Goggles, for close protection


Acetate sunglasses, Chanel, price on request.

IRoman Emperor Nero, who had amazing pale blue eyes, “watched with an emerald the combats of the gladiators”. Did he use it to filter the sun’s rays or as a mirror? Pliny, who relates the anecdote in his Natural History (book XXXVII), dealing with precious stones, does not specify it. He notes, however, that this gem which lets the eye pass was, in Rome, famous for resting the sight, “so much does this soft green shade calm the fatigue of the organ”. Another country, other customs, in China, smoky quartz glasses were, it is said, used from the twelfthe century in the courts, to hide the eyes of judges during interrogations.

Concealing one’s gaze amounts to blurring the tracks. To protect themselves, to make themselves less readable and sometimes impassive. This is the whole subject of a beautiful chapter of Fragments of a love speech titled “Dark Glasses”. Roland Barthes writes: “The amorous subject asks himself, not if he must declare to the loved one that he loves him (it is not a figure of confession), but to what extent he must to hide from him the “troubles” (turbulences) of his passion: his desires, his distresses, in short, his excesses (in Racinian language: his fury). » Here comes Nero again! who in the Britannicus, of Racine, warns Junie: “You will have no secret languages ​​for me / I will hear looks that you will believe are silent. »

But from the Imperial box, let’s turn our gaze to the arena. Because the goggles, marrying the ergonomics of the face, are initially intended for competitors. Skiing, surfing, tennis or cycling: these are rather outdoor sports accessories, even speed, intended to protect the eyes from the cold, wind, snow, dust, mud, insects, etc. .

Aerodynamic qualities

From the slopes to the streets, technical clothing and accessories, designed to maximize performance, have gradually imposed themselves without departing from a little touch of fun characteristic of the aesthetics of the end of the 20th century.e century. Panoramic and rounded on the temples, originally equipped with a one-piece lens, goggles and their variations enjoy aerodynamic qualities that are of little use to celebrities who now wear them on fake stolen photos or in the front row. parades.

Read also: Eyeliner, a political art

But, for everyone else, those who don’t have time trials to win, paparazzi to avoid or emeralds to stare at, they protect the eyes that are put to the test in the spring, whether by pollen or tear gas.

Giv Cut sunglasses, in Nylon, Givenchy, €450.  American Vintage turtleneck sweater.
Miu Miu Runway sunglasses, in gold metal, Miu Miu, €450.
DG Light sunglasses, in metal, Dolce & Gabbana, €250.
Metal sunglasses, Isabel Marant, €250.
Glasses masks adorned with crystal pendants, Gucci, price on request.


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