Gone are the days when glasses were for geeks—since the invention of contact lenses (not to mention Lasik), eyewear has become simply an option and a means to express ourselves. Like a handbag, glasses are (for many) an every day accessory, except unlike a handbag they are front and center on your face. Brows are cool too, but nothing makes your pretty face pop like frames on fleek.
We checked in with Tina Ozcelik, owner of The Eye Gallery, who recently completed her biannual pilgramage to Silmo Paris, the largest eyewear trade show in the world, to get the scoop on what to look for in our next pair of glasses. Check how much your have in your flexible spending account and get ready to fall in love with these cool new frames.
1. Round frames are having a moment.
Beyoncé was an early adopter of round frames, as were Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lauren Conrad and Kylie Jenner. Maybe that's why this eyewear trend feels so high-fashion and artsy—or maybe it's because only the bold take on chance on this shape, which is far from universally flattering. But hey, who are we to argue with trendsetters?
"Round was huge in this trade show—every vendor had something round. One brand, Tayo, of 15 new styles they had, maybe two of them were not rounded," says Ozcelik. Her tip to make them more wearable? Look for a pair with some angular design within the rounded shape.
2. Get ready for glamorous glasses
"We’ve been so accustomed to the urban hipster look where everything is acetate, tortoise-shell, oversized, but now there's a more refined elegance," says Ozcelik. "It's almost as if the more detailed and difficult the frame is to make in production the more popular it is, to make it more unusual and more artistic." Specifically, pay attention to the luxurious details, like frames made from horn or wood, or etching or other special treatment around the hinge.
3. 3-D Printed glasses have arrived
During her last trip to Silmo in 2013, Ozcelik only saw one or two vendors working with frames made by 3-D printers. At this fair she counted over a dozen. "One [brand] even mastered 3-D printed titanium... it's a little bit pricier than the average consumer will pay but as a trend we're going to se more and more of it," she says, which will eventually bring costs down.
4. Artistic collaborations
One of Ozcelik's favorite collections was a collaboration between glasses brand Masunaga and fashion designer Kenzo Takada (you can find it at Eye Gallery on Post Oak). It's not the only foray for artists and other designers into the world of eyewear—"they are finding designers who are not your average CAD drawer and creating the concept of a functional, artistic artifact," she says.
5. Go beyond basic black
If a pair of black acetate frames looks good on you, great. But it's not for everyone. "Black can wash some people out," says Ozcelik. "For those, deep amethyst or aubergine would help complement the skin tone." Plum and jewel tones are popular as well as flattering, too. When it comes to metal frames, as in jewelry and home decor, there's only one color to consider: gold, be it the traditional yellow gold or the warmer rose gold hues.