Talking Sunnies — Lusting After The New SUNO x Linda Farrow Sunglasses
Few brands employ an experimental approach to eyewear design, tirelessly looking to create new shapes, add unexpected embellishments, juxtapose seemingly contradictory colors and materials, and invent near-sculptural works that delightfully blur the line between fashion and function as all true avant-garde fashion should. Imagine Philip Treacy‘s penchant for innovation in the realm of hats and fascinators, transfer it to the eyewear realm, and you’ll come close to understanding the eclectic and forward-thinking DNA of the Linda Farrow brand, established by its namesake in 1970 and now prospering under the vigilance of Simon Jacob and Tracy Sedino, both of whom have laid the groundwork for collaborations with designers like Dries Van Noten, Oscar de la Renta, The Row, Matthew Williamson, Kris van Assche, and Jeremy Scott.
The latest designer partnership brought together Linda Farrow and SUNO, the exciting New York-based fashion brand founded by Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty in 2008 that celebrates traditional Kenyan textiles, and which cleverly incorporates fabrics, embroideries, and weaving techniques indigenous to Peru and India — all the while translating these raw materials for modern cosmopolitan customers seeking edgy designs steeped in culture and tradition.
The new SUNO x Linda Farrow eyewear collection, then, consists of three seemingly classic designs — all given new life thanks to subtle design details, gradient lenses, and peculiar color marriages. The powder blue SUNO x Linda Farrow eyeglasses shown at top ($395 at SUNOny.com), for instance, feature round acetate frames with graphic metal inlays and a slim top bar reminiscent of those found in traditional aviator shades (their original function was to keep sweat away from pilot’s eyes). Whereas the thick top frame features a gently arched shape, the metal inlay lies perfectly flat, creating an stark juxtaposition in terms of shapes. Similarly, the translucent blue color of the acetate frames is offset by the matte metallic finish of the various insets.
If you’re a fan of retro-favored cat-eye sunglasses, you’ll love the other two options in the collection: the SUNO x Linda Farrow Tortoise Shell Sunglasses ($395 at SUNOny.com), shown second from top; and the SUNO x Linda Farrow Scallop/Deep Purple Sunglasses ($395 at SUNOny.com), pictured last above.
The tortoise shell sunglasses feature a traditional cat-eye shape, but add emphasis to the brow line via the use of unique brushed gold-toned metal plating to offset the tortoise shell-themed acetate frames. Gradient green lenses, meanwhile, add a contemporary feel to the design. Similarly, the other cat-eye frames in the collection exude vintage glamour, but do so in a way that feels far from dated thanks to the innovative color scheme, which combines a scallop-toned, pinkish nude Italian acetate frame with color-blocked deep burgundy metal plates along the upper corners of the brow line (which are meant to exaggerate the angular elements of the design). Grey gradient lenses complete the modern take on a classic silhouette and add the requisite amount of sophistication and verve.
With a few simple tweaks, then, these three sunglasses hearken back to traditional eyewear silhouettes while thrusting them into the modern fashion landscape in the most effortless and graceful manner.