In 2018, tiny sunglasses took over fashion, with everyone from Bella and Gigi Hadid, Dua Lipa and Kim, Kendall, Kylie and Kourtney trying out all the tiny styles for size. Two years later, the aesthetic is still going strong – only now, in the hands of Kanye West and Virgil Abloh, is it evolving.
Launching a slick, cyclops style reminiscent of those worn by Geordi La Forge in classic episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation at his SS21 Louis Vuitton show in Shanghai earlier this month, Abloh later explained that he was inspired by Afrofuturism of the 70s and 80s. Citing jazz legend Sun Ra as a big influence on the collection, the boldly hued zoot suits and ornate Beanie Baby overcoats and sunglasses were also reminiscent of Funkadelic’s George Clinton – who (surprise!) was also known to wear his. iterations of the subversive style.
Shortly after, West revealed its own mono frame on Twitter, only this time they appeared to be wooden – which begs the question, how are you supposed to see them? Given that the designer has also dropped a whole slew of Yeezy prototypes in quick succession, we’re guessing there’s still a bit of work to do on the final pair, as they currently look like a dislodged, admittedly q chic, alice band.
Also drawing inspiration from classic sci-fi, in the case of “Ye” that meant a 1976 cult film Logan’s Race, like proved when he posted another pair of what is too much-esque boots next to the sculpted “sunglasses”. In fact, it seems that he tapped into Logan’s Race for some time now, given its earlier Yeezy offerings, with their clean lines and muted palettes, as well as its unfortunate Calabasas domed houses – which by no means felt hugely cult – have likely been influenced by those seen in the movie.
However, Abloh and West aren’t the only ones offering the retro-futuristic, indebted style of cyborgs. Seething at Balenciaga in recent seasons (in extremely spacey mirror finishes), the silhouette was also championed by John Galliano at Dior in the early 2000s, and, as a quick scroll through TikTok will attest, Lord knows we don’t. We haven’t finished scratching all the latest fashion bits from this particular era.
The question that remains, however, is whether they will become a full-fledged trend in the same way tiny sunglasses have exploded – but if Kanye has anything to do with it, we wouldn’t be surprised. As the big force behind tiny shades taking over in the first place, after he sent his wife Kim Kardashian West a memo essentially banning her from wearing big frames, let’s not forget that Yeezus himself was the reason why a whole generation of scene kids picked up a pair of neon “shutter” shades for their MySpace profile pictures circa 2009 (cringe). Watch this space, we matter.
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