There are just some things that stay with you from a movie; a phrase, a look, a laugh but almost always it’s the fashion that sticks and in particular – the sunglasses.
In this feature we take a tour of some of the most celebrated sunglasses of the silver screen. Eyewear that has endured and gone on to epitomise the films and the artists involved for decades to come.
Take the heart sunglasses worn in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita’. The publicity image used of Lo Haze sucking a red lollipop framed by her bright red acetate heart frames is seared into pop culture consciousness. Then there is Audrey Hepburn wearing her Oliver Goldsmith ‘Manhattans’ in the 1961 film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn plays the charming and glamourous Holly Golighty. The image of her clutching a croissant with a silk gloved hand and full evening attire, whilst seductively peering over her sunglasses through the window of Tiffany’s is infamous.
Certain sunglasses are now synonymous with the actors and actresses who first wore them, with the films almost certainly reaching cult status due to the continued celebration of the eyewear featured. Movies such as Risky Business with Tom Cruise, in his classic black Ray Ban Wayfarers. Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair, who’s blue-lensed collapsible Persol sunglasses were auctioned off for $60,000 in 2006.
Michael Caine was another supporter of Oliver Goldsmith. In his 1963 film The Ipcress File, Caine plays Harry Palmer and is famously seen wearing heavy black spectacles, a dark tailored suit and a classic trench coat. This iconic image of him features The Lord, as spectacles, and is a look that continues to be replicated time and time again. As they say, a classic never goes out of fashion.
There was no shortage of good shades in the film Scarface. Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) had an incredible collection. Big flashy aviators by Carrera and Porsche featured throughout and oozed opulence and loud luxury which personified the Colombian cartel member.
The Ray-Ban ‘Shooters’ worn by Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing are another cult frame. The big, deep tear-drop shape and acrid yellow lenses were the perfect fit for this tumultuous character and were the most defining accessory of the film.
Lastly, we return to Audrey Hepburn, but this time in her role as Joanna in Two for the Road. Her huge white wrap around sunglasses were made by Oliver Goldsmith and were not only worn throughout the film but even featured on the movie poster. She also chose to wear them off-screen and there are countless publicity images of her on holiday or out and about wearing the YUHU. This pair of sunglasses has never been replicated, not at least until last year when OG re-released this dramatic and unique frame. So why not channel your inner movie icon and invest in a cult classic?