Even with summer winding down, the truly fashion conscious types are looking to the fall styles in sunglasses. In fact, some people are such sunglass freaks that they have a constant urge to update their personal collections. With sunglasses ever changing and manufactured with continually improving frames and lenses, how could the really cool be satisfied with just one pair?
Increasingly, fashion designers are including sunglasses with their latest clothing line.Ray-Ban by Bausch & Lomb has demonstrated that eyewear can communicate style more effectively than any other accessory. Ray-Ban has been designing protective lenses that stop ultraviolet and infrared light for military pilots since 1930.
It wasn't until 1936 that the regular consumer started wearing the sunglasses. After that, the now-famous aviator-style large metal sunglasses became a fashion symbol throughout the world.
By the 1940s, Ray-Ban became widely accepted by commercial pilots, police, yachtsmen and other outdoorsy types - and finally, Hollywood. In 1952, the Wayfarer style joined the Ray-Ban line. It was valued immediately for its classic simplicity, sound construction and excellent fitting qualities.
In 1962, Ray-Ban introduced impact-resistant lenses, 10 years before the FDA regulation requiring that all sunglasses be made that way. Today, the classic models are still popular, with ambermatic, green, neutral gray, brown and changeable photochromatic colors.
Ray-Ban Classics include the Tortuga collection, sunglasses that combine the styling of the classic metal frame with the traditional look of tortoise.
This fall, Ray-Ban is offering two new sunglass styles - SIDE STREET and CHAOS. Sidestreet offers small metal frames (oval, square or rectangular), as well as a wrap style in black or smoky, translucent frames, while Chaos presents jeweled temple and bridge treatments and unique frame coloration. It is available in gold or silver metal frames.
Both collections are designed for an urban, youthful feel with a modern sensibility that is unisex in appeal. They feature sleek frame designs and new treatments - a matte-metal finish that is as light and futuristic as titanium - and a translucent, smoky plastic.
Another of the world's leading eyewear designers is Alain Mikli, who has designed lines for Ray-Ban, Izzard for Opto-Inter in Japan and several others. Currently, he has license agreements with Claude Montana, Jil Sander, Philippe Starck and Marithe & Girbaud.
Alain designs eyewear of all types for all fashions.
For instance, he offers graceful, mysterious, feminine, timelessly chic eyewear to go with the fitted suit, the little black dress and the structured bag. He offers a modified cat shape eyeglass to oversized oval or rectangular frames in tortoise.
In sunglasses, Alain's '95 collection includes a spectacular return to the giant acetate frame. There is also the luxurious and sporty metal in 24-carat gold plating, with assorted 24-cart mirrored sun lenses. His sunglasses for both men and women sport a contemporary design, a combination of black metal and somber colors.
There is also the futuristic, carefully designed line of aerodynamic glasses. These are made of metal with acetate inlays and beveled facets, each frame as beautiful as a scupture.
In acetate, glasses go big, with a touch of retro, reminiscent of the '60s. The cellulose acetate used in the frames is considered the leading frame material and is produced for Alain by Mazzucchelli of Italy. Cellulose Acetate is derived from natural cotton and wood fibers and is subjected to a process of coloring, cutting, molding and steaming to achieve the necessary characteristics.
While most other eyewear manufacturers choose from existing colors, Alain personally designs his colorations, which can take as long as two years to produce.
His first metal designs were produced in 1985 and offer lightweight comfort and daring contemporary styles. Many are plated with precious metals like gold, silver, palladium and rhodium.
The colors by Alain are grey, brown or green gradation that filter out the sun, thanks to 100 percent UV protection. The wrap frame, ultimately larger than life, is IN. There are three types of rectangular sunglasses for three different attitudes - frosted crystal acetate with tortoise shell temples, for simple sophistication.
For the Hollywood star, the frame is entirely in tortoise shell or all black. Finally, for the highly feminine look, there is frosted turquoise, pink, violet or sky blue. Bandeau sunglasses are the rectangular shapes matched with such young bright colors as red and golden yellow, or more classic colors like black, tortoiseshell and crystal.
Alain uses both plastic CR 39 or mineral (glass) lenses for his sunglasses. Both are treated to protect against UVA and UVB rays (UV 4000 to a level of 100 percent). The CR 39 is the highest quality scratch resistant ophthalmic lens material available. CR 39 is both lightweight and optically pure, providing distortion-free comfort and security.
So even if you have four or five pair of sunglasses around, they're probably dirty, scratched and hopelessly out of style. It's unquestionably time to pick out a really cool pair for fall.