womens : 1970s : k5411
product code : k5411 : £ 195
  • 1970s white layer on frosted gold optyl frame
    by CHRISTIAN DIOR MADE IN GERMANY

  • Original photochromic (grey) glass lenses

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  • This pair formed part of Dior's Definitions range, released in 1977 -

    here it is in ad ad from the New Yorker in April that year, ours is the

    pair held by the model, as opposed to the others being worn by

    mannequins. This is #2042 - our pair in white on gold while the ad

    looks to be a grey shaded optyl. We've talked before on these pages

    about the Austrian legend Wilhelm Anger (1926-2014) and his invention

    of the material 'Optyl', a cast epoxy resin that revolutionised eyewear -

    and about his acquisition of the Christian Dior licence from US company

    Tura, in 1966. This piece embodies a European couture story and

    relationship between Marc Bohan of Dior and Anger, which seems to

    have borne fruit quickly in 1966 in Paris, when Bohan's latest creations

    were shown on models also wearing coordinated eyewear and sunglasses

    from the Christian Dior collection. His more youthful styles of 1966 sparked

    a new period for Bohan at Dior, who by the late 1960s was using the French

    plastic rhodoid to decorate dresses, with the usual beading and embroidery.

    Perhaps Anger influenced him as it is a cellulose acetate, and their early Dior

    eyewear was not Optyl as it had only been invented in 1964, and the factory

    took time to produce it in quantity. In 1973 though, we know that Bohan

    went to Traun and worked with Anger on a capsule collection in Optyl,

    released in 1974. As Bohan had also created the 'CD' monogram, it's

    interesting to see how it was then realised in the metal components and as

    a decorative feature in Dior's Optyl eyewear. Here it's in gold. Bohan was

    the first to appreciate how branding could change couture, especially in

    more accessible accessories. His first Optyl designs explored bright colours

    and contrast, and three years later here he is using effects - frosting versus

    transparency and painted white, grooved lines to define the inner and outer

    offset stepped sections of the frame. The lenses are photochromic glass and

    react to sunlight, starting at 70% absorption indoors and darkening to about

    25% in full sun. The pale grey tint and the neutral colour frame work beautifully

    with most outfits - for any day, indoors and out, all-seasons glamour. Bohan led

    Dior over three decades, and here in 1977 is one of his entire looks, including

    sunglasses - remember his work inspired and seduced such beauties and

    eyewear icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Princess Grace of Monaco

    and Jacqueline Kennedy.

                                                           — klasik