Sunglasses thumbnail 1
Sunglasses thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Sunglasses

1989 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

These sunglasses formed part of an outfit put together for the exhibition Streetstyle, From Sidewalk to Catwalk, 1940 to Tomorrow held at the V&A in 1994-5. The complete outfit consisted of a black felt porkpie hat; a customised Harrington cotton jacket; a Fred Perry cotton t-shirt; Brutus Sta Press cotton trousers; leather loafers and these Ray-ban ‘Wayfarer’ sun-glasses. The outfit reflected a style of men’s dress associated with the Two Tone ska revival in Britain in the late 1970s.

The roots of Two Tone lay in Jamaican Rude Boy culture which had its origins in the ghettos of Kingston. Young, urban and frequently unemployed, Rude Boys drew inspiration for their cool and smart style – sharp suits, thin ties and pork-pie or Trilby hats – from American gangster movies. In the 1960s, increased emigration brought Rude Boy style and music, ska and rocksteady, to the UK, where it particularly influenced Skinhead culture. In the late 1970s the style was revived through the music and fans of the Two Tone ska revival. The sharp tailoring remained and was emphasised through a predominantly black and white palette.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Plastic and perspex
Brief description
Sunglasses, plastic and perspex, 'Wayfarer', Ray-Ban, United States, 1989
Physical description
'Wayfarer' sunglasses of plastic and perspex.
Credit line
Given by Clare Browne
Object history
Registered File number 1994/1117, Streetstyle exhibition 1994-1995, in the exhibition it was part of an outfit called 'Two Tone [UK c1978]' (includes the hat T.190-1994 and the T-shirt T.33-1995).

The sunglasses were given by Clare Browne, Curator, Textiles & Fashion, V&A.

The jacket and the trousers were lent to the museum for the exhibition.

'Black felt porkpie hat; cotton customised jacket, Harrington; cotton t-shirt, Fred Perry; cotton trousers, Brutus Sta Press; leather loafers; Wayfarer sun-glasses, Ray-ban. (Jacket lent by Stuart Harrison, t-shirt given by Fred Perry, sunglasses given by Clare Browne, trousers lent by Mike Ferrante).
1960s West Indian Rude Boy clothing was updated by the neo-Mods and Skinheads of the late 1970s to form Two Tone; the outcome is clearly evident in this outfit. The characteristic black and white combination, checkerboard patterning and badges celebrated the multicultural mix of the band members as well as their music.'

Summary
These sunglasses formed part of an outfit put together for the exhibition Streetstyle, From Sidewalk to Catwalk, 1940 to Tomorrow held at the V&A in 1994-5. The complete outfit consisted of a black felt porkpie hat; a customised Harrington cotton jacket; a Fred Perry cotton t-shirt; Brutus Sta Press cotton trousers; leather loafers and these Ray-ban ‘Wayfarer’ sun-glasses. The outfit reflected a style of men’s dress associated with the Two Tone ska revival in Britain in the late 1970s.

The roots of Two Tone lay in Jamaican Rude Boy culture which had its origins in the ghettos of Kingston. Young, urban and frequently unemployed, Rude Boys drew inspiration for their cool and smart style – sharp suits, thin ties and pork-pie or Trilby hats – from American gangster movies. In the 1960s, increased emigration brought Rude Boy style and music, ska and rocksteady, to the UK, where it particularly influenced Skinhead culture. In the late 1970s the style was revived through the music and fans of the Two Tone ska revival. The sharp tailoring remained and was emphasised through a predominantly black and white palette.
Bibliographic reference
Surfers, Soulies, Skinheads & Skaters : Subcultural Style from the Forties to the Nineties Described in the exhibition publication, part of an outfit called 'Two Tone [UK c1978]'.
Collection
Accession number
T.674-1994

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Record createdAugust 14, 2007
Record URL
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