Disclaimer: I’m not that fashion conscious, so it might be a bit rich for me to be imparting pearls of wisdom on style. Then again, despite the fact that if not for my wife, I’d still be swanning around town in a denim jacket and corduroy pants, I feel the need to comment on a disturbing development.
I was in Macau recently when I noticed a man with glasses, well sort of. He had the frames, but no lenses, not even just ordinary glass. Thinking he was just a crackpot; I was subsequently taking a stroll through Wan Chai (to my favourite noodle bar, people) when I spied not one, but four people sporting the same empty frame phenomenon. All the frames were remarkably similar, the black Clark Kent look. Three days later, crossing Hennessey Road, another set passed me by.
So this must be a coordinated new fad. Someone, somewhere, is making black-framed glasses, sans the ‘glass’ bit. Will this soon be the latest must have accessory? Not for me. Without the ‘glass’ bit, I would spend my days bumping into walls. So the target audience must be for people who actually don’t need glasses. Is there a market for this? Hello Kitty toilet roll holders are proof positive people will buy anything, but this is vastly different. I understand that glasses are supposed to make you look smarter, or more business-like, (disclaimer: they don’t make me look like either), and I know you can buy frames with clear glass in them, for those people that want the “look”, but surely without any kind of lenses at all; it just makes you look…well…stupid?
It’s also terribly limiting. You can’t just pop into the store and pick up a pair of say, John Lennon’s or Harry Potter’s – that would just look ridiculous. You have little choice but to head straight to the Henry Kissinger or Buddy Holly section.
It reminds me of another serious fashion malfunction; what I call the talking T-shirt. I studiously avoid clothes with Chinese characters on them because I fear they might not honestly say what the shopkeeper proclaims they do. “Very lucky man”, might actually read: “I’m an idiot westerner who thinks this says something cool. On the flip side, Chinese factories have turned Chinglish into an art form. The things you can read walking down the street beggars belief. My wife spotted this on a shirt recently: “I wish that you could how much I love you. My heart would best for you. You’ve filled my life for me”. I’m sure in Chinese it sounds wonderful. And surely you can’t have a firm grasp of English to wear a shirt with “Lick Me All Over” on it – especially if you’re 60 years old.
People – listen up. You will always regret a tattoo or shirt you aquire without a qualified Chinese / English speaker friend present. And if you’re thinking of buying into the “spectacle of the glasslesses”: You won’t look like some 19 year-old troubled pop star; you’ll look like a weirder Austin Powers.
(Note to distributor: contact me if you want the license for the catchy name).