Sunglasses serve a few different purposes. The one they are designed to serve is as eye protection from the sun, but within the last few decades, they have become more prevalent as a fashion statement.
Sunglasses can be stylish and chic, or they can be flamboyant and decorative.
Just ask Elton John, who is rumored to have the largest sunglasses collection in the world! Check out these pictures, along with a little information about these wacky tacky (in a good way) frames!
THIS links to an article talking about John’s fashion history, and it features a prominent photo of him wearing an outlandish pair of sunglasses. These frames are unique, as they were part of one of his many stage costumes. The lenses had a light tint, and the frame itself took up most of his upper face. They nearly cover everything above his nose, making them some of the largest frames many of us have seen!
This pair of frames seems to have inspired a wave of what I would like to dub “textual frames.” Elton John wore these zany frames when he was performing “Rocket Man,” released in 1972. They spell out the word “ZOOM!” across his face, with the two Os being the lenses. They are very similar to the fun frames we have today that spell out different phrases, such as the frames that come in for the new year or graduation parties.
This BLOG POST from Moss Lipow talks about his adventures in procuring a special set of Elton’s frames—from eBay! These special sunglasses were made in 1975 by the May Optical Company, and feature two-wire loops that go around each side of the frame that encases gemstones. They are a real piece of treasure to be found. They fan out in a manner that almost mimics butterfly wings, making them a very slim but chunky pair to wear around. The company that created them has since disappeared, but John’s glasses, thankfully, have not.
Here’s ANOTHER image of John in some funky sunglasses (and costume). These lenses are huge, taking over more than just the orbital area of John’s face. They reach past this and go past his temples, giving him a wide range of sight. The frames themselves are rhinestone-encrusted, which is just what you’d expect from the famous singer. He has to stand out with not only his frames, but also his costumes. In this image, he’s wearing all white, which was quite a fashion statement. But it matches his frames well, and makes him stand out like the star he is!
Last but certainly not least, this recent image of John at the Grammys this past January features a pair of blue, rhinestone-covered sunglasses that matches his suit. These frames are set apart from many of his other sets by being for such a special occasion. This was the 60th annual showing of the Grammys, making it a memorable occasion. With the singer on the verge of retirement, just over age 70, this had to be a spectacular event for him—and based on his sequined suit and sparkling frames, it certainly was!