John Lennon's Glasses Brought Beatle Mania to Elle Italia

Those signature round frames were made to pile on.
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Those signature round frames were made to pile on.

Blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration -- be it art, photography or design -- behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.

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Although it was Edith Piaf who sang of living life in a pair of rose-colored glasses, it was John Lennon who heeded the French singer's advice. Circular frames in an assortment of colors became a signature of the Beatle throughout his long career. Today, the pair of bloodied glasses worn by Lennon when he assassinated has come to be a symbol for anti-gun violence and peace.

The album art of John Lennon's 1974 record "Walls and Bridges" featured an image of the artist's multi-bespectacled face, photographed by Bob Gruen. The over-accessorized pic riffed on Lennon's ever-present round specs.

For Elle Italia's April 2011 issue, photographer Alexei Hay showcased the season's offerings of glasses, layering shade upon shade onto model Hana Soukupova for an editorial titled "Eye on You." The result: Beatle mania.

John Lennon by Bob Gruen, 1974

John Lennon by Bob Gruen, 1974

Hana Soukupova by Alexei Hay for Elle Italy April, 2011

Hana Soukupova by Alexei Hay for Elle Italy April, 2011