In Print

Long used in carpets, textiles and interior design, Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2010 collection is generally credited for putting digital printing on the fashion map. In the subsequent years, its use in the production of clothes has become ubiquitous in the collections of designers like Akris, Peter Pilotto, Clover Canyon, Matthew Williamson and most notably, Mary Katrantzou.

WHAT: Digital prints, photo prints or computerized patterns, no matter what you refer to them by, lens treatments that evoke the use of them are on the rise in sunwear. Generally paired with a mirror or flash coating, these printed lenses can range from some subtle logo printing to an over-the-top tessellation.

WEAR: (Top to bottom) The J.F. Rey Black Heart 0101 is a laser cut metal frame done in a skull and cross bones motif; a motif that is seamlessly printed in repeat on the flash mirror lenses. The Mykita Mylon Anselme would be cool if it just featured the brands proprietary 3D printed frame material, alpine goggle-inspired styling and orange mirrored lenses, but the cool factor is vastly increased by the “Mykita Mylon Glacier” logo printed on the right lens that only appears when breathed on. The Burberry B3071 aviators from Luxottica not only feature the brands iconic plaid print splashed across the lightly mirrored lenses but it’s actually a folding style making it stylish and compact! The Dior So Real/S sunglasses from Safilo have a lot going on in the best possible way; tort acetate outlined in chrome, accenting with chrome and possessed of the most minimal floating bridge/brow bar hybrid ever, the style’s lenses take it home with a nearly black lens sharply bisected at the top by a highly reflective silver mirror.

WHY: Part advancing technology, part novelty, printed lenses have also become a mash up of fashion and fun. The lens patterns are typically not for the benefit of the wearer, as it’s possible the treatment can be slightly distracting, but for grabbing the attention of the observer or passerby… and who doesn’t want more attention? Additionally, it’s exactly that same eye-catching attention that these frames will garner sitting on a retailer’s frame board, merchandising presentation or window display….even if the frame that is finally purchased is much more ordinary. ■