Style police: A shot in the dark

It's no use spending a fortune looking a la mode and then spoiling it all with a dodgy pair of shades, warns JAMES SHERWOOD

How excited can you get about sunglasses? It's a question Style Police asks every time we see someone under 40 wearing Status Shades. Designer sunnies are a dark corner of the fashion industry. Sorry, but tortoiseshell monstrosities with lenses as thick as re-entry shields just don't speak chic. Vulgar gold logos, be they from Fendi, Gucci or Valentino, simply say "I spent pounds 100 in a duty free shop". Design has nothing to do with it.

Now Style Police is as much a label queen as the next girl. But designer shades are such a tacky old cliche. Italians wear status shades as if genetically programmed to look cool. Gold logos somehow belong next to Tuscan cheekbones. The British wear sunglasses apologetically - self-conscious lest we look a mite pretentious. Thing is, you've just got to think about sunglasses now that the barometric pressure is starting to go up as high as a boy band's vocal range. So what's to do?

Sunglasses are the handbag essential of spring/summer. They are your prima accessory assoluta. So you've got to look for a design that says this season. Chloe's pink frame and diamante cat's-eye shades have Style Police purring in approval. They are to be worn by the kind of Lolita chick Serge Gainsbourg would sell his last Gaulloise to seduce. Chloe's shades collection is designed by Stella McCartney and made by Italian shade maestros Marcolin. Pay attention here. Stella designed the shades. She didn't get some factory in Taiwan to knock some money spinners off. Crucially, Chloe's colours and detailing are in harmony with the pretty feeling this season. They sparkle like a Vegas billboard announcing the return of glamour.

How to wear it

Shades are the one item that must work with every shred of summer schmutter you buy this season. Get 'em wrong and you might as well buy a kaftan and stop at home.

You're going to see one particular Chloe style a lot this season: aviators with a diamante heart etched on one frame. Forget it. Glamour and utility go together like chardonnay and Domestos. It's the Fifties Catwoman diamante shades you really want. Granted, Gucci's fat white plastic Jackie O shades can look sharp if you're on the way to Bvlgari or rehab. But you'll look like you're auditioning as an extra in Antz with those big bug-eyed numbers. "It's cooler to get away from label-oriented design," says Scene fashion news editor Danny Rigby. "It's more about personality: the frame that works for your face, the eccentric colour, the detailing."

Where to buy it

"One of the Minx girls has been wearing diamante frames from a charity shop for two years," says Minx fashion editor Steph Stevens. "I've been wearing white plastic diamante numbers I bought from Top Shop two seasons ago. I like that Farrah Fawcett-Majors feeling to diamante. It's slightly white-trashy to wear pastel plastics and I'm loving that." How many times do we have to drum it into you? Go to source if you can't afford a label like Chloe. The Fifties were the decade of pastel plastic and diamante sunglasses. The chazza shops and vintage stores are full of Fifties originals. Just look at Marilyn in How To Marry A Millionaire to understand their sex kitten quality. Yes, Marcolin has made Chloe's diamond cat's-eyes to perfection. The shades are between pounds 98 and pounds 125 - not duty free. So you either stay in one Saturday night and spend the booze budget on Chloes or get busy with last season's Guccis and a tube of glue.

Address book

Chloe by Marcolin: 01635 529997.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Support Technician (2nd Line / Server Support) - Bedford

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: 2nd line IT Support Techn...


    £100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

    Year 3 Teacher

    £100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

    Science Teacher

    £100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified science t...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments