Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dead Presidents?


This is the Pince Nez Renaissance. Renaissance meaning revival or rebirth. The purpose of this blog is to generate more interest in contemporary wear of pince-nez. So is it wise to put a picture of a president from a hundred years ago as in my last post?

Absolutely!

I've seen a lot of eyewear manufacturers flash the names of celebrities who wear or endorse their frames. Lunor, for example, lists Puff Daddy, Yoko Ono and Tom Cruise as celebrities seen in their frames. Oliver Peoples eyewear is worn by Jessica Simpson, Brad Pitt and Kate Moss. Other brands tout celebrities with no modesty. All famous and successful people.

I can understand this phenomenon. When I was a teenager, I wanted to wear Windsor style glasses just like the ones pictured on the Beatles' John Lennon. I thought they were a hot look and later shopped for that style of frame. Much to dismay, I found out that the round lens looked awful on me. In fact, it doesn't look good on most people. Later, I realized that John Lennon was a total jerk. I was swayed by the power of celebrity.

Then I grew up.

I'd rather look up to some of the great presidents in our history as role models. To me, Woodrow Wilson and FDR are far more accomplished and desirable than Tom Cruise and Yoko Ono. So yes, I will put up pictures of great people from a hundred years ago.

As far as the issue of styles being outdated, the basics of eyewear design haven't really changed in the past 150 years. Materials have improved but the designs are basically the same. In fact, I wrote a column on LeDandy which compared two frames made about 140 years apart. One is a frame currently made by Lunor and the other one is of unknown origin and dates back to the US Civil War, circa 1865. They are almost identical.

The great US presidents of the past are far better than the lot of current "celebrities." Take pride in the fact that Theodore Roosevelt wore pince-nez.

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