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  • Writer's pictureDev Khajuriya

Scarlet Red - Rose Colored Glasses On

Is Modernity an ‘Onslaught to the eyes’? With the explosion of stuff to see and technological means to perceive them the current age has become the age of visuals. Since sunglasses adhere to the eyes we will see in this text how they protect our exploded vision, direct our gaze and define our vision. Before the twentieth-century sunglasses were not in widespread use. Tinted glasses primarily green and blue were recommended as corrective glasses in the eighteenth century. In Venice, people wore green-tinted glasses to protect themselves from water’s glare. In the nineteenth century, we see references of optical writers working upon glasses to protect them from the might of the sun. By the beginning of the twentieth century, American manufacturers started working on goggles aimed at men for driving purposes. But it was not until the 1930s for sunglasses to emerge as an accessory and adapted into the way of living.

Sunglasses hint at modernity from every image we perceive through them. Modernity is a byproduct of cities and its lifestyle. The important changes in the dynamics of cities related to appearance and public life define the scope and usage of sunglasses. The important aspect although is their scientific and psychological symbolism and usage rather than just an object of Fashion. Covering the eyes and its social adage is something that predated the early nineteenth century. People wore masks in Venetian balls to become anonymous and revaluate their social position. Women wore vizards and carried fans to highlight the ambiguity of hiding and showing associated with feminine behaviour.

Shoppers, Chicago 1946. (Photograph by Walker Evans. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

Lorgnette’s emphasized the act of looking and searching providing a different outlook of oneself. Its usage was an early indication of disregard for others and augmenting one’s class over others. Dandies were the ones who defined fashion on another level by the use of style, simplicity, and speech. They were not known for wearing sunglasses only occasional use of quizzing glasses hinted about their indifference from others. Dandies sported a calm response against the dynamics of modernity calling upon their thinking mindset which is high-toned enough to be affected by any change. In the modern world dandies translated into Flaneur’s people who had a particular way of seeing and being seen. All in all these developments came out through the changes in city life. Sunglasses became more significant because of the city’s chaos and uproar which did not sympathize with the vulnerabilities of humans. As it can be seen in the paintings of Dadaists and expressionists like Ludwig Meidner.

Sunglasses paved a way of life where one can intrude in the life of others and leave when they wished for. A person carrying an accessory that covers something which is not meant to be covered ‘eyes’ describes to the observer that I am alone but preoccupied with myself. It has means for voyeuristic thoughts and sexual fetishes as we watch others as viewers, not intruders. If a person engages too much with every encounter every detail of modern city life he would achieve an unimaginable psychic state termed neurasthenic. So these sunglasses symbolize subtraction of information from the enormity of it in city life. It defines a person and his lifestyle directs his vision and assigns a sort of indifference to the unnecessary. We at colored glasses on proposing the same by directing our viewers' vision towards films and art. As they offer new ways of thinking and develop our perspective. Join hands put your glasses on and see colors of life that you have never seen before.

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