Many people wear prescription eyeglasses, and almost everyone wears sunglasses from time to time. Eyewear is therefore a crucial component of a truly pulled-together look, but many people fail to realize that and spoil an otherwise chic ensemble by wearing ill-chosen glasses. But eyewear can be not only an optical necessity, but a positive contribution to a fashionable and sophisticated ensemble. "
Italy has been, for many years, in the forefront of high-end eyewear design. Given the integrated nature of the Italian fashion industry, almost all of Italy's internationally known fashion houses, accessories specialists, and jewelers produce eyewear along with their many other products, and eyewear styles are designed to complement the latest looks in apparel and accessories.
Most Italian fashion houses have eyewear design departments, located within their larger operating facilities in major cities such as Milan, Florence, and Rome. There are also a small number of independent eyewear designers and manufacturers, often in conjunction with the design and production of jewelry and timepieces. The overwhelming trend in eyewear manufacture, however, is to out-source production to factories in China; virtually all high-fashion Italian eyewear is now designed in Italy and produced in China.
Fashion constantly reference the past to create new ideas for the present, and fashionable eyewear is now in a somewhat retro mood. The dominant trend today is toward classic styles, with strong and slightly massive designs that recall the 1950s and 1960s, perhaps with some influence from the popular television drama "Mad Men." Glass frames now tend to be somewhat square in overall effect, usually rounded-off at the corners. Temple arms are bold, even massive in appearance with (for women) decorative effects such as jeweled inlays or carving. But lightweight wire frames provide a completely different alternative for those who want to reference a different mood from the past. Whatever the specific style, high-end eyewear today features a hand-finished look that reflects the wearer's good taste and appreciation of value.