Anyone who is a regular reader of the B Sunglasses blog will know how much we love Prada and its sister company MIU MIU. Italian designer eyewear is some of the best in the world and Prada’s designer sunglasses are some of the best in Italy! We’ve written brand spotlights and guides to Prada in the past, so we wanted to take a more focused look at some of Prada’s unique, sometimes avant-garde approaches to eyewear design; this guide will cover Prada’s unique treatment of geometric shapes, it’s ornate bridges and stylistic accents, it’s stunningly original patterns, and its reimagining of the classic pilot sunglasses style. You do not always have to make big, bold designs to be a trailblazer in the fashion industry, and Prada is an excellent example of this!
A Note About Prada’s General Eyewear Aesthetic
If you take a look through our Prada glasses or sunglasses sections, you’ll see a huge variety of styles and colours. However, you’ll probably also notice that Prada’s eyewear has a certain personality to it, that there is a certain Prada aesthetic that stretches across all of its different models, no matter how different they are. It’s this aesthetic — this brand identity — that attracts people to all the best fashion designers. Sometimes the style of the sunglasses is just as big an indicator as the brand logo on the sunglasses.
Prada’s aesthetic is particularly austere in comparison to most other Italian eyewear designers, who often favour big, ostentatious styles. Prada’s colour palette is also darker and more refined than many other European designers. Prada’s attention to detail, it’s careful treatment of familiar shapes and features, gives it a particularly refined, adult aesthetic that tends to appeal to people who appreciate sophistication and complexity. The brand’s approach to eyewear design is refined and often understated, which puts it more in line with the French designer Yves Saint Laurent than with its Italian brothers and sisters.
Prada’s Obsession with Geometric Sunglasses
As Prada’s aesthetic is often subtle and refined, more intricate geometric shapes are a brilliant fit for them. Prada experiments with pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal shapes, and with other miscellaneous geometric shapes. It often softens the angles and the edges, taking the sharp angles out of a style that, for most other brands, is defined by sharp angles. The result is a range of geometric shapes that feel avant-garde and wholly apart from many of the other big eyewear designers.
The geometric sunglasses pictured above perfectly illustrate the brand’s subtlety and refined approach to geometric styles. The rims have a pentagon shape, but the angles are soft, the edges along the bottom almost round. Prada has taken a recognisable shape and softened it into something sophisticated and refined.
Ornate Bridges and Accents
Another brilliant illustration of Prada’s innovative approach to eyewear design are its range of ornate metal bridges and metal accents. While Prada has made a name for itself as a reserved, often understated, designer, it occasionally indulges in a little flash of bling or decadence. And because its designs are often reserved, these flashes of bling are highlighted and intensified in a way that they wouldn’t be with another designer. The effect is the same as shining a bright light in a dark room; it’s hard not to stop and take notice!
Prada’s Cinema metal wire sunglasses – a subtler example of the brand’s innovative approach to metal bridges and accents.
The ornate accents are usually on the bridge or on the hinge where the arms meet the rims. Prada almost always prefers soft curves to hard angles, so it’s ornamentations are often smooth, arching bridges or curving metallic comets built into the brows and the arms of some models. The designs have a subtle Art Nouveau aesthetic that lovers of vintage eyewear are guaranteed to appreciate. If you love Prada’s understated style but you like your eyewear to be bigger and full of attitude, then one of these ornate designs are perfect for you.
Prada’s Unique Patterns
Another thing about many of Prada’s sunglasses that sets the brand apart from its contemporaries, is its attention to interesting patterns and unique colour combinations. Sure, many of Prada’s sunglasses are black or a dark Havana pattern, but some are incredibly unique, whether due to the colour combination or the breakup of the pattern. Prada will always favour darker colours, but it is not afraid to include one or two brighter notes when the situation calls for it. With some of these complex patterns, we see a few brighter colours making their way into several of Prada’s designs.
The design prowess moves far beyond a complex colour palette, however; if you look closely at the patterns in some of the models above, you’ll see a range of unique shapes and styles. There’s the sharp brown, greys and greens, which almost look like shattered glass layered on top of one another. There’s the white, black, orange, and yellow pattern that feels a little like a clownfish or some other exotic marine life. Prada has shown us again and again that it is happy to experiment with new colours and patterns.
Prada’s New Approach to the Classic Pilot Sunglasses
Lastly, lets look at Prada’s interesting approach to one of the most classic sunglasses styles: Aviators. Technically, Ray-Ban owns the copyright to the Aviator name, so all other designers’ versions of this style are known as ‘pilot’ sunglasses. This design has never been out of fashion since its inception in the late 1930s, and there is a clear idea of what constitutes a pair of classic pilot sunglasses: there is usually a fine metal frame, the reverse teardrop rims, and a distinctive double bridge. Prada’s reimagining of the style plays fast and loose with these elements whilst still being recognisable as pilot sunglasses. There are models with plastic frames and some with sharper, almost triangular rims. Despite these innovations, Prada’s designs are still immediately recognisable as pilot sunglasses. They’re a great option for anyone who loves pilot sunglasses and is looking for a clever new approach to the style.
That’s all we have time for in this guide. We hope that readers have learned a thing or two about some of Prada’s more unique and avant-garde sunglasses. Please get in touch if you have any questions about our wider designer sunglasses collection or our range of Prada sunglasses!