Part of my remit for professional journal Optometry Today is to create content for their Instagram channel. Sometimes it involves taking a series of still photographs, others it involves video. My most recent one was the latter. However, the eyewear is so beautiful that I decided to take some photographs too, to shine a spotlight on Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, who kindly loaned the eyewear for this project. See the Reel here.
About Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses.
Oliver Goldsmith has a fascinating history. In 1919, Philip Oliver Goldsmith was a salesman at Raphael’s, a London optical firm. The glasses he sold were functional and practical- a medical device. He knew things could be different so he created a new wave of eyewear which added fashion to the function. He presented his designs in 1926. The frames were made mostly from metal because it was the only readily available material. When he saw that a local button factory was using a ground-breaking raw material- coloured plastic- he bought some. From it, Goldsmith created the first ever colourful spectacle frames which are now kept at the Victoria and Albert museum in London.
The Birth of Sunglasses
Post war, there was a surge of optimism and originality. Philip and his son Charles opened a small factory in London and in 1946, when he was just 21, Charles took over. He continued in his father’s belief- that glasses should be an extension of the personality; an accessory. Charles designed a small selection of frames and fitted them with coloured glass lenses. He called the collection ‘Sun Specs’ and placed them in the window of the two biggest stores of the time in London, Fortnum & Mason and Simpsons. They sold out within a week and the stores requested more.
The First Eyewear to Appear in Vogue
During the 1950s, Sun Specs gained an increasingly high profile. Christian Dior and Givenchy approached Goldsmith to create eyewear to compliment their seasonal collections and the brand became synonymous with stars and style. It was the first eyewear brand to appear in Vogue and became firmly established as the sunglass brand worn by rock stars and Royalty. From Vidal Sassoon to Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly to Peter Sellers and Princess Diana to Lady Gaga, Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses have adorded some of the most famous faces in the last two centuries.
Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses: Manhattan (As worn by Audrey Hepburn).
If this beautiful style looks familiar, it’s because Audrey Hepburn wore it in Breakfast at Tiffanys. The film was made in 1961 which proves that style endures. Miss Hepburn is one of my favourite style icons, so it was a pleasure to channel my inner Audrey by wearing the Manhattan for this set of photographs.
Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses: Koko
*Koko was designed in 1966. The oversized round shape guarantees second glances. This style is available in seven different colours and can be engraved with the wearer’s initials.
Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses: Y-Not (As worn by Lady Gaga).
*Y-Not is big, bold and beautiful. It was designed in 1966 and is inexcusably loud and proud. Lady Gaga – a great supporter of the brand- wears this style. I adore Lady Gaga and if you haven’t seen House of Gucci, you must. She is brilliant in it and has an amazing 60s and 70s wardrobe in it. The soundtrack is fabulous too.
Oliver Goldsmith eyewear is handmade in Italy using the finest cotton acetate. Sun lenses are optical grade. Most sunglasses come in a choice of colours with a choice of custom lens colours and can be personalised with the wearer’s initials.
Many thanks to the lovely team at Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses for lending me these beautiful styles. To see more stunning eyewear and for more information, please see their website.
Follow the link to see all of my eyewear styling posts in my dedicated eyewear area.