Trendzilla

Wayfaring the right way

All right, if no one else is going to say it, I will:

Those large, bug-eyed, vintage (faux or not) granny sunglasses?

Pretty much over.

I know, I know. It's hard letting go of such a universally flattering accessory that both hides and complements all the right facial features.

It's okay, guys. Really.

Those vintage shades that appear as if they were ganked straight from your Aunt Dorothy/Rose/Blanche's closet (or Jackie O. Whichever.) first started appearing with the obnoxiously hip-hipster crowd somewhere around 2003, or, at least, in Los Angeles they did. And it was quirky yet fashionable. Popular yet concentrated.

Then the Olsen twins caught onto the trend somewhere near the end of 2004.

And it was still okay. Just a tad bit harder to get ahold of an authentic vintage pair, but still possible.

Then came Nicole and other X, Y and Z filthy-rich social debutantes and celebrities and their pricey designer versions.

Then came the cheap rhinestone-studded knock-offs that sell for $9.99 a pop on eBay and in mall kiosks.

Then came the sorority girls, who promptly traded in their polarized, frameless wraparounds for sunglasses that devoured half their faces.

And when that happens, friends, it's time to let go.

But rest easy, there are even better alternatives out there—like the Ray-Ban Wayfarers that our girl here has opted for. Starting spring/summer 2007, the brand is re-releasing a whole line of its famed Wayfarers. The sunglasses, easily recognized by their classic shape and tiny silver slivers resting on either ends of the lenses, were first manufactured in 1952 and have played an iconic role in pop culture ever since. Think Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in The Blues Brothers or Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The shades Tom paired with his undies and a dress shirt in Risky Business? The ones that guest-starred in many a Miami Vice? Were worn by Bob Dylan, James Dean, Johnny Marr, Morrissey, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol?

Yeah, those sunglasses are Wayfarers. The best thing about them is how they have remained remarkably unchanged all these years. The arms of the sunglasses are a tad wider with this new slew, but otherwise, they're the same shades Don Henley sang about in "Boys of Summer" and that JFK wore many summers before we were born.

And now, celebrities and musicians alike are still sporting the sunglasses: Kirsten Dunst, those damn Olsens again, Brandon Flowers, and, yes, Johnny Marr is still wearing them, too.

Actually, I take it back: the best thing about the Wayfarers? Their totally affordable price range of somewhere around $90.

In addition to the classic colors of the original line, black and tortoise shell, Ray-Ban will also be offering the Wayfarer in red and white—but please only venture into this territory if you're, like, at a Chloë Sevigny level of apathetic hipness.

But, uh, chances are, you're totally not.

(Sorry.)

Vickie Chang

 
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