Saturday, February 2, 2008

Myth: Pince-Nez is an Old Fashioned Look


Clearly the biggest fear surrounding pince-nez is that they will fall off one's face. Oddly enough, this thought never entered my head. I had a feeling all along that they were fairly secure. My biggest fear was that this style is an old-fashioned look and people would laugh at me on the streets. After all, I don't recall seeing any pictures of people wearing them after the 1940's. I consider myself bold by wearing colorful socks and low vamp shoes. However, I don't want to appear as a clown.

Pince-nez is not an old fashioned look. I will stipulate that this style was popular a long time ago and has completely fallen out favor. This is not news. The history may be old but the "look" is not outdated. This is the important distinction. The pince-nez will always have a modern look due to its minimalist architecture. The futuristic movie The Matrix featured Laurence Fishburne wearing pince-nez sunglasses.

Eyewear from well over a hundred years ago still looks beautiful. Many of the styles are highly desirable and worn today. The age of a design should not affect your judgment.

Don't take my word for it. Lunor, a German frame maker held in high critical regard, derives their designs from antique eyewear. Here is a quote from the Lunor website:

The aesthetic design of LUNOR eyeglasses is based upon a collection of optical antiques from the years 1650 to 1950. The collection includes glasses and cases, princenez [sic], binoculars and microscopes, which belong to one of the foremost collectors of optical antiques in Europe, Gernot Lindner, owner of LUNOR Enterprises. [emphasis added]

A friend sent me a picture of his eyewear. It is absolutely stunning and represents the apex of eyewear design. The eyeglasses may be old, but the appearance is timeless.

Needless to say, I no longer believe that pince-nez is an "old fashioned look." If people do laugh at me, I know it will be for the hot pink socks and not my pince-nez!

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