Making a statement
Eva Davé, optometrist, co-owner of Mincher Lockett and Co Opticians and founder of the Eyewear Styling Academy, tells OT her tips for selecting the perfect pair of frames
21 April 2020
How many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?
I have around 15 pairs of glasses, which I change depending on my outfits and moods.
How long have you worn spectacles for, and what prompted you to go for your first sight test?
I have worn glasses since I was 10 years old. I was taken for regular eye tests from the age of four.
I use my eyewear as a powerful tool to stand out in life and in business, and to show who I am. I encourage my clients to do the same.
What frame shapes, colours or styles do you usually go for?
I experiment a lot with colour and shape. As I have a natural contrast to my appearance, I find bright and bold colours, or high contrast colour combinations enhance this. I tend to stick to tones such as sapphire blues, hot pinks, purples and raspberry reds, though I do like to break the rules once in a while.
I wear a range of shapes, from soft, round designs that give me a softer, more approachable look, to extreme angular designs that have a strong and dramatic edge. It all depends on how I feel, what I want to say and what I’m wearing. My favourite shape at the moment is the upswept; it’s a flattering, dramatic, style-statement. You can’t be shy in a cat eye.
My favourite shape at the moment is the upswept; it’s a flattering, dramatic, style-statement. You can’t be shy in a cat eye.
Can you describe your favourite pair?
My favourite pair of glasses is a cat eye frame by Francis Klein Eyewear. I collaborated with them to create this one-off piece, which I absolutely love. It’s a gorgeous blue, upswept and with jewels in all my favourite colours.
Who would you pick as your style icon of glasses wearers and why?
I have always been drawn to those with a rebellious and nonconformist sense of style, those who dress to express their authenticity and in doing so, give others permission and confidence to do the same. My style icon has to be one of the founders of LA Eyeworks, Gai Gherardi. She has developed a fabulous signature look over the years, which is centred on colour and bold shapes and energises everyone around her.
Also, as a huge fan of Hollywood ‘50s glamour, I must include some of the first women to make eyewear the chic style statement it is today; Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.
I live by the Pablo Picasso saying: “Learn the rules like a pro and break them like an artist."
How important is eyewear to reflecting your personality?
It is super important to me. First impressions matter and the clothes and accessories we wear tell the story of who we are. It also impacts how we feel about ourselves and affects how others respond to us. I use my eyewear as a powerful tool to stand out in life and in business, and to show who I am. I encourage my clients to do the same.
What are your top three tips for selecting the right pair of frames?
- Don’t be afraid of colour. Colour can be transformational: not only can it lift our moods, but it can also have a dramatic impact on how we look. Many people choose black and brown frames because they believe it is a ‘safe’ option, but would you wear black lipstick because it goes with everything? It is far better to experiment with colours that make you feel good and work in harmony with your main wardrobe and natural colouring.
- Don’t get hung up on face shape rules. Most people don’t fit into a specific face shape, which is why so many people struggle with the concept. It is far more important to focus on your unique facial features. Consider questions like: is it long or short? What is your brow shape? What is the maximum width below the browline? What features do you want to maximise or minimise? Where are the curves/angles and what is your style personality?
These types of questions provide clues to the optimum depth, width, bridge size and multiple shape/style options that will work for you. This is what I focus on in my styling.
- Don’t worry what others think; at the end of the day the right eyewear for you is personal. Everyone has their own tastes, so be mindful of that if you ask others for an opinion. I believe the ‘rule of thirds’ applies to choosing your glasses; a third of people will love them, a third will hate them, and a third will be indifferent. You need to be in the top third. If you love them and they make you feel great, go for it. Your confidence will do the talking.
In my styling, I focus a lot on identifying my clients’ unique style personality. I love the fact I have a toolkit of style, image and colour knowledge at my fingertips to help my clients, but as my aim is to empower people to look and feel the best, I live by the Pablo Picasso saying: “Learn the rules like a pro and break them like an artist.”