NEW YORK — Though wearing sunglasses year-round has become de rigueur for most women, it’s a look that changes according to fashion and the season.
This spring is no exception. From big and bold to small and refined, this season’s statement is a strong one.
Horizontal looks have become the shape of the moment, from larger rectangles or squares to smaller ovals.
The color layering that began appearing in a few collections a season or two ago is now ubiquitous, with double and triple laminates a regular part of every collection, from high-priced designer lines to the more moderate name brands. Some of the best pair shades of green, gray, blue or burgundy in tonal mixes that flatter any face.
Even combinations of metals and acetate are going tonal, resulting in interpretations that range from ultrafeminine to futuristic.
Here is a roundup of some of spring’s best.
Calvin Klein and CK Calvin Klein, by Marchon: “In Collection, there is a new boldness in size, shape and mood,” said Calvin Klein. “Layered colors — like olive over camel, or umber over bone — and fades add new interest and depth. We’ve exposed some lens edges in our acetate frames that make a strong, modern statement.”
CK Calvin Klein reflects a younger and more aggressive spirit.
“We’re exploring the unexpected,” Klein said, through the use of padded temples and pairing metals with plastics. Shapes include flattened ovals, crisper rectangles and futuristic wraps, all in metallic shades of green, nectar, buff and raw gold.
Persol and Web, by Luxottica: Jean Scott, vice president of product development at Luxottica, said spring is “less about a demonstrative change in trends than about perfecting the existing trends, such as zyle inserts on metal rims.”
As for color, many of the company’s 12 licensed designer lines will focus on navy hues, which Scott said is a natural evolution from black. Red, olive and tone-on-tone palettes will also be strong for spring, often mixing clear color over a metallic undercoat — which has an effect similar to expensive car paint, she said.
Lines known for their strong hardware are getting subtler, replacing metal details with engraved logos.
Donna Karan and DKNY, by Lantis: At Donna Karan, the eyewear theme parallels that of the clothing for spring, said Laura Mays, vice president design and development at Lantis.
“It’s the dichotomy of big and flowing combined with structured, body-hugging looks — liquid tailoring,” said Mays.
The collection includes feminine, face-hugging pieces, often with strong, architectural temples. Beveled plastics come in softer shapes and exclusive wood-grain colors. The goggle collection has been expanded this year to incorporate more feminine shapes and sizing. Color, too is consistent with the theme of earthy sensuality: midnight, carbon gray, tobacco and wood.
DKNY is about accessible luxury, said Mays.
“DKNY really focuses on the duality of soft and strong, masculine ideas becoming feminine in form, such as warm plastic silhouettes with cool metal accents,” she said, adding that metals are semi-wrapped, more horizontal in shape, in neutral, yet spicy colors like teal, eggplant and bronze.
Nine West, by Riviera: Coming off a hot debut season, Jill Craft, director of product development at Riviera, said color and square shapes dominate for spring.
“Rectangles are the hottest shape, from squares to octagons, for sporty or dressier looks,” said Craft.
Color, which has been a bestseller for the firm, will continue for spring, albeit in more milky midtones, often combining crystal with opaque hues.
“There are lots of greens and yellows — vegetable tones, and some colored lens as well,” she said, adding that laminates are strong here, too, with tonal mixes of gold, bronze, green and berry the most popular.
Ray-Ban: For spring, five eras served as inspiration for the latest looks from Ray-Ban: the Thirties, Fifties, Seventies, Nineties and the future.
“Overall, it’s one of the broadest collections for any year we have ever done, and we’ve covered a wide range of the Ray-Ban consumer groups,” said Mark Flanagan, design manager.
The Thirties era offers a delicate metals collections, with close attention to detail. The Fifties includes plastic shapes in bolder square and round shapes. The Seventies includes a broad range of large and bold silhouettes, in fashion colors ranging from crystal green plastic to gold metal. The Nineties are about understatement, with smaller shapes and brushed metals. The future takes particular inspiration from sports eyewear.
Guess, by Viva: While metals remain important for the brand, Viva Sun president Gary Podhaizer said the company has increased its portion of plastics in the spring line.
“We’ve added more detailed variations of tortoise and color combinations that are richer, both in technique and luster,” Podhaizer said.
Another important part of the line, logo treatments, has been updated as well.
“Logo will always be a key element of the Guess line, but now it’s part of the design of the frame, rather than an afterthought,” he said, adding that the collection now includes more frames with plastic fronts and metal temples, or temples that mix metal with plastic.
Polo/Ralph Lauren, by Safilo: “Our feeling is for much more lightweight, delicate, streamlined and smaller shapes than in the last few years,” said Buffy Birrittella, senior vice president at Ralph Lauren. “Shapes like cat’s eyes, strong geometrics like rectangles, and glasses that become more a complementary part of the face look the newest to us.
“In terms of color, we like darker, rather than lighter tortoises, unless we’re playing an amber off buff. A new shade we like a lot is deep blue, and we also have a group of clear crystal colors and very pale amber, celadon, mauve and blue in single or tonal color combinations.”
Fendissime, by Marcolin: Created by the third generation of the famous Fendi family, this new eyewear collection is making its debut for spring. The Fendis hope to provide fans of the apparel line with another product.
“It has taken its direction from the ready-to-wear Fendissime Republica Italiana, a line for young urban women, which is a balance between quality, style and price,” said Frank Rescigna, chief executive officer of Fendi’s licensee, Marcolin.
He said one of the line’s distinguishing characteristics is the temple treatments — such as braiding or chain link detail — which he said comes from the detailing on the Fendissime apparel line.

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