What is fashion? Webster's dictionary defines it as: a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.
My definition is: One's attempt at expressing their uniqueness, while trying to look like everybody else.
Isn't it funny how we can look at an old picture and bristle at the hair style we had, or the clothing or, most importantly, the horrid glasses we had on. To think that at some point we really thought that look was perfect for us.
Must have started when the first gay cavemen designed the finest bear skin with bone and tooth necklace accessories.
The only thing constant is change. We can be sure that next year, we'll be seeing a new and more bizarre conglomeration of colors, fabrics and skirt lengths. But fashion is also a nebulous thing that runs in cycles. I, personally have over 45 pairs of glasses that I've worn over the past 30 years. To say that there is a pattern of evolution is an understatement. I am now wearing almost exactly the same shape I wore in 1990.
What is it that entices humans to want to change their look? Is it some kind of jealousy of chameleons? Most of the animal kingdom looks the same for their whole existence. Why do we humans wear clothing? Jewelry? Eyeglasses?
In the beginning, fashion, or clothing design was more than just protection from the cold and wet. How you dressed stated your social status. Silks and satins were resrved for royalty and the court of sycophants surrounding them. Wools, cottons and natural fibers were considered downwardly mobile. Reserved for the peasants.
Where glasses are concerned, they were first pieces of polished glass held together by a leather frame and strap. Function was the dictator then. As the realization came about that eyesight could be made better, mad designers of the day went to work creating some very interesting, yet functional eyewear designs. The function of optical aids grew in popularity with the advent of opera, and theater. Lornettes, and Pinz Nez were part of the elite's complete outfit.
The quality of early eyewear was unquestionably top notch, as plastics hadn't been invented yet. Real tortoise shell, mother of pearl and wood housed the first real glasses. Again, they were a status symbol, as peasants could ill afford those expensive materials. Let alone the amount of handwork that went in to them, or the crafting of visual aids. Imagine how it must've been, to have little or nothing, and see your vision deteriorate, knowing there's was nothing you could do.
Fast forward: the current state of optics has little or nothing to do with how rich you are. Even the highest priced glasses today are made of the inferior products priced much lower. Today you pay for the designer name, the CEO's salary and, undoubtedly the intense, expensive ad campaign launched by the maker. Literally almost all the designer names and labels for glasses are owned by one gigantic company, and the actual designer has little or no input on future styles. Of course this is not the case everywhere.
So when you search for your next pair of glasses, may I suggest you look for the style that will be most flattering to your face, colors and life style. Trends come and go, but seeing an elderly gentleman in 2015 wearing a style that was popular in 1965, is disturbing to say the least.