sunglasses. When two of the most famous fashion icons of the era embrace the same style, is guaranteed to be seen everywhere.
The cat eye sunglasses look became so tied to the 50’s and 60’s because women everywhere want to look like Audrey and Jackie. Now, whenever someone spots a pair of cat eye sunglasses they aren’t thinking about glamorous 1940s New York socialites. Everyone is just thinking about the 50s and 60s.
The resurgence of the cat eye sunglasses is, in part, due to the influence of today’s fashion icons. The only difference is that with the web, reality TV, and so many different channels and movies, one or two people often have less influence over fashion.
Some of today’s icons that are frequently spotted with cat eye sunglasses include Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry. For the past several years whenever spring and summer roll around the look seems to be on every beach and on every celebrity magazine cover. When you watch any celebrity gossip TV show, you are almost guaranteed to see footage of some famous celebrity frolicking on a tropical beach sporting a pair of cat eye sunglasses.SHOP THIS LOOK
Why are the cat eye sunglasses so popular again? Once reason is that they basic look compliments a face. But, another reason is the power of the Korean style cat eye sunglasses.
Theses sunglasses keep the best parts of the traditional look, with the soft rounded bottoms that match the natural curves of the face, and pair them with a strong frame that allows for a variety of different designs and architectures. But, the Korean style glasses update the look. The frames and lenses are larger, making them look oversized. But, because they keep enough of the classic design, they don’t look ridiculous of frumpy. Instead they project luxury, elegance, and a certain coy playfulness.
Korean style cat eye glasses perfectly compliment petite, round faces. They manage to increase the sense of allure and vivaciousness while still doing their main job, shielding the eyes from the glaring sun.
It seems like every decade since the 1940s has its own version of the cat eye sunglasses. While the most classic look will always be Audrey Hepburn’s dark glasses from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the Korean style lets modern women put their own stamp on eyeglass fashion while still paying homage to what has come before.
While nobody can see into the future, it would not be surprising at all for people to associate the Korean style cat eye sunglasses with fashion in the 2010s and 2020s.SHOP THIS LOOK
One of the big differences between now and the 1960s is that regional trendsetters play as important a role in spreading fashion as major celebrities like actresses and musicians. These regional trendsetters include YouTube stars and fashion bloggers.
Part of the reason for all of the retro trends in general, and the cat eye sunglass resurgence in particular, has to do with these regional trendsetters. They have helped push the fashion world back into being in love with designs that both look great and are practical. Their love of classic, retro designs has been contagious.
You see cat eye sunglasses and other retro inspired fashion ideas on Facebook and Pinterest. Most of the time, the ideas and the images can be traced back the YouTube stars and fashion bloggers who are constantly sharing their love of great design.
The Korean style cat eye sunglass look has proven to be particularly popular with young women and teenagers. They have found the best way to be on the daring, cutting edge of fashion is to update classic looks.SHOP THIS LOOK
Gone are the days when glasses and sunglasses were just something useful. Sunglasses are now firmly entrenched as an essential fashion accessory. Celebrities use them when trying to go around town incognito, to protect their vision while on the beach or at the slopes, and to just look fabulous while attending awards shows and Fashion Week events. Sunglasses are often worn by the très chic even on cloudy days, where there is no danger of sun glare.
Sunglasses can be used both to compliment an ensemble and to make a statement. In our society today a great pair of sunglasses symbolizes an embrace of fun and wealth.SHOP THIS LOOK
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