21/03/2012 Book Review: ‘Cult Eyewear, The World’s Enduring Classics’
A new book from Merrell, written by Neil Handley, the Curator of the British Optical Association Museum, examines some of the world’s most charismatic eyewear since spectacles first came into use in the late 18th Century.
Naturally, it’s the heydays of the 50s, 60s and 70s that receive the most coverage. With images of Steve McQueen (Persol), Andy Warhol (i.a. Eyeworks), Jarvis Cocker (Cutler and Gross) and Peter Fonda (wearing Raybans in ‘Easy Rider’) the book’s evocative illustrations match Handley’s informative prose.
Should you be searching for the perfect pair of regular spectacles, or a new pair of shades for the coming summer, the book does not disappoint and is a source of inspiration. It also covers the fascinating history behind the brands – many of which operated successfully in nooks and corners of the UK not normally associated with cat-walk style. Chalfont St Giles springs to mind.
A glossary appends the 192-page book, so if you don’t know your browbar from your bridge, or are uncertain whether to plump for Optyl, Xylonite or acetate frames, this is the book for you.