Ah, the dreamy 1960s are back in style and we couldn’t be happier. It’s all thanks to Quentin Tarantino and his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. With the release date set for 15th August, we can already confirm one thing – we are completely besotted with the simply stunning eyewear on show, particularly as modelled by one Leonardo Di Caprio and one Margot Robbie. It has been called Tarantino's love letter to 1960s LA and we just can’t wait to see it in all its glory!
But what is it about the 1960s that still infatuates us after nearly six decades? It was a time of style revolution when the staid post-war years were ditched for ever higher hemlines and daring British style and fashion as epitomised by such 1960s icons like Twiggy. Many of those enduring 1960s style leaders, from Gregory Peck and Jackie Oh to Steve McQueen and Sofia Loren, have simply never been bettered.
So, if you’d like to channel some that style this summer, here’s our guide to the essential 1960s icons you need in your life.
The Aviator is a style that refuses to age. Originally designed for pilots, Aviators are distinguished by their thin, wire frames for optimum visibility and large lenses to prevent light coming in from the sides and to enhance peripheral sight. First developed by Ray-Ban, the Aviator has certainly come a long way since its debut way back in the 1930s, with just one of its heydays peaking in the 1960s. To really capture the 1960s look, choose gold metal frames paired with brown or yellow lenses, like the Ray-Ban Shooter.
The Hollywood Round
If we had to choose one person who epitomised the glamorous side of the 1960s aesthetic, then it must be Jackie Kennedy/Onassis. Everything she touched, wore or even looked at became a style icon and none more so than round, oversized sunglasses like our modern examples below. She would surely be proud to know that her legacy lives on, especially in styles like the Chloe Carlina or the Celine Round.
The Clubmaster is another of those styles that has effortlessly entered the classics hall of fame. Originally popular in the 50s, its popularity carried through into the 60s thanks to a distinctive design characterised by plastic upper frames with thin metal lower rims and rounded lenses. Perhaps the most famous wearer of Clubmasters was the human rights activist, Malcolm X, and if you’d like to emulate some of that 60s style, then stick with the tortoiseshells and browns, as in the Tom Ford Henry or the truly classic Ray-Ban Clubmaster.
The Persol 649 & 714
This Italian eyewear company is one of the oldest in the world, originally formed in 1917 to make eyewear for pilots and drivers. A practical company then, making eyewear that made sure the form of its designs followed their function. This is why the classic Persol 649 and its folding version the 714, which would go on to gain superstar status, were originally made for Italian tram drivers. The large lenses protected their eyes from soot and dust. It was the star of La Dolce Vita, Marcello Mastroianni, who added the star quality to the design, followed by Steve McQueen who favoured the folding 714 version, custom-fitted with blue lenses. These days they’re worn by the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio and the Ryan Gosling and anyone else who like to channel the effortlessly cool side of the 1960s.