Oh Melbourne, we think we’re so cool and trendy! The truth is, we’re not. When it comes to glasses, Melbournians are safe and bland, exemplified by the overabundance of tortoiseshell colours and conservative lens shapes. In Europe, bright yet subtle and refined frame colours abound. They love colour there. In the US, neon colours shout in your face. America consistently comes out with new glasses trends, albeit often lacking in subtlety. Compared to our European and American cousins, it’s not hard to see we in liveable stylish Melbourne are more like our unadventurous UK inheritance (who wouldn’t dare stick out from the crowd). How strange! Melbourne, we thought you were stylish!
Why is Melbourne so conservative? Is it our somewhat rural setting? Is Sydney a more metropolitan city? Look, we love Melbourne, but we just can’t figure out why when it comes to eyewear we’re so behind the times. We’re one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and yet people with money that could afford great glasses walk around with shockingly dull frames. We are stuck in the past, unwilling to join the global ranks of bold experimental cultures, who are progressively moving forward while we sit unwilling to budge from our old-fashioned beliefs. I love modern colours and shapes in glasses! Surely I’m not alone in this.
We see people walk into our shop wearing worn down metal frames that could be as much as 5 years old. Is it because of Melbourne’s aging population? Are we lazy, or just lacking in imagination? This is especially surprising because Melbourne is the art capital of Australia. There are over 650 art galleries here. Could it be the intellectuals of our city think old glasses are chic?
There is no excuse to be wearing old glasses, because you can get modernised versions of the old classic styles incorporating new technologies and colours, with refreshing takes on the old. We’ve seen a small pocket of successful entrepreneurial types who have begun to adopt this approach. They go for an old worldly charm, or a classic look, but these people are not pervasive in Melbourne. As a city, we may be sinking into a pit of unrefined mediocrity.
Is it because of a fashion oligarchy that runs the big Melbourne fashion shows? These people often have the newest designs, but they either don’t share them with the rest of us, or something stops them from permeating throughout the rest of normal society. What would a true fashion style for modern 2012 Melbourne look like? Why don’t we Melbournians finally take the step to create a new style?
Look, individuals in our society have made significant social impacts and innovations on the entire globe. Why don’t we make Melbourne itself known for ‘cool glasses’? The roll-on effects could be staggering. It could start a new manufacturing industry – the current state of ours has been heading downhill for a long time.
In the old days, only the elite wore optics. The rest of the community walked around in various stages of blindness or with limited vision. Glasses were seen as a luxury item, almost like a form of jewellery. Don’t tell us the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ is what’s stopping us from expressing ourselves, a fear that others will think we are saying we’re better than them because our glasses look great?
We need to change this attitude if we want Melbourne to be a progressive society. If you’re interested in seeing some of the most technologically advanced and beautiful designer glasses frames in Melbourne, come down to Visual Q Eyecare in South Yarra and we’ll take the time to show you all of the great colours, styles, and shapes that could help Melbourne to become truly fashionable.
By Simon Ch’ng