i’ll admit that, despite the now-rampant success of celebrity fashion lines (see, e.g., the row, victoria beckham), i still approach celeb collections with a healthy dose of skepticism. but when nicole richie launched her accessories line, house of harlow, a few years back, i replaced my raised eyebrow with a hearty smile (okay, so i’m still desperately coveting her orange leather aztec bangle. badly.). i expected cheap costume jewelry, but found her pieces to be well-made, beautiful and creative, and the collection is perfectly cohesive. who knew?
so, when i heard the line had branched out into sunglasses this season, i had to give them a try. after all, not many celebs are more well-known for their penchant for sunnies than nicole richie, so the girl must know a thing or two about making them work. sure enough, her styles for spring are dead-on. hip, flattering shapes with super-dark lenses, incredibly sturdy construction, and a few special touches.
i was a little dubious about the shading on the lenses of the pair i tried, which lifts to clear at the bottom half inch of the frame (see the first pic, above). while i’m still not sure i’m cool enough, kind friends assure me they look incredibly hip. and i can tell you that feature is pure genius in the function department. ever tried to look up something on your iphone while wearing dark glasses? or read a book in the sun? these make it staggeringly simple. and, while there are also plenty of styles in the line without this feature, it’s a genius touch that i’d expect only from a designer who never leaves home without a pair.
check out all the house of harlow styles at shop the trend, or find a more curated selection at shopbop…some are a little too, ahem, trendy for my taste, but there are plenty of classic styles as well. my hands-down favorite is the charlotte, definitely the most uptown of her styles, but hey…that’s me. i’d also try the nicole, the cary (a riff on the classic wayfarer), the jordana or the marie, which has that old-school hollywood glam in spades.