Distinctive eyewear has become a defining note of style, to the extent that the need for corrective lenses is no longer a factor. For decades Parisian women have been using eyeglasses as an accessory item. The demand for fashion eyewear has drawn clothing designers to lend their names to specialty lines. A cadre of exclusively eyewear designers has taken over to provide a new genre of style. French designer Anne et Valentin and Belgian design house Theo have contributed creativity to the formerly staid look of American optometry offices.
Sunglasses are synonymous with summer and days at sea. Celebrities hide the effects of late nights with the mysterious look of dark glasses. For cruise travelers, already enjoying the sea, sunglasses embedded with small reading lenses can combine practical reading glasses with celebrity mystery and style.
In the design of sunglasses designers have gone from the traditional aviator to the outrageous. There is no limit to the available options. When carefully packing for a cruise, travelers can rely on their sunglasses to define their sense of cruise-wear style. Even an assortment of eyewear for days by the pool, or nights perusing a dinner menu in formal dress, will make a big statement with an economy of suitcase space.
The style options are so broad, and the color and lens choices so numerous, that a pair of sunglasses will be unique for the wearer. Even the classic aviator, still recognizable for fifty years, is updated with blue or gold reflective lenses like those by Thom Browne New York. The TB 801s with gold reflective lenses have navy eye-wire with gold trim. These are not your grandfather’s aviators. These are the glasses to wear with narrow leg pants and salmon over white brogues sans socks.
Cruise ladies of a certain age can remember pictures of screen stars arriving at the Cannes Film Festival wearing large white-rimmed sunglasses. French eyewear design house Selima Optique has updated the classic large, white, cat-eye rims in its Allison design, in white and crystal with silver, star rivets. Imagine lenses in shades of blue or grey.
The eyewear gurus at L’optique in Asheville, North Carolina helped CTH assemble a few favorites for cruise wear in the upcoming cruise season. Top to bottom in the picture are:
The French designer Francis Klein gives travelers Diva glasses. The sunshine frames shown in tortoise shell also come in outrageous black with crystal studs.
Kuboraum Berlin, the German design house has created Mask K-14. These round, bright orange, frames, with orange reflective mirrored lenses will be an accessory never left behind.
Design house Theo, well known for colorful titanium day wear, has created the oversize Kitty (9). The striated emerald frame is interspersed with matt and polished black stripes. They are shown here with smoky green and grey lenses.
The Anne et Valentin Sagan frames are executed in translucent rose, with nude temples.
At the bottom of the tree, but at the top of the CTH wish list, are the Francis Klein Livie frames in classic tortoise shell, with etched kitties, wearing Swarovski Crystals. These kittens will love going to sea.
For more information on the featured eyewear and more of the most head-turning eyewear assembled in one place go to www.loptique.com.
Note: This is not a compensated or solicited endorsement. Quite simply, after literally traveling the world for years, shopping for all sorts of practical souvenirs, including eyewear, nothing has replaced annual trips to land-locked Asheville for the best selection in creative eyewear and service at L’optique. To test CTH, walk down the Rue St. Germain wearing one of these frames and see how many Parisians and tourists ask you for directions to your optical shop.