Making A Spectacle of Yourself This Fall

TULSA SHADES: Dana Thames is holding the new “Tulsa??? design, and her eight-year-old daughter Haley is wearing Juicy Couture in front of the l.a. EyeWear display at Harrel Eyecare Center. Her camera shy sister, Kirby, was there to pick up her new big and chunky Nike Couture sunglasses.

AYN ROBBINS for GTR Newspapers

“A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized,” Fred Allen, comedian (1894-1956).

If the truth be known, this is probably only half-correct. Celebrities surely hide their myopia and presbyopia behind tinted lenses as often as they hide their identities. Indeed, according to a recent study by the National Eye Institute, over half of all Americans over the age of 20 suffer from blurred vision.

Video games and computers will probably account for even more kids having vision problems earlier in life. I had a “lazy eye” as a child and became a frog-carrying Tomboy, raising my fist to any of my peers who called me “four eyes” or referred to my lenses as “coke bottles.” I might have become a “girly girl” a lot sooner had designer frames such as Disney, Barbie, or Juicy Couture been available back then, not to mention the new-age techno lenses that are so ultra thin and anti-reflective that they almost appear to disappear. Boys from eight to 13 are gravitating towards X-Games frames sanctioned by ESPN and “camo” (as in camouflage) designs.

Recently, I spoke to the very knowledgeable and savvy Kelly Covey, optical specialist at Optical Gallery, a virtual treasure trove of the latest eyewear and actually an extension of the Harrel Eyecare Center and Oklahoma Vision Development Center at 4520 S. Harvard Ave. A visit to will introduce you to Drs. Monte and Tiffany Harrel and Dr. Kirby Pitts and to their medical and diagnostic expertise. You can also bring your prescription from another doctor to take advantage of the wide selection of spectacular eyewear at Optical Gallery.

Ms. Covey explained that while chunky and colors are the elements of style for the upcoming season, business and career choices still lean toward the more reserved and classic drill-mount styles, which are rimless or semi-rimless. Many A-list designers cater to these styles such as Fendi, Calvin Klein, Coach, Polo by Ralph Lauren, and Eye Think EyeWear designed in Chicago and handmade in France.

Nike Sports Couture has become popular for all ages. Teenager Kirby Thames was visiting Optical Gallery to pick up a pair of chunky grey Nike sunglasses the day I dropped in. Her mother, Dana, was browsing the l.a. Eyeworks collection while eight-year-old daughter (and younger sister) Haley posed for our camera in super cool Juicy Couture eyewear especially designed for her and her forward-thinking “Trendz” peers in mind.

Oprah wore green Prada reading glasses on the cover of the July issue of O Magazine. Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, and her ex Brad Pitt are fans of Oliver Peoples.

“Power and bold” are words that come to mind when describing the look the young professional seems most attracted to this year, says Ms. Covey. In fact, some of her clientele purchase eyewear without prescription lenses to complete a professional look so their youthful appearance won’t work against them in the boardroom, courtroom or classroom.

Other clients collect eyewear like Imelda Marcos collected shoes. They are fashion accessories like jewelry and handbags.

I fell in love with l.a. Eyeworks from Los Angeles, a design reportedly sold in Oklahoma exclusively at Optical Gallery. In honor of our fabulous city, a groovy round, textured pair of frames has been named the “Tulsa.” That will be my next purchase. Some of its devotees include Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Ellen DeGeneris, Jessica Alba, and Mick Jagger.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a pair of “readers,” you might try Reading Glasses To Go for a quick fix. At their 71st Street and Yale Avenue location you can find affordable eyewear under $100 with the prescription lenses already in place. I was under the mistaken impression that I would find stacks of designer “knock offs” like the ones in shopping mall kiosks, but au contraire! As I learned from employee Michelle Edens, The Pradas and Armanis you see in their display windows are the real thing. Their own sizzle-design label is called Goo Goo Eyes. They even had a stunning pair of TAG Hauer titanium and leather men’s frames with a price tag of $1,600. Definitely not a “knock off.”

Whether we are having fun in the sun, playing sports, improving our vision, or simply making a fashion statement, eyewear has become a part of our daily lives. Sight is one thing. Insight? Well, that is something else altogether.
Ciao for Now!

Updated 09-11-2008

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