In 1284 in Italy, Salvino D’Armate invented the first wearable pair of eyeglasses, 729 years later and glasses and sunglasses have come a long way! They’re the must have accessorise for anyone and everyone! The stigma that was attached to glasses is long gone – geek chic has landed and it’s here to stay!
Looking back over the years there have been some outrageous styles, some that were just plain wrong and others that have taken off and spread like the common cold! Check out these iconic celeb spectacles old and new:
1. John Lennon
This unforgettable guy rose to fame in the 1960’s as a member of The Beatles. After the band split towards the end of the decade he went solo and continued to produce exceptional music. On the 8th December 1980 he was shot and killed outside The Dakota in New York by Mark David Chapman. Its 50 years since The Beatles formed and 32 years since his death yet he is still a household name and it’s those little, perfectly circular glasses that are still a trademark of Lennon.
2. Dame Edna Everage
That Australian housewife with the purple hair and those iconic glittery glasses who started off as a drab housewife in the 1950’s and has gone on to become a talk show treasure. Barry Humphries, the man behind those sparkly glasses, is currently touring the country on his last ever tour before he hangs up those flamboyant clothes for the good! It may be the end of Dame Edna Everage but those glasses are sure to live on forever.
3. Elton John
This is a man who needs no introduction; he is an artist, a singer and a musician of legendary proportions. After decades of being in the spot light, entertaining everyone from his fans to the Queen, he is still one of the most popular icons in history. And his glasses are almost as famous! Elton is well known for his enormous glasses collection ranging from classic styles to the downright outrageous, he is never one for a discreet frame!
4. Austin Powers
Austin Powers, that memorable movie character who oozes specs appeal with those iconic glasses. Rock up to a fancy dress party with a blue suit, frills and a pair of those oh so distinguishable glasses and everyone will know your name!
5. Deidre Barlow
Deidre Barlow is one of the longest standing characters on Coronation Street, first appearing on the cobbles on 20th November 1972. Deidre’s trademark includes that gravelly voice from a lifetime of smoking and those very awful and very large glasses! They were perhaps the height of fashion in the early 70’s but she donned that style for nearly 30 years!
6. Maverick – Top Gun
Think Aviator glasses and the person who pops into your head is sure to be Maverick from Top Gun. Tom Cruise sported a pair those iconic sunglasses throughout that 1986 film and the sales for aviator style glasses went through the roof. Since Top Gun was released, Aviators have never really fallen out of fashion!
7. Harry Potter
When little, 11-year-old Harry Potter shuffled on to the film screens back in 2001 with that lightning bolt scar and those perfectly round, sellotaped specs – there was no forgetting that face! Even 10 years later he was still sporting the same style glasses in The Deathly Hallows Part Two.
8. Ugly Betty
When Ugly Betty hit our TV screens in 2006 with frizzy hair, that poncho and those red glasses, it was most probably a surprise to a lot of people when many chose to don that exact style of glasses – turning Ugly Betty into a trend setter.
There’s no escaping those ‘reality’ TV shows and if you’re a Made in Chelsea fan you may well have noticed Oliver Proudlock’s unusual choice of glasses, from luminous orange to tortoise shell – however outrageous the specs he still manages to pull them off…
10. Walter White
So he’s perhaps not quite as well known as the likes of Dame Edna and Harry Potter but Breaking Bad fans would be able to spot those old fashioned specs anywhere. That iconic picture of him wearing his normal checked shirt and jacket combo, his fedora hat, his glasses and donning that new facial hair – he looks like an old style New York gangsta! After becoming a millionaire cooking meth you may think he’d splash out on a new pair of specs but not Walt.
This post was written by Meredith Watts for City Specs, one of the UK’s leading opticians and prescription experts, selling some of the world’s leading brands.