E.B Meyrowitz Berber
The other morning, my morning paper of choice was proposing the trends of this summer.
Of course we all now know that, in our public and digital lives, it is vital to state the mantra that trends are on the whole something to be viewed, contemplated and then ignored, of course never forgetting behind closed doors to slavishly follow them.
I am as guilty as the next. That said, I could do more, perhaps if I paid more attention, upped my game a bit, well, I could have been a somebody, a contender in Tobacco Fresco, and blistered, slippered feet.
What trends fail to spot is the simple lie of British Summer Time, that unlike the comforting predictability of Autumn in the UK and 90% of Winter and Spring, the British Summer requires the participant to battle four seasons in a day.
Few sunrises across the fields outside of my kitchen don’t promise sunshine and happiness a plenty. The problem is that come 9am, the weather reality sets in.
Which is why today, confused, I am stood here in a Shetland with shorts staring puzzled at the sky above.
You’d have thought I would have worked it out by now, but everything seems different, even hay fever, that’s changed. No longer do I wake up afflicted by it. Instead, I spend my time stockpiling drugs, sprays, herbal concoctions, suspiciously convinced the sneezes lurk around the corner.
So what’s a boy to do? Do I go full Love Island in my shorts twin set, chunky soled sneaks and at night, proof of never missing leg day, in a pair of doorstep challenge white jeggings? Or Break out the Leopard Midi? Or get all wavey and tie die?
It is, what it is. Therefore I shall be continuing to furrow my own little path, layered up and prepared to shed when too hot, re-up when too cold and during those occasional 20 minutes of acceptable conditions, stand proudly admiring my sartorial brilliance and wondering why on earth am I watching that thing on ITV2.
The one constant will be these, my new saviours in acetate.
Because last month, I took the stairs, winding down at 6 Royal Arcade for my yearly eye test. A test which led to a change in prescription and to these the ‘Berber’, from EB Meyrowitz, handmade and lovingly filled with lenses designed just for me and my myopia.
Frames designed to satisfy the only trend that actually matters, me looking fly, oh and being able to see.
Glasses and Sunglasses are the most intensely personal items. Forget everything else, I can’t function without these. They are, as I’ve said previously, my only true essential.
Aesthetically, regardless of outfit, eyewear is always first thing people see, sat squarely upon our face. Therefore, it’s always bothered me why there is a tendency just to spot something in a magazine, or on a celebrity and purchase without considering whether they accentuate your facial positives. We all do it. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve proposed a certain shape and been thankfully pointed in the direction of something which actually works by Meyrowitz’s wonderful Sheel, the absolute master of knowing what works.
Look, I know I’m an intensely handsome guy, I mean my mother reminds me of this a lot, and I reckon I could pull most things off. The problem is, when choosing glasses, I tend to be utterly blind.
So what I think might be Paul Newman is more some Welsh fella who works in whatever it is I do.
For example, I have what are occasionally described as ‘strong’ eyebrows - I prefer funny or expressive. They’re angular in the extreme and lend me a cross and serious reputation, which has at times been useful but mostly just amuses, as I don’t see myself as that.
It does mean that I really should wear frames which trace my brow. The Berber join my other Meyrowitz’s in doing this perfectly. The brow line and bridge are quite cleverly curved, but not too curved.
Adding a sense of interest, but complimenting rather than dominating my features.
Sheel knows this. She also thankfully seems to know my face better than I, consistently picking the frames I wouldn’t have, those frames which are entirely the right ones for me.
There are retail experiences which are painful and annoying, frankly nothing more than palms crossed in return for goods. In London it’s a real problem. There are other retail experiences which are therapeutic, a tonic for body and soul. An hour spent in Meyrowitz is one of those, the relationship is like the one I have with my tailor and barber. And to me, there is no higher praise.
Part of the skill of good anything, but in particular good glasses is choosing the right materials, and using them properly. Recently I was at Meyrowitz’s new London atelier to watch frames being made in all manner of materials.
My present pairs are all acetate but, Italian acetates with a difference. There’s a greater depth of colour and pattern compared with anything else I’ve come across. They change with the light almost sparkling and drawing the eye in.
The Berber are a brown mottled acetate, global shades of coffee, from good Turkish to the crema of properly drawn espresso, with a hint of that salted caramel stuff that keeps winking at me in my fridge.
Of course as these are sunglasses, and I have neither the inclination, nor desire to become one of those people on the tube, I take my normal specs with me in my breast pocket. Which means regular replacement, meaning they have to be made to the right specification and able to withstand.
That becomes part of the beauty, proper hinges, correctly fitted, smooth to use and hold, bearing all the hallmarks of handmade.
I know I said I wasn’t going to be one of those people, but I’ve been wearing them everywhere, to do pretty much everything, all the while marvelling in the polarized lenses, reminding myself that life doesn’t need to be rose tinted to be better. It just has to be right for you.