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Beatlemania John Lennon glasses | by brizzle born and bred
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Beatlemania John Lennon glasses

Eyeglasses were very popular in the 1960s and the frame styles continued to be a popular way of adding to a person's look. From the iconic cat-eye eyeglass frames and thick plastic frames, to rimless and semi rimless, the 1960s had eyeglass styles that ranged from wild to conservative. Eyeglass styles were made popular by stars such as Buddy Holly and John Lennon.


Even if rimless came into universal use in the 1800s, this type of eyewear enjoyed resurgence in fame in the middle to late 60s.


Rimless was frequently worn by flower children and hippies and popularized by admiring the rock band the Beatles, particularly John Lennon. He wore these sunglasses from the point in time the band came to state to the moment he was murdered.


The old-fashioned Lennon style round National Health ‘granny’ glasses quickly became a trademark of his public image. They became soon fashionable, and he retained the look until the end of his life.


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"Teashades" (sometimes also called "John Lennon glasses", "Round Metal", or, occasionally, "Granny Glasses") were a type of psychedelic art wire-rim sunglasses that were often worn, usually for purely aesthetic reasons, by members of the 1960s counterculture. Pop icons such as Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, Boy George, Liam Gallagher, Charlie Bronson, and Ozzy Osbourne, all wore teashades.


The original teashade design was made up of medium-sized, perfectly round lenses, supported by pads on the bridge of the nose and a thin wire frame. When teashades became popular in the late 1960s, they were often elaborated: Lenses were elaborately colored, mirrored, and produced in excessively large sizes, and with the wire earpieces exaggerated.


A uniquely colored or darkened glass lens was usually preferred. Modern versions tend to have plastic lenses, as do many other sunglasses. Teashades are hard to find in shops today; however, they can still be found at many costume Web sites and in some countries.


The term has now fallen into disuse, although references can still be found in literature of the time. "Teashades" was also used to describe glasses worn to hide the effects of marijuana (conjunctival injection) or bloodshot eyes or the effects of opiates such as heroin (pupillary constriction).


The glasses worn by Seraph in the Matrix films are teashades. Teashades are briefly referenced during a police training seminar in Hunter S. Thompson's novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers wears red teashades. Lara Croft from the video-game Tomb Raider is seen wearing Teashade sunglasses. Vash the Stampede (Trigun) wears yellow-lens teashades.


The iconic sunglasses of Spider Jerusalem are a variation of teashades. Jean Reno wears black teashades in the movie Léon (The Professional). Main character of Hellsing, Alucard, wears red-lensed teashades. Recently, actress and fashion icon Mary-Kate Olsen and pop music singer Lady Gaga have been seen wearing several variations of teashades.


Howard Stern was also known for wearing teashades in the early to mid 90's and never taking them off in public. Unlike the others, Jerry Garcia actually created his own line of sunglasses in his name just before he passed away.



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Taken on May 9, 2014