Gucci: The Glasses
There’s something about a pair of thick-rimmed black spectacles that will always, always, somewhere at the back of your head say Clark Kent. Yes, they can whisper other names, names of people who have made careers out of being slightly awkward and uncomfortable in their skin, but really, if we’re honest, the first thought is usually Clark Kent. For when it comes to pop-culture reference he’s kind of the original thick-rimmed black-spectacle wearer. And his alter ego was Superman, which in terms of superhero names really can’t be beaten, because if you were to be a superhero, could you really do any better than call yourself Superman and be able to fly? And on a random side note, did you know that Clark Kent was named in honour of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor? Yes, Gable might be the better known of the two, but if you’re going to be named after somebody, why not be named after two people and why not have the people you are named after just happen to be stars of the 1930s silver screen? Before black-rimmed glasses came to symbolise some geeky teenager in some 1980s teen movie whose preferred method of keeping them from falling apart was with a plaster or some Sellotape, or an awkward adult male from the 1970s with a shrink addiction, they were a bit more debonair, a little more suave. They spoke of mystery and secret identities. Which kind of does and kind of doesn’t bring us to our point, which is this: Gucci. There were thick-rimmed black spectacles on the catwalk at Gucci. Admittedly, the collection was more nautical inspired than superhero, more sailor than Clark Kent, but this being Gucci, it was a bit more of a 1970s sailor with a bit of a rock’n’roll undercurrent, and when it comes to Gucci you never really think Gucci and sailor in the same sentence, so you could, I suppose, describe the idea of the sailor man as Gucci man’s alter ego. Anyway, the sailor was inspired, apparently, in part by the idea of Mick Jagger holidaying in Mustique, and in part by Steven Tyler. Jagger famously wore a sailor outfit in the It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It) video. In fact all of the Rolling Stones wore sailor outfits in that video. There isn’t any photographic evidence of Tyler wearing anything sailor related (well, not that I can find, though he always was a bit more pirate), but he does wear thick-rimmed black spectacles. There’s even a picture of him in a pair, standing on a ladder, leaning against a bookshelf, browsing through a book in them, on his Instagram account. So I suppose it’s entirely plausible that the whole thing was simply inspired by Jagger and Tyler, and though there might be more Jagger in the collection, you could argue that, because of the glasses thing, Tyler is the Clark Kent to Jagger’s Superman. They share the lips for it.
By Natalie Dembinska