What's Trending in Summer Eyewear? Here's the Latest from the Sunglasses Capital

Posted By: Barbara Beckley Thursday, July 23, 2015

Big, bold and glamorous. Vintage movie star cool. This is the look, say the eyewear style-makers in Palm Springs, where round-the-clock pool party chic makes stylish shades a way of life.


“The movie star look. That’s what people are wearing,” says Steven Nash, manager of the Raymond/Lawrence (www.raymond-lawrence.com) boutique in the Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District, which features a Sunglasses of Palm Springs pop-up shop. Like the Sunglasses of Palm Springs (www.sunglassesofps.com) flagship boutique in downtown Palm Springs, this features classic and cutting-edge designer frames by Prada, Tory Burch, Gucci, Ray-Ban, Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and others.

Prada and Balenciaga are top favs, Steven told me. A must-wear is the larger-than-life Balenciaga in eggshell white with 14K gold trim. Steven said a recent customer was torn between two Pradas and a Balenciaga. In the end, she bought the Balenciaga. Sunglasses of Palm Springs’ prices range from $49.95 to $420. And they’ll reshape, retool and even replace those tiny screws to keep your designer shades perfect for ever.

Glamour glasses from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s –– think ‘70s Porsche aviators to die for and original Christian Dior butterflies -- are the hot ticket trend with today’s celebrities (who must remain nameless) at Mitchells Palm Springs (www.mitchellsps.com).

“My vibe is totally Studio 54. It’s all about sexy and creating the look,” says owner Mitchel Karp of his stylish resale boutique on Indian Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. He’s a retail perfectionist, so you’ll find eyewear only by the designers whom he calls “the innovators:” Christian Dior, YSL, Gucci, Cazal, Givenchy, Ted Lapidus, Rodenstock, Jean Louis Scherrer, Porsche, Alpina, Cerruti, and “Paco Rabanne when I can find them.” He also delights in finding “the obscure designer” when he can.

Christian Dior and Ted Lapidus are Mitchel’s hotties. “Everyone loves the Dior butterflies -- in white and gold, the larger ‘70s Diors in tan, red, gold and black. With rims. Without rims.” Aviators don’t get any better than vintage Porsche and Alpina. “I’ve got to have those!” exclaimed a recent customer, when he saw a pair of large Porsche aviators, Mitchel said.

Every pair is refurbished, tightened and with new lenses. “You don’t want the UV protection of 1970s,” Mitchel said. Prices range from $195 to $495. He also features women and men’s designer apparel and accessories, all “carefully curated.” And even a contemporary treasure or two, if it meets his standards.

The clubmaster – with its rounded shape and brow line over the frame – and cat eyes – are rocking the scene at the Hard Rock Palm Springs (www.hrhpalmsprings.com) boutique. “Cat eyes are popular – the ‘50s look with the pointy corners – for a modern take on the vintage movie star look,” says Michele Mignone, Hard Rock retail and spa manager. Classic aviators are also top sellers. “Aviators add a sexy, edgy look to everyday and special occasions.”  

What colors are hot?  Tortoise is huge at the Hard Rock. And polarized is very big. But don’t shy away from color, says Michele. Orange, reds and greens are all very cool, flashy colors.   

What are the high profilers buying? Michele couldn’t name names. But she said “tons of celebs stayed here during Coachella. And they bought sunglasses.” The Hard Rock Shop carries contemporary eyewear by Desert Sunglass and Kreed and Crush, priced from $18 to $40.

How can you be sure you look hot in your cool shades? “You want trendy – but in keeping with your facial structure,” councils Mitchel. “If your face is narrow, be careful with the eyeglass size, so you don’t look bug-eyed.” “Remarkable. You want to look remarkable,” says Steven. Sunglasses are an accessory that everyone sees first because they’re on your face.