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At first we were a little skeptical.
We pretty much knew what we didn’t want: Yet another line of sunglasses from some giant corporate design center with yet another fashion designer’s name stuck on the temple with something akin to Super Glue as an afterthought.
There are tons of those brands out there, and outside of the designer logo itself, there’s really not much in terms of unique design to differentiate these eyewear lines from each other.
In the fashion industry, Tom Ford has built a name for himself as a designer who pushes boundaries, whether in his runway fashions at Gucci or in the racy promotional campaigns for Tom Ford Eyewear that got his advertising banned in Italy.
So it’s a bit surprising to see the former lead-designer at Gucci and now award-winning director of the critically-acclaimed movie “A Single Man” introduce so many retro-inspired eyeglasses into the current Tom Ford Eyewear collection.
Or maybe not.
Vintage-inspired fashion continues to be a major theme in spring and fall collections from Chanel, Lanvin, YSL and Dior, and Ford himself just finished directing a period-piece, so retro and vintage style eyewear is probably top of mind for Tom Ford.
Which brings us to our designer eyeglass of the week: The Tom Ford TF 5116.
This is another one of those Tom Ford eyeglasses that is screaming for the right face shape and attitude.
From cats-eye glasses, to heavier men’s frames with horned-rims, to the return of ’40s, ’50s and early-’60s-inspired oval shapes in women’s eyewear, retro continues to be extremely hot.
The great thing about retro-inspired eyewear and fashion is that their shapes, cuts and colors tend to be classical and enduring.
There’s a reason why vintage or vintage-inspired eyewear never really completely goes out of style: It works on a lot of different faces and can easily be matched to complement or contrast against a person’s own personal style.
One of our favorite retro-inspired women’s eyeglass frames is the FT-5117 from Tom Ford Eyewear.
Tom Ford doesn’t name his eyeglass models, choosing instead to use numbers versus words, so we usually end up developing nicknames around the shop to refer to different numbered models. So the the Tom Ford FT 5117 is affectionately known around Urban Optiques as “that sexy librarian frame.”
Which pretty much describes this unique, half-moon acetate frame that’s meant to sit down just a tad on the bridge of your nose (or all the way down for that really smart, flirtatious-I’m-looking-over-my-reading-glasses-at-you-vibe.)
This frame feels like it’s straight out of a Mad Men episode: Fuzzy sweaters, pencil skirts and all.
Guys, a Valentines Day Gift Tip: Next to shoes and handbags, there is only one other accessory that a woman can’t have to many of … Sunglasses.
So while flowers are beautiful and chocolate is delicious, sunglasses are eternal.
Well, maybe not eternal, but they have a longer shelf life than roses or Godivas.
So if you’re scratching your head over what to buy your sweetie this Valentines Day, Urban Optiques is going to take the guesswork out of picking out the perfect Valentine’s Day gift by recommending seven sunglasses that are sure to please even the most discriminating woman.
All of these sunglasses are currently in-stock at Urban Optiques. In some cases, we have certain models in other colors, so please call for more information. We stock more than 100 designer fashion and couture sunglasses, so if you don’t see the perfect Valentine’s shade here, there’s a good chance we’ll have it.
And ff your sweetheart is particularly picky, gift certificates are also available.
If the “Queenie” sunglass from Chrome Hearts is good enough for bored hotel heiresses like Paris Hilton, it’s sure to be perfect for your fashion-conscious sweetheart.
All jesting aside, this is a really fabulous, big sunglass with a unique square-ish frame that works on just about every face shape. So if her sunglass collection is filled with giant round sunglasses, she’ll love the “Queenie” because it’s still big and dramatic, but breaks the mold in terms of shape.
In other words, it’s a sunglass that her girlfriends won’t have. BIG points for you.
We have the Queenie from Chrome Hearts in “Cherry Stripe.”
For us, that sunglass is the Tom Ford Narcissa.
When we got our first shipment of Tom Ford sunglasses in over the summer, two of the Tom Ford sunglass models immediately jumped out at us: The Whitney (a favorite of Angelina Jolie) and the Tom Ford Narcissa.
We had seen these sunnies in magazines and on the Internet, but nothing could prepare us for actually having a couple pairs in our eager little hands.
Beginning last year, we noticed Tom Ford sunglasses making (repeated) appearances on everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron and Jessica Biel.
In fact, aside from Ray Bans, we haven’t seen a designer sunglass line show up on so many well-known faces in such a short period of time. So obviously, we couldn’t wait to start carrying them in the store.
While Tom Ford Eyewear has been a little slow to catch on off the coasts (eyewear trends tend to move inward from L.A. and New York, so there is usually a lag before something gets hot in Detroit), once we started getting them in front of people, they began to sell.
What we love about the Tom Ford Narcissa (and many of the women’s sunglasses in Tom Ford’s lineup) is that they utilize simple, curvy lines to produce a very feminine, sophisticated and sexy sunglass.
Unlike every other hired-gun sunglass blogger out there writing about the Tom Ford TF108 “James Bond” sunglasses, I’m going to spare all of you the usual hackneyed James Bond cliches in this post. You don’t need to hear another “shaken but stirred” reference or catch-phrase like “Bond … James Bond” to appreciate this week’s designer sunglass.
Some disclaimers up front: Wearing these great aviators from Tom Ford will NOT make you a secret agent (although you may feel like one, depending on you level of imagination), it will not get you special privileges (like a license to kill) from the Queen Mother, and unless you are pulling down some serious dough, you probably won’t find yourself wearing them in an Aston Martin.
They may, however, protect your eyes from damaging UV rays, make you look really cool and perhaps even get you a date with a local, aspiring “Bond Girl” or bring out the inner femme fatale in your girlfriend or wife.
While this frame looks fantastic on men, if you’re a woman looking for a unique, high-quality aviator sunglass, you’ll want to check out the TF108 as well. Jessica Biel did and she was recently spotted wearing a pair of the Tom Ford James Bond shades.
If you’re a James Bond junkie or collector, you’ll definitely want to add these special edition frames to your memorabilia collection, perhaps right next to your James Bond Collectible Porcelain Plate Series?
In other words, these are some really cool aviator sunglasses, even if Daniel Craig had never wore them in “Quantum of Solace.”
We’re seeing five trends in fashion this fall that we think are going to be shaping choices in both eyewear and clothing and accessories through fall and winter.
From big shoulders, to animal prints and Twenties- inspired glamour, the runways this season served up a decidedly eclectic fusion of past, present and future.
First, men’s-inspired shapes made a return, including built-up shoulders, tuxedo jackets and narrow fitting blazers.
While we saw early signs of an ’80s revival as far back as 2008 with the resurgence of Ray-Bans and Wayfarers, the presence of so much ’80s-inspired clothing on runways this fall suggests that the decade that brought us “Wall Street”, Madonna and Tom Cruise singing in his underwear in a pair of Ray-Bans has clearly weaved its way into this season’s styles.
For those of you who have been waiting two decades for the return of the 80’s “power suit”, 2009/2010 might finally be the year.
Big, padded shoulders have returned, as well as oversized buttons balanced with long flowing silk scarves. On eBay we’re seeing vintage ’80s suits from the likes of Dior and YSL get snapped up, so it seems this is one fashion trend that has some legs.
For men, it’s a continuation of some of last year’s ’80s inspired clothing, including the return of solid or striped shirt with white collar, popularized by Michael Douglas’ Gorden Gecko in the 1987 movie Wall Street. Can suspenders be far behind?
In terms of matching the “Girl Meets Boy” look with eyewear, you’ll do best to choose a frame with strong geometric shapes and a heavier, more robust materials.
Keep the overt bling to a minimum on these frames, and instead opt for something that incorporates more subtle, integrated embellishments like small crystals, polished metals or unusual textures into the temples.
Pulling off the “Girl Meets Boy” look demands bold, power-eyewear that is balanced with softer, feminine touches. We like Ray-Ban Wayfarers with this look as well, since they are the quintessential ’80s eyewear.
For men, pair that solid or striped shirt with the white collar with a pair of classic round Oliver People’s eyeglass frames in gold or silver metals, or a Prada men’s aviator sunglass like the Prada PR 65HS in silver.
Or, depending on your facial structure, we love the bold sophistication of the Tom Ford men’s frame.