At long last, snow days are here. Whether you are hitting the slopes or the après-ski sunbathing scene, it’s time to don your best movie-star inspired eyewear
Throughout the last century, there have been some major societal shifts that have brought about seismic changes to the way we dress. Nevertheless, our conception of fashionable ski-attire has more or less stayed the same for the past 60 years. We still look to Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963) for ultimate ski-style. Slim Aarons’ images of the jet set vacationing in Verbier, Courchevel and Aspen in the 1960s are just as relevant today as then.
And if the image of Brigitte Bardot in statement mod sunglasses is not enough to convince you to amp up your winter glamour, turn to the runway for inspiration: Max Mara's angular sunnies sported with quilted brown outerwear reminds us of Audrey Hepburn while Moncler Genius teamed up with Adidas for a retro-futuristic collaboration.
With the resurgence of retro-inspired design, Vogue Scandinavia takes a closer look at the evolution of après-ski eyewear through the iconic moments that have shaped our winter wardrobes. Here is our edit of eight vintage eyewear styles and where to shop their modern counterparts.
Audrey Hepburn, 1963
The opening scene of the 1963 movie Charade, gave us the moment that has come to define glamorous ski-style for decades to come: Audrey Hepburn in a dark Givenchy catsuit, brown balaclava and oversized tortoiseshell Pierre Marly sunglasses, dining al fresco on a terrace in Megève. The french optician Pierre Marly, on rue François 1er, was no stranger to supplying the stars and the Parisian high society of the 1950s and 1960s with signature eyewear. In 1952, Marly designed an original pair of oversized cat-eye frames for Hepburn, which made its way to the silver screen in 1963, forever solidifying its cult status.
Tortoiseshell round sunglasses
Grace Kelly, 1963
Have you forgotten the feeling of waking up to powder snow? What better reminder of the invigorating pleasures of winter than this 1963 image of Princess Grace of Monaco sledding with her children in Gstaad, sporting a chunky Aran knit sweater and tortoiseshell cat-eye sunglasses. The less pointy version of the cat-eye frames was first made popular at the beginning of the 1960s by stars like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, and its allure on mountain resorts has certainly not diminished with the years.
Romy Schneider, 1963
Winter 1963 proved to be a great vintage of ski-style, providing yet another iconic image that has inspired us to take up the ski poles: Romy Schneider pictured with Alan Delon, wearing a pair of edgy wraparound sunglasses that look conspicuously contemporary. In 1936, Edwin H. Land contributed to one of eyewear’s biggest breakthroughs when he applied his patented polaroid filter on lenses and invented the glare-reducing polarised lenses. In the 1960s the wraparound shape combined with polarised lenses helped further reduce glare. As the wraparound hugged the contours of the face, it prevented glare and bright spots that obscure the vision, which came particularly handy in snowy, high-altitude environments.
Reverse xpander oval sunglasses
Brigitte Bardot, 1971
The slopes have long served as the makeshift runway for the jet set, for whom being seen are on par with skiing. Statement eyewear belongs in a mountain resort just as much as your thermals. Here to illustrate that point is this 1971 image of bona fide ski-muse Brigitte Bardot in white-framed, XXL statement shades while on vacation in Switzerland. Our collective fascination with the outlandish hasn’t waned since the space age. In that spirit, why not cruise down the slopes in statement shades from Burburry this season?
Lola oversized round sunglasses
Britt Ekland, 1975
No franchise has done more for glamorous ski-attire than the James Bond franchise. Turn to this 1975 image of Bond Girl Britt Ekland for proof. The Swedish actress oozes alpine allure in a colour-blocked puffer (that wouldn’t look out of place in a Perfect Moment collection today) and a pair of oversized metal-framed aviator sunglasses while skiing in the Swiss Alps. Bausch & Lomb first introduced the aviator sunglasses to the US Air Force in the 1930s, featuring metal frames with teardrop-shaped lenses to shield peripheral vision and deflect glare. Its anti-glare properties has made the appeal of aviator sunglasses stretch far beyond the military and a popular choice for mountain adventures.
Aviator metal sunglasses
Via Matches Fashion
Marianne Faithfull, 1978
The weather on the mountains during winter months can be unpredictable, the elements warrant full eye protection. Luckily, by 1978 oversized eyewear that covered most of the face was the norm. And Marianne Faithfull’s bold, dark bug eye sunglasses are no exception. Bold bug eye sunglasses are having a moment right now. Oversized bug eye styles were prominently featured on the AW21 Balenciaga runway or shall I say game world, and with Kim Kardashian diligently sporting them one by one in real life - the demand has become insatiable. Don’t be surprised to see them popping up on mountain resorts and Instagram feeds alike this season.
Giv cut shield sunglasses
Lynn Holly Johnsen, 1981
One of the most iconic ski-looks of all times featured in the 1981 James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only: Lynn Holly Johnsen in a red fitted ski-suit with Western motifs paired with red full-framed ski goggles. The pop of colour of the 80s was a stark departure from the more demure colours of ski-wear and eyewear of the past. While sunglasses are a great fixture for the après-ski sunbathing scene, opt for ski goggles for safety and performance if you should decide to venture on the slopes. Thanks to retro design being in vogue this season, you don’t need to compromise technical know-how for style.
Princess Diana, 1986
Sunglasses with mirrored lenses soared in popularity in the 1980s. The reflective coating applied to their outer lens proved efficient in deflecting glare and gave the mirrored sunglasses a glitzy appearance in true 80s’ spirit. The People’s Princess, a champion of statement sunglasses, embraced the mirrored sunglasses with equal parts gusto and authority. This image of Princess Diana in a white balaclava and a pair of mirrored aviator shades while on ski holiday in Klosters forever cemented a place for mirrored lenses in the hearts of the mountain resort pack.