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domingo, 30 de enero de 2011

Fine Points

Glasses Make the Nerd

Philippe Regard for The New York Times
From left, Lemtosh frames, in black and clear plastic, $129 at Sol Moscot Opticians. Tortoise plastic frames (Model No. 294) by Paul Smith, $260 at Myoptics. Lemtosh frames, in black plastic, $129 at Sol Moscot Opticians. Alabama tortoise plastic frames, $250 at Selima Optique.
Published: January 25, 2007
IT’S sad, but true: the only people who truly appreciate the fine-tuning it takes to get nerd style right are the fervently hip. Also sad but true: the long, thin rectangles edged in black plastic or silver wire, which have bridged the noses of so many architects and others who long to be seen as cerebral, have lost their edge. Perhaps that is why old-school 1950s glasses are making a comeback at fashionable spectacle shops like A. R. Trapp, Selima Optique and Myoptics.
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Philippe Regard for The New York Times
Nebb frames, in clear plastic, $129 at Sol Moscot Opticians.
Philippe Regard for The New York Times
Jacko plastic frames, in a gradated gray, $210 at Myoptics.
And at Sol Moscot Opticians, which has sold eyeglasses on the Lower East Side for 92 years, the look has inspired the company’s first in-house eyewear collection devoted to those nebbishes of yesteryear. More than mere nerds, the Moscot model names — the Lemtosh, the Zelig, the Nebb, the Vilda — suggest an assortment of late ’50s show-biz characters. Imagine a sharp-eyed music agent (played by, say, Tony Curtis), his high-strung accountant (Tony Randall), his wisecracking secretary (Eve Arden) and his newly signed rock ’n’ roller client (Buddy Holly, as played by Elvis).
Hoping to cash in on the look, Ray-Ban is re-releasing its 55-year-old Wayfarer glasses this month. But the Moscots, with their less familiar frames, go one better, recalling the Ike decade itself, not the New Wave ’50s craze of the ’80s, which no one wants to recall — e.g., Tom Cruise in Wayfarers in “Risky Business” (1983).
That is especially true of the Lemtosh frames, which, as Kenny Moscot, who now owns the business with his brother, Harvey, explained, was named after a word used in the Moscot household to describe a man who was “sophisticated but eccentric.” (Fittingly, Johnny Depp wears them.)
Robert Holzer, 37, the president of Syrup, an advertising and branding agency in Manhattan, tried on Lemtosh frames almost for a joke. “But they looked great,” he said, “and I showed them to my wife, who’s a designer and stylist, and she said they were phenomenal. I’ve had nothing but amazing comments since. I love how unique they are without looking too extreme.”
They are, he agreed, probably better on narrow, somewhat oval faces like his. Unless you can find an outsize pair, they can make a round face look plumper than it is.
And because you are bound to look, well, nerdy in them, it bears noting that everything else, from clothes to hair to waistline, should look properly trim and spiffy. After all, you don’t want anyone to think you chose your glasses because your vision was off.

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