OPTICAL COLLUSION

Shady Char­ac­ter brings the fla­vor of film noir to eye­wear — and style sleuths are hot on the trail

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

Glasses don’t have to be geeky or gawky — now you can ex­ude an air of fa­tal­ism and even a hint of men­ace with these ’70s throw­backs from Shady Char­ac­ter.

Like some ne­far­i­ous con­spir­acy, the orig­i­nal brand was hatched in a base­ment in Man­hat­tan back in the city’s Gotham days. It gained no­to­ri­ety af­ter con­spir­ing with the James Dean Foun­da­tion to res­ur­rect the movie star’s eye­glasses look. But it was to be a short-lived ca­per, as the eye­wear racket was on the wane and the Shady crew had no choice but to pop a cap in it.

Con­trary to be­lief, the dead do tell tales, and the Shady leg­end even­tu­ally reached the ears of The Light Com­pany in Ja­pan. They made comic artist Aaron Lang an of­fer he couldn’t refuse, and he put pen to pa­per to ex­hume a few shifty types from the past — and from a fa­mil­iar dystopian fu­ture — to sport the new Shady Char­ac­ter au­tumn/win­ter 2018 col­lec­tion. Styles in­clude Al­pha, with clas­sic Welling­ton frames, “bowtie” riv­ets and a “key­hole” nose bridge. These are fairly close to the James Dean model, but Al­pha gives them a su­per­fly ’70s fla­vor. Then there’s Me­chanic, which com­bines Welling­ton and ti­ta­nium frames, and fea­tures bowtie riv­ets adorn­ing both arms and frame — chan­nel­ing that Charles-Bron­son-with-adeath-wish look. For the ladies, there’s Sailor, a clever rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Welling­ton frame with a slightly raised “cat’s eye” — per­fect for dames with a burn­ing se­cret.

Word on the street is that there’s a Shady ship­ment com­ing in at the bay — Cause­way Bay, to be ex­act — at I.T Hysan One, along with I.T Sil­ver­cord. But if you want to be in on the big buy, you’ll need to look for the elu­sive Neith brand kiosks. Shady Char­ac­ter of­fers mod­els for both sun­glasses and spec­ta­cles, and there’s a whis­per that op­tometrists will be there to help with var­i­ous lenses when the stand­alone store opens later in the year.

Things look to be on the level.

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