Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Let's go round again

I really like rounded glasses at the moment. Now that Harry Potter's a distant memory to me, they serve as items of beauty as opposed to reminders of hammy child actors. Chuck out your Rachel Zoe-endorsed bug-eye-glasses, smash up your WAG-inspired frames, and say hello to titchy circular frames. You don't have to be a boy wizard to do it, as all of these ocular icons will prove:

To the exclusion of The Machinist, where he dropped to about 110lbs, Christian Bale is sexy in anything he stars in. In American Psycho, he plays Patrick Bateman, whose whole existence revolves around successfully fitting into homogenised 1980s banker aesthetics whilst his morals asphyxiate in his rotting soul. The Dorian Gray of the Reagan years, I think a lot of his charm is down to his tortoiseshell Oliver Peoples.

I know, right. I'm hardly the first person in the past few years to point out that circle-rimmed glasses smaller than one's own head are where it's at. Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Dries Van Noten both showed these anti-Raybans back in SS 2007. Caroline Herrera did the same and this was lauded by some as the return of the circle-lens, but I think the magic of this 'new' shape is that they don't fool anyone. Whereas any fat yob can be redeemed by a pair of what we've come to know as 'aviators', it takes grace to pull off circle lenses.

Maybe it's a continental thing. Jean Reno starred in Leon back in 1994. Playing a stoic, mysterious assassin, the glasses helped to maintain his inscrutable demeanour.

If you've watched Amelie, or even pretend you're Amelie as you make Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes and wear twee socks when you do your daily cycle through Hackney, you'd love A Very Long Engagement. Not only is it directed by the fabulous Jean-Pierre Jeunet, but it stars Audrey Tatou, features a pitch-perfect cameo from Jodie Foster and is all about the absolute futility of war. I won't tell you what Marion Cotillard does with the glasses here, but it's brilliant.

I have never fallen in love with a film like I have with Benjamin Button. Amongst his extensive back catalogue, David Fincher directed Madonna's Vogue. He presents nostalgia with the perfect balance of realism and romanticism. And with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett AND Tilda Swinton on board, the film was worthy of all praise and accolades. Benjamin wears a few sets of glasses in this film, and although he looks disgracefully pretty in the scene where he's all decked out like George Michael in the Faith video, I really hope Brad Pitt ages into this man. Nice bloody coat, too.

I'm afraid to say I find John Lennon almost as annoying as Paul McCartney. In the case of the former, it's not his fault. It's the Gallagher Brothers'. I remember in 1996, I bought myself a pair of John Lennon sunglasses. But the only reason they were being produced at that point was because of the success of 'Britpop', a cultural phenomenon which was actually invented by Tony Blair so as to get people on his side. A bit like WMD's.

This is taking the essence of everything that's good about Tim Burton films, and condensing it into one pair of macabre, quasi-surgical glasses. There's this movement of people called Steam Punks, who are really into the aesthetic of steam-powered machinery. As a concept, I like this. The latter half of the 19th Century is full of some of my favourite literature, and there is something unquestionably romantic and simultaneously scary about a time before electricity. However, most Steam Punks have unsightly facial hair and like things like Download festival.

I think Lady GaGa could be the catalyst behind the most recent resurgence in circular glasses. Apart from dressing like a slag, not many of her looks have made it into the mainstream. I don't even think GaGa deserves credit for women dressing like slags; as long as Newcastle exists and stupid men get paid too much, women will dress like slags. Most importantly, if there's anything we should copy from this woman, it's not the lobster shoes, it's not the firework tits. It's these glasses.


Style is such a subjective entity. I don't profess to have much authority on it. If you're looking for that you should probably go somewhere else.

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