Why You Should Never Look to Movies or Television for Trendsetting Eyewear

December 14, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

Looking for the perfect glasses—or need a new perfect pair? If you want inspiration for beautiful or cool or trendsetting eyewear, don’t look to the movies or that amazing artsy prestige television series.

If your first reaction to that was a surprised “huh?” you’ll probably be shocked to learn that movies and television aren’t known for their up-to-the-minute eyewear knowledge. Art & Eyes’ founder Starr Hagenbring used to work in the art department on features and spots. Read on to learn more about fashion eyewear in New Orleans, LA and how on-set glasses selection works.

Welcome to the props department

In old-school TV and movie production, eyeglasses are the province of the props department. A prop is defined as anything an actor will pick up—and props coordinators are generally not fashion or design oriented. Between that and the fact that not everyone has the same size head or the same face shape, it’s a bad situation. Either nothing looks quite right, or, worst case, it looks downright horrible.

It’s better if the costume department handles eyewear

Of course, sometimes eyewear is part of the character’s costume. If the costume department is in charge, there’s a better chance you’ll see something right for the character and the actor. In fact, if it’s a period piece, it’s even more likely you’ll see good eyewear—there aren’t a whole lot of choices, and the costumers know where to get them.

On the other hand, if it set in the present day, the designer’s knowledge and preferences determine whether the glasses are stylish and modern. Is it a priority to them? Do they like eyewear? Do they know where to get fashion eyewear—in other words, something other than wireframe or a tortoiseshell rectangle? And most importantly, do they know how to find and get eyewear that fits, looks good and matches the character? That’s incredibly rare.

Sometimes actors get to choose

Even rarer still is when actors choose their own eyewear. This has to be cleared by the director and the costume department, and it still doesn’t guarantee a good result. Anecdotally speaking, usually one of them has poor taste in glasses, and the effect is bad. When it works, however, it can be great.

Other factors

Of course, there are a couple of other factors that weigh into the problem. First of all, cameramen hate eyewear—often, neither the director nor the costume person understands that you must put non-reflective lenses in the frames.

Budget also comes into play. If it’s a big production, you have a better chance—but if it’s the first season of a series, you can forget about it. You’ll need two or three successful seasons before great eyewear becomes a priority, and even then, actors might still run into the issues outlined above.

Unless the eyewear is a major part of the character (like for Ali Wong in Always Be My Maybe), you can almost guarantee the styles onscreen are outdated.

For great fashion eyewear in New Orleans, LA, stop by Art & Eyes today.

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