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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
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

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power