Let’s face it; sunglasses are worn for style as much as they are worn to protect our peepers from UV rays. So many celebrities from film, music, and politics have used their choice in sunglasses to make a statement. Michael Jackson wore sunglasses to appear more mysterious to his fans, even though he claimed photo sensitivity. Why does Lady Gaga wear sunglasses? Because she carefully calculates every outfit and sunglasses are always a part of the ensemble. Now let’s look at a few wearers of iconic sunglasses.
Wayfarers have been worn by so many incredible actors, including Steve McQueen, the Blues Brothers, and of course the fabulous Ms. Katherine Hepburn. Yet some may argue the one person to make Wayfarers most famous was not an actor at all: Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She was a fashion icon in her own right, creating a style that has become synonymous with her own name. And perhaps, just maybe, those Wayfarers are the one item any woman can attain and use to channel the Jackie in all of us.
A list of iconic sunglasses cannot omit the classic Aviator sunglasses. Bausch & Lomb may have developed the style for pilots in 1936, but Ray-Ban made it desirable for everyone. The dark reflective lenses on a wire frame with bayonet earpieces that were flexible enough to fit behind the ears were an instant hit with military men, particularly General Douglas MacArthur. Aviators were a worldwide hit after World War II, but when Tom Cruise blasted his way onto the screen with Top Gun, the fad went electric.
Originally, colored lenses in glasses were created for assisting those with learning disabilities in reading. Yellow lenses were also found to be useful for hunters in spotting movement in the brush more easily. Yet now we find colored lens sunglasses being used for fashion as much as for function. Popular singer and philanthropist Bono of U2 is perhaps the most iconic of wearers. Although, he did state in a 2008 interview that he had an eye condition that demanded the use of light filtering glasses. He stated that his use of colored lenses was part “vanity, part privacy and part sensitivity”.
Who is the first person to come to mind when thinking of crazy sunglasses? Well, if you are over 40 it may be Elton John, but if you are under 40 it may be Lady Gaga. Either way, both artists have used crazy sunglass frames and lenses to make a statement. Remember Lady Gaga’s burning cigarette shades? And who can forget Elton’s Rainbow Connection glasses? And let’s not leave out Kanye West and his white shutter glasses. It’s pretty clear these artists chose to make an artistic statement with their glasses, and for that, they will always be remembered as the wearers of crazy sunglasses.
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