By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor


Designers like Roberto Cavalli, Reed Krakoff, Prabal Gurung, Donna Karan, Giambattista Valli and Haider Ackerman showcased transparency on their Spring 2013 runways and stars like Kristen Stewart, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker have all famously worn see-through fashions on the red carpet.

WHAT: Unexpected flashes of skin, cut outs and sheer panels have been all the rage in fashion for the last few seasons but how do frame designers interpret that trend for eyeglasses? Enter translucence. Translucent acetate tinged in airy hues has softened the classic crystal frame and translated the feel of the featherweight, sheer fabrics seen in fashion to frames.

(Clockwise from top left) The Betsey Johnson Paparazzi (BJ0143) in the most delicate of pale pinks from Legacie further adds to the opalescent quality of the frame’s color with lustrous, glitter decorated endpieces. The Revlon RV5016 in slate from Altair may look like just a moody crystal grey frame but a closer inspection reveals an ever so subtle shimmer throughout. The Leisure Society Byron in bone from Baumvision could seem almost otherworldly with its ghostly pale hue but the finely wrought lines are more graceful and elegant than ominous. There is nothing insubstantial about the Marc Ecko Cut & Sew Hot for Teach frame in transparent smoke horn from ClearVision; it proves that transparency can still be über masculine. The XXV-RX in slightly light beige from Oliver Peoples (center) is part of the brand’s special edition 25th Anniversary collection and special it is in its pale golden hue.

We are all familiar with the accepted wisdom of frame selection regarding face shape and skin tone. The beauty of a translucent frame is that it actually allows the wearer’s skin tone to shine through and give the frame its own unique glints and highlights. Since rarely are two skin tones exactly alike, each frame can then take on a life of its own, making translucent frames the ultimate “neutral.”