Concorde 006: Hot Sunglass Time Machine, Socks & A.W.E.
High-sauce, low-priced vintage shades, FW23 runway news, special socks from Japan & more
Welcome to Concorde, a new 2x monthly creation from Blackbird Spyplane where Erin takes the lead. You could call it a women’s vertical, but the insights, intel and “cute swag information” transcend gender. The Concorde archive lives here…
Sunglasses… are they the most powerful things we wear when it comes to conveying A.W.E. (Attitude, Wit & Esprit)? So small — a slice of acetate, mere millimeters of metal — but they can pack such a big punch.
We always keep an eye out for great examples, and though we’re occasionally tempted by new ones (Nanushka is doing some really cool shapes these days, as are the lines we saluted here) there are all manner of vibey secondhand shades that look relevant today, and which can be copped for the low.
And boy do we have a TROVE for you today — but first:
What does the name “Romeo Gigli” mean to you? It’s the kind of <extremely mamma mia voice> name you might hear in a 2007 straight-to-DVD comedy where Mike Myers plays a Puglian gigolo… (kinda would watch!!) But no, Romeo Gigli is a self-taught fashion designer from a family of antiquarian booksellers in Northern Italy, who became hugely influential from the mid-’80s into the ‘90s.
Gigli’s name doesn’t quite ring out as loud these days as it once did, but back then his runway shows received standing ovations; Richard Avedon and Peter Lindbergh shot campaigns; and his clothes — worn by epochal, eternally cool ppl like Isabella Rossellini — are now in The Met Museum archive.
Despite Gigli’s impact and extreme moodboard-friendliness, it was hard to find images of his work online until fairly recently… In 2021, Vogue digitized his Spring 1990 show (the only Gigli show currently on their site) and, on the occasion, Laird Borrelli-Persson wrote about a growing resurgence in Gigli appreciation.
You can see some of his ideas bubbling back into the conversation these days — including, most recently, yesterday in Paris when Emily Bode debuted her first womenswear collection as part of the Fall 2023 Paris menswear shows, and where I was happy to see that the clothes were cool, and that the Spirit of Gigli, intentionally or not, was in the building—
I’m talking about romantic blouses paired with satiny trousers, as pictured in the top row, l-r: Bode women’s FW2023; vintage Romeo Gigli striped pants and brocade shirt (available here and here, while a matching striped brocade blazer is here); 1990 Gigli runway. And I’m talking about fancy handicraft details like appliqués and embroidery, as pictured in the bottom row: vintage squiggly-embroidered Gigli cape, above bottom left, $149 here; Bode women’s FW2023 embroidered look, at right. Also, both designers clearly love flat shoes, sumptuous materials like silk and velvet, and BIG earrings, which you’re about to see everywhere. (Incredibly, Gigli made the gargantuan earrings pictured top right with pieces of old Venetian chandeliers).
Gigli lost his company in the early ‘90s due to some bad contracts and licensing deals… All of which brings us to today’s FIRE sunglasses discovery…