Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Karen Walker: Sunglasses 2011/2012


The biggest, brightest and possibly boldest of all Karen Walker's sunglasses ranges, 2011/2012 is the most recent collection. It incorporates the filigree motif and rabbit you can see as a part of the jewellery range as well as brightly coloured perspex, tortoiseshell in rounded off and whimsical designs. Expressing my adoration for this range is difficult- since it seems oh so familiar to the other sunglasses collections from Karen Walker. But there's a little quaint difference in the finer details, the rabbit ears and the silhouette of the cute little bunny (I'm rabbit lover, had 6 at one time, sucker for rabbits incorporated into designs), also there is a variation in the round 1960's shaped glasses. Although there's a few with amazing bright coloured frames I also like the large reflective large circular shades without frames and arrow pointed detail. 
I am a bit tentative about circular frames with that said, I think Karen Walker's range gives you a diverse range of colours and materials, as well as different variations on the lens shade, detail over the nose bridge and size of the lens. It can either look amazing, quirky with 1960s style and flair or you can become looking like a dorky bug eyed eccentric. There is a fine line between the cutting edge style of tomorrow and the out-there, the weird and the shunned.When styles have to be reinvented and represented time and time again I think that sometimes the biggest challenges for a designer is to have a trademark look about the pieces they create but also be able to bring something new and alive to a collection. Karen Walker balances these two things well within her sunglasses range, but I'm not sure we see the same trademark elemental thread throughout her clothing collections.  

These new cut-off at the top sunglasses seem to have a sense of fullness about them. Cut off in their prime. I'm not sure if my writing throughout the year has generally been adapted to please examiner assessors or I'm looking too far into it but there is sort of an unfinished and incomplete element to the sunglasses. I love the mixture of the hot and vibrant pink with the tortoiseshell profile view. The purple tinted colour... the trademark arrow darts. It's a reinvented look for the KW sunglasses and the interplay between new materials and colours seems to emphasise a heavier aspect of summer and style. This type of high end sunglasses aren't the type you would dare bring to a sweat-soaked Summer festival full of moshing and body contact but for the beach they would fit right in. Were it not for my ray bans (which I hardly use) I might be in the market  for a pair such as this.

This is the best blending in between, named the 'Soul Club' the new sort of modern framed sunglasses, with the circular round frames and Woody Allen shaped ray bans. I think that's one of the best names given to a product, because these sunglasses really do have a lot of heart and soul about them. That said, Ray bans are the most imitated brand and are versatile for a range of faces. I've always been of the opinion that they look good on whoever they are perched on and ray bans have been the trademark and sought after brand of the sunglasses world. Just the slight widening, the heavy sense of plastic and a almost wide thickened cat eye flick at the top of the frames screams 60s freedom and colour but is also new age and modern in a sense. There's a versatility about the frame shape that is entirely the designer's own and I think that's fantastic.

Rabbit silhouette detail! There's the quirk and cuteness of the rabbit over the right lens of the sunglasses frames but the strong and rectangular design of the shades themselves evokes a Kanye West and untouchable sense of fame. You could wear them out at night with confidence and get away with it although I myself admit that I think wearing sunglasses indoors or at night is tacky and you'd need to be full of yourself to do it.
In contrast and possibly inspired by the tortoiseshell colour variations of the sunglasses comes a wood grain effect to Karen Walker's sunglasses with brown tinted lenses and bright yellow edges. I really like wood grain effects on cameras and I'm thrilled to see it on sunglasses now especially by this prestigious New Zealand designer. Possibly in the first design and structure listed above for this wood grain colour but I am open minded and if I had the cash and circumstances to loll around a high end fashion store I would be more than happy to be talked into buying such amazing sunglasses. This new colour variation and the neat presentation of the campaign affirms to me that there are style new designs that will be made from Karen Walker and I will never really be disappointed with a campaign. They will use their wiles and guises to reinvent old favourites with the new colours of the season and impress me. That we can both be sure of.


The presentation of the models for this collection was really different and new compared to previous collections; rocking pale complexions, nude lips and white hair. Think Ice-Landic

Here are some of my two favourites in the eye wear range in terms of structure, Bunny is the name of the second pair of shades in hot pink with clear perspex and the cut out arrow darts along the side and the first circular framed frames is dubbed 'Keep The Faith Sunglasses'. I'm sure you've heard this story before but when I was on exchange earlier this year in America, I  had a pair of round framed sunglasses that were perfect by One Teaspoon and their cat knocked them over from the table and then the dog chewed them and then they tried to hide the evidence... I was heart broken and I think I'm still trying to fill the void of my first pair of sunglasses and replacing them. I love looking at all the bright colours and variations in designs of the Karen Walker range but if I were to buy a pair I would need to do my research since they usually cost over $200 so you have to be sure that the pair you get is not only right for you but versatile to become a part of your wardrobe and everyday life to get the best out of them. That said though, the black pair with the tiny little rabbit over one eye are the cutest thing in the world and I will probably never seen the rabbit motif incorporated into any other design of sunnies...


That is one lucky and good looking mop.

Von Trapp Sunglasses and the Patsy Sunglasses shown above, The Von Trapp's are brilliant and I think I adore them more as a piece of art rather than something I would personally own or wear. I am tentative about the whole oversize sunglasses trend, I always look like a weird bug but I am somehow attracted to the super reflective nature of those shades and the fact that they are the only sunglasses within this eyewear range that doesn't have an actually colourful frame makes it just something special and different. Of course, I always love things that are special and different. The Patsy sunglasses really show off the gorgeous deep pink of the perspex coloured plastic Karen Walker has as a part of her collection and I love it! I don't wear pink that often but I am magnetically attracted to that colour. It screams Summer and good times. Going to the beach... I'm so excited for all these things and no longer being weighed down with Holiday Homework. I'm a free agent for the first time in about a year (in terms of study).

Simply named 'Va Va' these are the sunglasses that sort of tie together the jewellery range as well as the sunglasses collection of 2012 for Karen Walker. That, and the cheeky rabbit ear detail over the frames as well as the filigree motif. If you do happen to like the pattern on the top half of the sunglasses so much, there is an incredible gold cuff in the same weaved and intricate pattern. I just like this last pair for the design, but I can't see myself strutting around Melbourne with them but I am inspired by the new design and flamboyance of the Karen Walker range. 

Every now and then I feel apprehensive about fashion as if it has all been done before and there will never be any new designs made but I keep getting happily trumped by the fact that there are people slaving day and night to break out into the fashion scene and become a globally recognised brand. Karen Walker, the New Zealand label that breaks the fronts of fashion, eyewear and jewellery threatens to compete with some of the very best within the business and I think that's fantastic.

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