Get Your Shades On

With the weather soooooooo unpredictable these days (rainy one moment, and supremely sunny the next), we don’t know whether to dress up or down anymore. But one thing’s for sure—you can’t ever go wrong with a pair of shades. They go with just about everything (except perhaps a thick wool jacket in the middle of the night), and they make fun accessories too. Here are our picks of the latest and most stylish sunglasses on the market.
Karen Walker Eyewear
Since its launch in 2005, the inaugural Karen Walker Eyewear collection has been worn by numerous celebrities including Beth Ditto and MIA. But star power aside, the pieces are naturally contemporary, mod and likeable. Plus, they really are well made. The shapes are never predictable, fused together with the highest quality acetate, hardware and lenses, and completely hand crafted for that artisanal touch (apparently, each piece passes through 200 pairs of hands before it’s completely finished). Never mind that they may look like props straight out of The X-Files or Josie & The Pussycats, each of these babies is made using a mix of both standard and spring hinges, and all are actually more comfortable than they look. Modern luxury has never felt so good. $350 upwards from Front Row (#02-09 Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Rd., 6224-5501).
Those who are looking for something even more premium must not miss out on cult Japanese eyewear brand 999.9’s latest Spring/Summer drops. While the focus here is craftsmanship, the brand does not compromise on design. Pieces are specially made to fit more Asian features, such as lower and smaller nasal bone structures, and crafted using lightweight (and sometimes bendable) titanium ($680 upwards)—available in a myriad of colors, including hot pink, leopard print and sensual turquoise, exclusively at Shinagawa Optical (#02-15/16 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Rd., 6735-5665). But if you’re looking for that perfect piece, check out the deliriously durable $6,000 version, handmade with carbon fibers and available in a classic shade of dark blue.
Frency & Mercury
While its full collection may not be here yet, hot Japanese sunglass label Frency & Mercury’s piece to beat is its collaboration with the estate of Michel Jackson. Available between $450- 550 in very limited quantities exclusively at Front Row, the collaboration, dubbed “Story Teller,” features six color variations of its original Bar Belezza model—based on the signature teardrop shaped model made from pure titanium and acetate that MJ himself sported when he was still alive. But what makes this special is the exquisite packaging, which comes with a special signature black case and box bearing the image of the great man—a must for hardcore fans. Plus, the deceptively simple design of these shades is cool and accessible to just about anyone. This could actually give Raybans a run for their money.
House of Harlow 1960
For no-frills sunglasses with a touch of glam, head down to Inhabit The Other Store (#02-16 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Rd., 6836-8441) for your fix of Hollywood heiress Nicole Richie’s sunglass range for her label House of Harlow 1960. Specially created for the budget-conscious fashionista who dreams big, the collection evokes vintage LA glamour for just $209. We especially like the Cassie model, which comes with a gold necklace embedded onto the rim of the shades. For something more classic, try the Cary version, reportedly a personal favorite of Richie herself. Who cares if these plastic sunshades are a little flimsy, if you’re star struck all the same?