Say Goodbye to Extravagance. At last…understated glamor has finally made a comeback! The era of flashy bling is no longer ruling the kingdom of sunwear . Where you’d normally find rhinestones galore or large, loud logos, you’ll now see a return to less prominent applications of color and temple embellishments in fashion sunglasses.
Sparkling But Not Splashy
To what do we owe this graceful throwback to subtlety? Well, according to Leslie Muller, Senior Director of Design for Marchon Eyewear, after having invaded scores of sunglass designs for the last couple of years, Swarovski crystals and other stones are not as important. They still have a place in collections, but mostly in tonal form to match the color of the frame. A more subdued detail – but shimmering nonetheless – that is now starting to appear in acetate temples is the use of layers of glitter.
Name Dropping? Not So Much
What’s in now is to create new alternatives to the in-your-face design elements. Sun-wear product development teams are opting for smaller logos and focusing on distinctive details to set collections apart rather than relying so much on brand names alone.
Temple of Detail
Open temples (a.k.a. Y-shaped or wishbone) continue to be a big trend among the most chic styles. Laser-etched or -engraved temples are also still popular, especially when they reveal a second or third color. Mesh detailing on temples is starting to burst on the scene, while cutouts and metal accents on zyl temples are also playing a large role in sunglasses design.
Gold Is Glam
It’s all about gold right now. Gold metal styles and gold hardware details seem to be making their way across all sunwear lines in some form or another. Perhaps it’s because polished gold never goes out of style, due mainly to its radiant elegance and flattering wearability. You can’t say the same about silver, but colored metals are a whole different story.
Bright and bold actually does apply to metal frames. The demand for vibrant metals has created a surge of metal sunglasses in various forms: matte, semi-matte, lacquered, brushed, antique, and satin. Senior Director of Product Development at B. Robinson, Lauren Michael, agrees that colored metals are highly favored at the moment, with the most desired options being dark burgundy, teal, black, white, rose, and violet.
The influence of crystal is everywhere, with translucent colors (sometimes two-toned) lighting up frames either completely or combined with solid fronts or temples. Designer Robert Marc sees transparency as a big trend for the upcoming season. “Clothing is no longer about hiding everything that is underneath, but instead about artfully combining transparent and opaque materials to be sexy without being too revealing; eyewear will also demonstrate this interest in clear materials,” he said.
Zest of Zyl
The beauty of zyl is its innate ability to lend itself to a designer’s playfulness. Satisfying the most artistic of whims, zyl colorations may range from traditional to striking. Striated plastics are all the rage right now along with organic- and nature-inspired patterns (i.e., horn), as are double laminates where opposites attract.
While classic tortoise and black frames continue to be best-sellers, the new trick is to add sophistication by combining them with unexpected colors or patterns on the interior of frames. This allows designers to add a little spice by using more vibrant colors on the face without sacrificing wearability.
Let’s talk about solid colors. Soft, milky-based tones like ivories and muted grays are finding their way into various collections as well as hybrid shades of purple. Those who want to express themselves with a little something that makes more of a statement will be pleased to see more blue, green, coral, orange, and topaz hues in acetate. And finally, it won’t be long before you realize that red is the new white.
There you have it. The latest in sunwear may not blind you with bling, but it will sure make a long-lasting impression from the minute it’s displayed in your shops ’til your customers spot their favorite new trend on your shelves.
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