The 2017 series of Pop-Ins at Nordstrom begins with three shops featuring the exciting cultures of Korean fashion and style, curated by Olivia Kim. To start: Gentle Monster, the youthful Korean sunglasses company with a penchant for artistic storytelling.
Gentle Monster sunglasses are striking, but the whole idea of the company is intriguing: a brand that’s trying to decorate your face as well as mess with your mind. The origin story is unusual too. It all deserves a proper introduction, so we broke it down with Taye Yun, Gentle Monster U.S. VP of Communications.
SHOP: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Gentle Monster
CLICK HERE FOR THE Q&A
Turns out, the shades that we hide behind when running errands without makeup or avoiding paparazzi (real or imagined) are still effective for standing out in a crowd. Case in point: Coachella. In that sea of youthful seraphim taking fashion risks, there were any number of startling new frames.
Beyond the basic cat eye or aviator, designs are getting increasingly playful. Glitter, patterns, sweeping angles, tinted lenses—all appear on the new styles. These aren’t simply utilitarian sun shields but rather statement pieces worn front and center, on your face.
Here are some of our favorite new ones, as seen on Coachella festivalgoers.
Concentric Cat Eye
Festival images by Kristin Yamada
Actress Kiernan Shipka slid on a pair of these frames, with circular lenses enveloped in a wiry cat eye. The interlocking geometric shapes create a striking outline, yet it doesn’t threaten to overpower the face.
Shop our picks:
MARC JACOBS 56mm cat eye sunglasses | Fendi 53mm sunglasses
SUNNIES AS SEEN AT COACHELLA: READ MORE
You do your dance around the recycling bins—figuring out what counts as plastic, what is compostable and what is plain rubbish. You offset your carbon footprint by hoofing it to work. You purchase eco-friendly cleaning products and scour your cosmetics bottles so that they can be recycled. You are an eco-warrior. But sometimes the daily battle just doesn’t feel like enough.
A number of designers and companies go beyond the standards of environmental sustainability to find creative ways to make their products earth-friendly. Here are just a few Nordstrom brands preserving the planet with their innovative practices. We are proud to support their ingenious efforts to keep it clean.
Melissa Joy Manning jewelry
Not only does the artisan jeweler look to nature to inspire her earthy, handcrafted creations, but Manning’s California studio is Green Certified. Her methods, too, include using recycled silver and gold sourced with the highest environmental standards. The stones on her jewelry are often upcycled from antique charms or made from alternative composites like refined ore from Michigan auto plants or raspberry nickel from former U.S. zipper factories. All the diamonds in her collection are conflict-free. Other stones are sourced using environmentally and socially responsible practices as well.
GREEN UP YOUR ACT: READ MORE
We visited Kate Young on the bright, sunny morning immediately following the Met Gala and not long before all the craziness of Cannes, and that right there is all the metaphor you really need. Every day in the life of this ultra-cool celebrity stylist is the day after something really major. And probably the day before and during something really major, too. Kate Young … she’s just major.
Celebrity stylist Kate Young showing us some of the tools of her trade
on the morning after the Met Gala this past May; image by Kirby Calvin
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you know her by name or that adorable, blonde-fringed face. As a stylist and brand collaborator/consultant, her genius and finesse live largely beyond the camera’s gaze. Not our camera, mind you. No, Kirby Calvin and I brought our lens right up to Young’s downtown NYC office and talked to her about Kate Young for Tura, the collection of super-chic sunglasses she made in collaboration with the New York City–based eyewear brand and available now at Pop-In Goes Poolside.
Kate Young’s office; image by Kirby Calvin
Here’s what she who dresses Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman and Sienna Miller has to say about summer style, swimming holes of the eastern United States and how frames frame your style.
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For adventure-ready sunglasses, we’re loving the TOMS Traveler: clean design, bendable SOLAFLEX construction. Throw them in your bag and speed off into the horizon, no hard protective case necessary.
Plus, built into every purchase is the brand’s famous one-for-one philanthropy.
Just like how buying a pair of TOMS shoes helps a person in need, TOMS ensures each pair of sunglasses sold results in sight-giving assistance to a different person who could use help paying for glasses or ocular medical attention.
We spoke to travel hounds and witnesses to TOMS’ good works John Whitledge, creative director and designer for TOMS eyewear, and Darin Dennee, TOMS eyewear director. They gave us insights (pun intended) into TOMS’ programs in Paraguay, which islands they’re surfing next and where to go when you’re in Shanghai.
And they confirmed the virtual unbreakability of these shades.
Shop: TOMS sunglasses
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We all know the moment after slipping on a great pair of sunnies and looking in the mirror—that feeling of being instantly more cool, fabulous and mysterious. Turns out, it’s not just in our heads; it’s a scientific fact. At least according to senior art and design lecturer, Vanessa Brown from Nottingham Trent University.
Brown gave the Science of Us a glimpse into the research for her upcoming book, Cool Shades: The History and Meaning of Sunglasses. The gist? 1. Sunglasses make your face appear symmetrical, which is synonymous with perceived beauty. 2. They hide your eyes—no peaking through the windows to your soul. 3. The glamour of Audrey Hepburn and edginess of James Dean. Enough said.
Excuse us, we’re off to get glamourous and symmetrical.
Whether you plan on spending your summer lounging poolside or splashing in the surf (or both!), one item every woman needs is the perfect swimsuit. But landing on a style that makes you look and feel amazing can sometimes be a daunting task.
Ladies, we get this. And in an effort to make the process a little easier, we’re showcasing a few of the top trends we’re loving right now with a bit of style inspiration from on location at Sycamore Beach near Malibu. Check out these snaps from a recent photo shoot for our handy swimsuit guide—ready to help you choose a style that best highlights your body type.
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What’s a super easy way to update any look? A new pair of shades. Check out our Sunglasses Style Guide; it has the best summer styles under the sun.
Crayon Brights. [Pictured: Oakley ‘Forehand’ 57mm Sunglasses]
Retro Specs. [Pictured: Carrera Eyewear 57mm Sunglasses]
Novelty Shapes. [Pictured: House of Harlow 1960 ‘Annie’ 59mm Sunglasses]
With sunnier days ahead, treat yourself to some candy-dipped sunglasses (like these pairs we love, below). Color has definitely arrived for the new season—and it’s not going away anytime soon!
Feline Fatale: MICHAEL Michael Kors Retro Sunglasses
’80s Original: Oakley Frogskins Sunglasses
Flight Plan: Ray-Ban ‘Original Aviator’ Sunglasses
Supersized: Tory Burch Logo Hinge Sunglasses
Retro Rad: Carrera Eyewear Sunglasses
Find more hues perfect for you in our sunglass trends guide.