We interrupted the weekend’s Jubilee celebrations with a rarely attempted three generation family trip to the cinema, to see Top Gun Maverick. (My husband has been waiting for this for the last 15 years so much was riding on it. Verdict: Excellent) Afterwards, once I'd got the obligatory unhealthy rabbit hole burrowing of every cast member’s age, height, entire back history, Tom Cruise’s plastic surgery, and Miles Teller’s topless beach meme out of my system, I started thinking about sunglasses.
Because Maverick’s Ray Ban aviators surely have a starring role in both films: They are an instant shortcut to his personality: cool, sexy, and a little bit dangerous. And of course it’s not just aviators that can offer us an in to Hollywood style. When I think back to characters that have stuck with me from films made over the last fifty years and more, often their choice of sunglasses is a key element. And the brilliant thing is that we can all buy into these characters just by donning a pair, allowing us to reinvent ourselves as more glamorous, enigmatic and frankly more fabulous versions of our bare faced selves, without any complicated outfit consideration and regardless of budget. Plus also let’s face it- sunglasses also come with the welcome addition of covering a multitude of sins.
Here are five of my favourite styles made iconic in timeless films ( all of which are ESSENTIAL viewing) plus options from classic designer brands to new ethical options and everything in between. And don’t forget vintage, some of my best sunglasses have been found rummaging in thrift stores on holiday. See you next week!
TOM CRUISE: TOPGUN, MAVERICK
Synonymous with Tom Cruise in Top Gun (circa 1985 and 2022)and generally any film that needs a shortcut to instant cool. This season acrylic and coloured lenses reinvent the classic.
SUSAN SARANDON: THELMA AND LOUISE
Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise from 1991 is forever my style inspo, but the classic cat eye frame was serving us retro glam decades earlier.
MADONNA: DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
Edgy sharp corned frames may feel very 2022 but Madonna was showing us how to work them back in the eighties in Desperately Seeking Susan.
OVERSIZED AND QUIRKY
JANE BIRKIN: LA PISCINE Jane Birkin’s oversized tinted shades in 1969’s La Piscine are the epitome of Gallic chic. (But bravery is needed here, my latest pair have had more comparisons to Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka. You can't win em all.)
PATRICIA ARQUETTE: TRUE ROMANCE
True Romance ( surely the best film ever made) had us all channelling a nineties Patricia Arquette with her plastic wayfarer-esque frames.
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