Looks in chains
Words Alessandra Albarello
From accessories to stars of the show, chains have turned into necklaces and so much more...
Once upon a time they were used to stop us losing our glasses. Yes - once upon a time. Now, chains have proved their worth, transforming from functional accessories to co-stars of the new collections for both men and women. Having come out of nowhere, they mainly rely on a retro vibe to affirm their new identity. Eye-catching, colourful and often large, they have managed to free themselves from glasses to become an accessory in their own right, living independently, perhaps worn as a necklace.
This is precisely the case of the precious and bold gold metal chain offered together with the MM0030 sunglasses model, a limited edition created by Marcolin to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Max Mara. By re-issuing Baroque lettering and an advertisement from the 1950s, work of the artist-illustrator Erberto Carboni, the packaging evokes the DNA of a brand recognisable everywhere, not only by the iconic camel colour, stronghold of a a certain type of elegance past and present, but also with impeccable tailoring which, in acetate eyewear, translates into skilful facets.
For Huma Sunglasses, on the other hand, chains become an opportunity to go further, even turning into hair clips or lighter holders to be hooked with tiny carabiners to the special “eyelets” positioned on the arms of the glasses. Or in decorative pendants placed symmetrically on the sides of the face, which highlight the style of frames with their thickness and a strong personality and certainly do not go unnoticed. Huma Sunglasses does not place any limits on the imagination, and with the aim of creating continuous connections with the world of fashion, it has made the chain indispensable, inseparable from every pair of glasses, creating almost a parallel collection of must-have accessories for a broad, fashion-conscious target market. And the more obvious it is that the chains are fake, the more valuable they are.
Huma Sunglasses mod. Tilde
Max Mara mod. MM0030
Linda Farrow mod. Dunaway
Fashion paradoxes... Like the opulent designs of Linda Farrow, a brand that was born in the 1970s and which is inspired precisely by that era and its bold atmosphere, resulting in glasses with large dimensions and chains often worn in plain sight in front of the neck - no longer hidden behind it as was the case in the past. And this, too, is another small revolution.
Gucci is of course amongst the pioneers of this increasingly successful trend. They offer long, removable, metal chains that finish with a pendant, either the unmistakable interlocking G logo or a heart. The structure of the rings is then also picked up by the circles in the GG1033S model. And the chains of the GG1031S model are always characterised by a playful and ironic charm, like the racoon, or a romantic one like the heart, or by the macroscopic interlocking G logo. Applied to both ends, they are transformed into exclusively ornamental elements. Inspired by the minimalism of the pince-nez of times past, the GG1034S model, on the other hand, can be combined with a thin chain that emphasizes the perfect match between a nod to the past and a decidedly contemporary design.
Even a brand as iconic as Emmanuelle Khanh has been seduced by this trend, offering chains that, while maintaining their function, add a touch of extravagance and determination to the - mainly large - eyeglasses and sunglasses. These are favourites of the French designer, whose creative and artistic heritage, picked up by Eva Gaumé, is also fully reflected in these accessories. Made of acrylic, metal or combined material, they alternate colours and rings of different thicknesses and sizes. On the other hand, we are now seeing the re-emergence of a desire for joie de vivre, a new desire to appear, to dare, to have fun with your look, after months of hiding behind facemasks. The key concept is now showing off, accompanied by the motto "more is more", with no disrespect to the architect Mies van der Rohe and his famous phrase "less is more"...
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Challenge the rules
Creative and irreverent, but also disciplined and aware of the turmoil in which we live, the eyewear brands are challenging the sector’s most established principles in an innovative and at times anarchic way.