Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling has said what many are thinking by declaring the bizarre, tiny sunglasses trend gripping the fashion world a major sartorial mistake.
“I think we will regret this tiny sunglasses look,” Kaling tweeted on May 14, immediately receiving an outpouring of support.
From supermodels to pop stars, small-framed eyewear has been the hottest fashion craze of the last six months, travelling beyond the catwalk to high-profile, red carpet events.
Kaling tweeted about the issue again on May 18, posting a cartoon of Santa Claus wearing some small spectacles with the caption: “The only person who can pull off tiny sunglasses.”
Kaling’s thoughts were endorsed by her Ocean’s Eight co-star Anne Hathaway, who shared Kaling’s tweet on Instagram and added: “I’ll sit this one out with you.”
Actress Busy Philipps chimed in, claiming she’s “flat out refusing” to buy into the trend, before admitting: “Ok I bought one pair but mostly Birdie [her daughter] wears them.”
Even Friends star Jennifer Aniston, whose ’90s style while she was playing Rachel is often credited starting the trend, has spoken in the past about her aversion to the “ridiculous” look.
“I’m not a fan of those little tiny spectacles; I’m a fan of classic sunglasses,” she told Glamour magazine in 2017 when asked to identify the “90s trend we will regret regurgitating”.
“That was very 90s, wasn’t it? When you would see those little tiny frames, those were brought back from the John Lennon days.”
Tiny sunglass haters are in the minority, however, with a large number of Hollywood trendsetters embracing the tricky look in increasing numbers over the last year.
Most recently, Kylie Jenner wore tiny bedazzled Alexander Wang specs to the Met Gala this month, while Kristen Stewart wore Matrix-style sunnies on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.
In an awkward twist for Kaling and Hathaway, their Ocean’s Eight co-star and friend Rihanna was responsible for pioneering the trend when she appeared on the Cannes red carpet in May 2017.
But if you’re looking for someone to blame for the inexplicable appeal of tiny sunglasses, the finger can be pointed squarely at Kanye West.
In an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians earlier this year, West’s wife Kim Kardashian West revealed her rapper husband had emailed her a style decree to never wear “big sunglasses” ever again.
“[He said] ‘It’s all about tiny little glasses’,” Kardashian West said.
“He sent me, like, millions of 90s photos with tiny little glasses like this,” she added, referring to the teeny pair perched on her nose.
If you want to go further back, West’s ruling was likely driven by Adam Selman, Rihanna’s go-to costume designer, who designed a capsule range of tiny sunglasses for Australian eyewear brand Le Specs in early 2017.
Selman was in turn inspired by the artwork of American artist Patrick Nagel, telling Vogue: “The flat, graphic, retro glamour is a perfect fantasy that translates so well into sunglasses.”
Selman’s designs were snapped up by ‘It’ girls like model sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Zoë Kravitz, pushing them further into the pop-culture consciousness.
But really, the original culprits were 90s icons like Rachel from Friends, Morpheus from the Matrix films, Will Smith in his Wild Wild West phase and perennial trendsetters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who caught on to this craze two decades earlier as pre-teens.
If you’re now in doubt as to what to wear when it’s bright outside, never fear, the next sunglass trend has already arrived courtesy of a surprising style trailblazer: Princess Anne.
To attend the Chelsea Flower Show on Tuesday (AEST), the Queen’s only daughter donned a pair of what are colloquially known as “speed dealer” sunglasses.
The 67-year-old’s statement eyewear was a stark contrast to her beige linen skirt-suit and pearl necklace, but perhaps the royals are entering a new modern era where the typical style rules no longer apply.
Just make sure no one tells Kanye.