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Cat eye sunglasses in black and blue with 'v' shaped inserts in frame

Date: 1950s
Overall: 45 x 136 x 120 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Plastic, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sunglasses
Object No: 00001739

User Terms

    Cat eye sunglasses in black and blue with 'v' shaped inserts in frame.
    SignificanceAs swimwear developed more daring and exotic styles during the mid-20th century, beach accessories such as sunglasses, pyjamas and kimonos became essential components of beach couture. These accessories provided protection from the sun, but also provided extra modesty for the wearer during the transition for swimwear from covering all to exposing all.
    HistoryAside from the decline in the amount of fabric and the increase in exposed flesh over this period, swimwear fashion from the 1920s to the 1950s has been described as the ‘haute couture’ period of beachwear, driven in part by the emerging Parisian designer Coco Chanel whose beachwear was gracing the bodies of the European holiday set. Swimwear at this time is glamorous and not just relegated to bathing suits – with high heels, beautiful beach pyjamas and fabulous kimonos appearing alongside a wide variety of accessories. This accessorising highlights the transition from covering all to exposing all. While swimsuits were getting smaller, there was still a need to coverup in the public sphere, and the fashionable robes and pyjamas fulfilled that role.

    The style of sunglasses known as 'catseye', with their peaked edges and thick rims were made popular by Hollywood screen siren Marilyn Monroe both professionally (in movies such as 'How to Marry a Millionaire) in the 1950s. The popularity of the 'catseye' style throughout the following two decades was cemented when Audrey Hepburn wore them in her iconic role in the movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Catseye Sunglasses

    Web title: Cat eye sunglasses in black and blue with 'v' shaped inserts in frame

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