This Week in the Mercury


Monday, December 21, 2009

For the Fashion Forward Iconoclast on Your List!

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 2:40 PM

There’s nothing worse than shopping for a trendsetter. What the fuck are supposed to buy for someone who is always setting the trend? Everything you could possible purchase for a fashion forward iconoclast is probably already a trend they started years ago. Leg warmers? Pshaw. Those arm sock thingies? Whatever, dude. Bowties? Come and gone. Skinny jeans. Oh please, they started that in 1993.

What to do then? Here’s a suggestion. Look to where all of the hottest trends are emerging these days. No, not Brooklyn, silly… Europe! European trends can sweep across the states like wildfire, becoming over-night sensations among those that really give a damn—like your trend setter friend!

If Adam Edwards of Britain’s Daily Express is correct, then, we should be seeing a veritable monocle explosion on our shores in the very near future. Monocles for everyone!

cynikittymonocle1.jpg
The optician Vision Express has announced it is to re-introduce the single eye-glass following a sudden surge of interest among customers. “To our surprise we have had dozens of requests in the last few months so we thought we’d bring back the monocle on a trial basis,” says Bryan Magrath, the chief executive of Vision Express. “We’re as puzzled as anyone by the interest.”

That’s right. Among a stylish set of British men, the popular nineteenth century eyepiece has come back into vogue. According to monocle loving Anglos the single round glass, when placed in the strong eye, works better in a pinch than pulling out a pair of regular reading glasses. Also, because they must be held in the eye socket with a kind of scrunch of the face, you always look sinister when you wear it. Sinister is sooo hot right now!

Huzzah! Christmas is saved! Or is it?

Not so fast, says Jenna LaMere of classy eyewear emporium Eyedentity [2609 Se Clinton]. She’s been to several trade shows this year (the most recent being the international Vision Expo in Vegas) and has seen nary a monocle.

“Right now the geek chic Buddy Holly, Malcolm X, heavy black frame look is really huge,” she says. “And space-age looks, like goggles, are big.”

She hasn’t received any calls for monocles, and can’t see how they’ve come back into style unless they became the rage after some British movie star wore them in a film. For its part, the Daily Express article is unclear what’s behind the up tic in monocle demands.

All of this, of course, does not matter to a trendsetter. Therefore, you must (MUST) buy them a monocle for Christmas this year!

While LaMere is not very reassuring you’d be able to order a monocle from an American optometrist, I can think of several other places that you might want to try:

Avalon [410 SW Oak, 224-7156]

Avalon sells some straight-up fantastic goods for the gentleman. I don’t remember seeing monocles in their amazingly stocked glass cases, but this is the first place I’d look if I wanted to find one.

Ray’s Ragtime [1001 SW Morrison, 226-2616]

Another fine vintage store, Rays has quite a bit of ephemera too, and I could see them picking up a stray monocle.

Shadow House Collectibles [4220 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, 236-50050]

This Hawthorne shop has some amazingly priced, and very strange, goods. I’d say there’s a very good chance of tracking down a monocle here as well. After you’ve pawed through the vintage porn and marveled at the religious artifacts, of course.

Head on over to MOD for the best in modern 19th Century fashion!

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