2018 left us divided as a culture over whether tiny sunglasses were cool and chic, or ugly and terrible, with tastemakers like Rihanna, Kanye and the Kardashian-Jenners facing off against normies like Mindy Kaling, Busy Phillips, Reese Witherspoon and Anne Hathaway.
However, if you think tiny sunglasses were polarizing, wait till you get a load of the latest frontier in completely impractical eyewear. A brand called Bentel Brothers, who appear to be the designer-inventors of viral art stunts and wacky products like meat grown from celebrity tissue samples, has debuted a new "purposefully nonfunctional" line of "Squiggle Glasses."
The glasses look like a souvenir from the MoMA Design Store, so you know they're destined to be 2019's hottest accessory. The semi-transparent peach-colored plastic squiggle — available with single-toned plastic, two-toned plastic and wire arms — has no sun-blocking or vision-correcting function whatsoever (yes, semi-transparent… glasses). But that's on purpose. According to a press release, the glasses are "an exploration into the aesthetic potential of nonfunctional eyewear," meant to test the boundaries of how "In the age of tiny glasses and Snapchat filters, glasses have become purely aesthetic objects." Oh!
The squiggle creators apparently took queues from social media photo filters: "But instead of having a fleeting graphic... we wanted to create something more permanent. We would like to see squiggle glasses become the physical embodiment of such filters."
To me, the squiggle, in it's garish color and cartoonish shape, feels more like an art pop homage... or a children's toy, a cooking utensil, a piece snapped off a Jeff Koons, or a costume from a low-budget Star Trek spoof. But, it's 2019 and fashion rebellion currently means putting all these things on our faces. While tiny sunglasses were nostalgic, the squiggle looks into the future, the kitchen, the museum gift shop or Toys R Us for inspiration.