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Chanel Sunglasses Review: 2010, 5182, 5183, 5171, 5174, 5176, 4181, Aviators, Other

Updated on January 6, 2015

Chanel Sunglasses

Chanel sunglasses comprise a strong department in the brand fashion accessories division, offering dozens of classic designs, periodically complemented by new seasonal additions, as well as boutique specific editions. Like Gucci, Prada, Versace and Armani, Chanel categorize their sunwear by utilizing numbers, each line receiving a dedicated tag, like 5176, for instance. Still, many prefer to discern the frames by their type: Aviators, Wraparound, Bug-eye, Celebrity, and other – and Chanel offer plenty of models in each of these categories.

Ray Ban Inspired

Created in the middle of the 20th century, the Wayfarer and the Aviator collections – intended as casual and military sun protective eyewear – became Ray Ban's most established frame designs; so classical and influential they were, that their infiltration into high fashion became inevitable. Chanel offer several Ray Ban influenced items: Clubmaster type frames (4181, 5179) which though seemingly remote from the original, exhibit the most prominent Clubmaster trait, the brow line bar;

Chanel Black Sunglasses
Chanel Black Sunglasses

Wayfarer inspired sunglasses (5182, 5169, 5162), usually softer in contours than the iconic source; and, classic Aviators (4179, 4185), made from Acetate (a synthetic material used in most Chanel sunglasses) or metal.

Fashion Design

When we step into pure fashion territory, it is Chanel who give lessons to Ray Ban – who offer only a few dressy collections, namely Cats and Jackie Ohh. Bug-eyed, Oval Butterfly designs dominate the selection, coming in a wide range of colors, in turn arranged in single, two-tone, and other palette combinations.

Rectangular and square frames demonstrate a strong vintage (sometimes another word for classically elegant) character, and reveal Chanel preference for thin, relatively simple temples. Indeed, some variants employ widened earpieces – these will display the CC logo, or a decorative bar-relief – but most opt for a seamless design. Quite a few competing brands take a different approach, treating the temples as an almost separate component that has to be richly decorated.

Boutique Exclusives

We would like to conclude this review with a stop at the Boutique Exclusives – where Chanel market their most recent and avant-guard sunglasses – these frames allude to jewelry collections (golden wheat sheath detail), cut and reshape the lenses, or recreate baroque aesthetic elements in surprising, fascinating patterns.


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