It used to be that the most common place you would see a pair of glasses without lenses would be as part of a novelty disguise, attached to a fake plastic nose and a Groucho Marx-style moustache. But recently, in Taiwain, it’s becoming trendy among people in their teens and twenties to go lensless.
Some say this fashion began in the Japanese and Korean pop music scene, while others claim it originated in Taiwan. In either case, it’s giving young people, especially girls, yet another fashion accessory with which to deck out their wardrobe. In Taipei’s fashionable Ximen district, girls can often be seen with fake eyelashes extending out beyond their frames.
However, the look has unisex appeal, and guys can also be spotted with rims sans lenses. When the Huffington Post interviewed folks on the street, it found that many adherents of the trend actually need corrective eyewear and wear discrete contact lenses behind their feckless frames. Others said that they like the reduced weight of glasses without lenses and some people felt that they looked older or more mature with their fashion frames.
The trend is just starting to spread to China, which has been absorbing more elements of Taiwanese pop culture as diplomatic relations between the two countries have lost some of their edge. Will the fashion of empty eyeglass rims cross the Pacific Ocean and take root on American shores? Only time will tell.