The joy of specs
Forget geek chic, glasses are now a symbol of sophistication – even Victoria Beckham has gone gaga for spectacles, writes Deirdre Reynolds
What do Woody Allen and Victoria Beckham have in common? Until now, nothing, we'd imagine.
From Posh 'n' Becks to Posh in Specs, fashion queen Vic has just unveiled her own eyewear range.
The unisex specs, which cost around €350, are set to hit shelves early this year.
And the mum of four, husband David and 13-year-old son Brooklyn have all already been snapped wearing the designer glasses.
"I do need to wear glasses," says Posh (38), who is short-sighted. "[But] I haven't found glasses that suit me or that I particularly like.
"I've always been quite self-conscious, so that's why I've decided to do them myself.
"I will be wearing my glasses now, and it will be nice to be able to see where I'm going for once."
Just like the Beckhams, around 63pc of Irish adults now wear glasses or contact lenses, according to market-research firm Mintel – and that's not even counting those who fake it with clear-lens fashion specs.
'Glasses have become the latest 'It' accessory," says stylist Lorna Weightman. "When Cheryl Cole first wore a pair of black-rimmed frames at a fashion show a few years back, it was a real turning point for glasses-wearers.
"As a child, I used to detest wearing my glasses – now I actually choose to wear them over contact lenses as they add to my individual style.
"Meanwhile, as a stylist, I also check out spectacle ranges from designers as well as fashion and accessories every season."
"People aren't embarrassed to wear glasses any more," agrees Yvonne Davis of Specsavers Ireland – which runs an annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.
"With all these celebrities wearing them, it's actually become quite trendy.
"Our biggest customers are 19- to 25-year-old women – even ones who don't need glasses at all. It's not unusual for women to own five or six pairs to go with different outfits."
Despite being famous for his geeky glasses, director Allen (77) reveals he copied the look from comedian Mike Merrick.
"I got these black glasses, put them on, wore them and never gave them a second thought the rest of my life."
With AW12/13 eyewear trends ranging from 'geek chic' to 'retro glam', though, today it's a little more complicated.
"Your glasses should highlight your best feature," advises Patrick Barry, ophthalmic dispensing manager at Touchstone Opticians in Blackrock, Cork.
"For example, a blue frame to match blue eyes or lighter coloured frames to suit a pale complexion.
"The frame size should also be in scale with your face size and the shape should contrast with your face shape," he adds.
"Most importantly, they should be comfortable."