Sunglass Purchasing Tips from Angelina's Stylist, Jennifer Rade


Whether or not you’re in the market for a $25,000 pair of diamond-encrusted gold sunglasses, who doesn’t want to see such a thing – especially if there are only five pairs on the planet (Princess Caroline of Monaco owns a pair) and one debuts in San Francisco tomorrow night?

You’ll find those frames and a slew of other luxe shades at the opening event for the ILORI flagship San Francisco location at 245 Post Street. The retailer’s second local boutique will offer the same Champagne- and chocolate-infused shopping experience as its smaller Westfield Centre counterpart, but houses limited edition frames such as the aforementioned diamond shades by SAMA and the Versace Vanitas frame, whose bow detail was inspired by Donatella Versace’s mother and her unique way of wrapping gifts.

You can ogle the shades at the new ILORI anytime, but tomorrow night celebrity stylist Jennifer Rade – whose clients include Angelina Jolie and Pink – will be on hand to offer tips, style advice and personal fittings. We caught up with Rade recently for a quick chat about current trends, choosing the right frames and eyewear icons. 

What are the key trends in eyewear right now, for summer 2009?

I see a lot of trends. That’s always such a hard question. Right now at Ilori, we’re doing a whole thing with icons and iconic glass shapes, like the original Nina Ricci that Jackie O was wearing.

How do you know sunglasses are the right shape for your face?

For me the only rule is to have no rule. I feel like people get caught up in, I’m an aviator person, and that’s the only thing that looks good on me. And it’s like, no not necessarily.

I wish people would just get on board with, there are no rules. Just because you think you can’t wear skinny jeans, maybe you can....My rule of thumb as a stylist, I want to work with people and tell people to have an open mind.

How many pairs of sunglasses should we expect to try to find the right pair?

I would want to line somebody up with 20 pairs of glasses. I’m a fairly decisive person, but it can be overwhelming because there are so many styles and shapes and lenses.

I always tell people, it’s often hard to rely on your own judgment. It’s nice to have a friend that you trust that you can sit down with and who will push you to experiment.

When it comes to sunglasses, who are some of the great style icons?

I would say for sure Jackie O....Steve McQueen, what he wore in the Thomas Crown Affair, which were by Persol. And you think of Top Gun and Tom Cruise and his classic Ray-Ban aviators. And you think of back in the 80’s with John Hughes, and the plastic Ray-Ban.

Have questions of your own? Meet Jennifer Rade in person at the store opening tomorrow, April 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. ILORI, 245 Post Street.

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