“The Ilori store in SoHo must be one of the only sunglass emporiums with a V.I.P. room. Lounging there with a flute of Moët, nibbling dark chocolate, shoppers can ponder just the right accessory to create the allure that they are Somebodies…Will these Tom Ford wood-and-steel aviators convince onlookers that my natural habitat is the red carpet? Will Ralph Lauren’s $350 shades suggest I have stepped off a yacht in Edgartown? …. Men have embraced sunglasses with a passion, and may even be driving sales,” said James J. Spina, the editor in chief of 20/20, an eyewear monthly. “Unlike men’s previous pet object, the watch, which half the time is covered by a sleeve, sunglasses are always visible, a kind of jewelry for the face. They give men an identity.” From article in the NY Times.
Besides an identity statement, they can of coruse be worn for something more mundane, for oversensitive eyes after laser surgery, for example, or for a mask over bloodshot whites after a night of drinking. They can also have a sinister use. Remember the sadistic guard in Cool Hand Luke? It seemed he was always wearing his mirrored aviators. Look into his eyes and you’ll only see your own misery. It was for precisely this reason that mirrored glasses were also encouraged for “guards” in the Stanford Prison Experiment as part of their daily uniform, described in The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo.
When you look in these lenses punk you’re only gonna see your own stinkin’ miserable reflection. And that, scum, is my only fashion statement.