Katwalk: The sun’s sons and daughters

Islanders, spring is on the edge and summer is on its way. And where there’s sun, there’s a reason to wear shades, anywhere and everywhere. They protect your eyes and look cool and occasionally help oglers to ogle, and I’ll stop there. Here are some shades of the trade.

Victoria

At 761 Fort Street, there’s a little optical store called Goo Goo Goggles. If you haven’t been there before, prepare yourself before you step in. It is an eyeful full of eyes. Just go in and look up — glass eyeballs with wings hang from the ceiling. At first I thought they were golden snitches. Despite the piffling disappointment I felt when I learned they were not, it’s anything but boring in there.

Goo Goo Goggles has some unusual, playful, almost idiosyncratic frames. Very Wonderland-esque, which means that there are some frames suited for mettlesome Mad Hatters and cryptic Cheshire Cats. You can even revamp those plain sunglass lenses — prescription or otherwise — with the store’s special cabinet full of vintage frames, as well as adorable picks for kids.

The only way to find the right shades for you is to try them on and check yourself out in the mirror. (Warning: cool shades may lead to excessive time spent in front of the mirror, which may lead to narcissism. But fortunately, unlike the Greek hunter, it won’t be till death do you part; it’s not as if anyone will let you stay past closing time.)

However, if weird isn’t your thing, I suggest hitting up the Family Eyecare Centre at 749 Yates Street. You couldn’t ask for lovelier people who know their stuff. I’ve trusted them with my eyes since I first arrived in Victoria in 2011.

Shelbourne Optical, at 115-3066 Shelbourne Street, also just welcomed the arrival of Tom Ford’s 007 Skyfall sunglasses. There’s nothing like an allusion to Bond to get those more sophisticated shoppers going.

Personally, I’ve got my eye on a pair of Toms shades in Street Jeans Wear at 1241 Government Street (that’s a mouthful). Most well known for their One-for-One campaign, Toms has become a popular maker of slip-on shoes. The company designed aviator-style sunnies with metal-meets-wooden frames and a brown/white/blue colour scheme that I really want to push up the bridge of my nose as I manoeuvre through the ocean of tents at a music festival.

Australia

Colab is an eyewear label that collaborates with different people (just as the name suggests) to create “art for your face.” Put those Ray-Ban Wayfarers away and make room for the creations of the sun’s sons and daughters down under.

There are no limits for Colab designs . . . or their names. The Entrepreneur. My Peepers. Woodies. The Girl And The See. Waybetters. Incandescent Loverboy. Erostika. I’m Starting To Feel OK. Oh, much better than okay now that I know these brilliant shades exist. They’re mostly $100–$300 each, shipped free worldwide with a Colab hardcase, a designed lens cloth and, for certain products, a limited-edition poster. Visit colab.com.au for more.

If you can’t trust the men and women who brave the UV rays that slip through one of the biggest holes in the ozone layer to design quality shades, who can you trust?

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