For Spring 2018, sunglasses weren't just UV- and people-protecting accessories; instead, designers included them in their runway shows as essential statement-making elements to their collections. And just like the frequent catwalk appearances of newly birthed supermodel Kaia Gerber, they were hard to ignore. Frames were either enormous or teeny-tiny, and spectacles came coated in a range of colors. The standard aviator and Wayfarer shapes were thrown out the window, and cat-eye and sport styles were ushered in and given new high-fashion interpretations; some were super-thin and had extra-snug '90s fits, while others possessed a dad-like sensibility and some were glorified mini-art projects glued to the upper-half of the face.
Designers began throwing shade in New York, with the likes of Adam Selman showing street style-approved retro cat-eyes alongside his sartorial interpretation of all-American classics. Similarly, Prabal Gurung included a cat-eye-shaped optic in his playful spring range, but the designer added a blue tint to the upturned lenses and shrunk the vintage style so that they barely covered the model's eyelashes — seems like he took some cues from the Insta-influencing set who spent summer in itty-bitty bits of eyewear. And then there was Rihanna, whose Fenty Puma line reinvigorated functional eyewear in the form of sporty, full-coverage lenses. Leave it to Rih to promote eye protection in style.
Over in Paris, designers also pulled eyewear inspiration from athletes and dads; Stella McCartney equipped her models with colorful interpretations of Oakley's signature high-sport performance shades. Off-White paid homage to Princess Diana with eyewear retainers, otherwise known as croakies, which were sent down the runway along with biker shorts and denim.
As per usual, there were some sunglasses that went above and beyond their UV-shielding abilities. Honorable mentions go to some of Milan's power players, such as Dolce & Gabbana, which showcased overly-decadent spectacles, including some crafty straw goggles and gem-encrusted frames. Of course, Gucci didn't fail to present a large serving of eclectic styles, either, while Moschino's spring collection delivered literal studded eye candy.
Needless to say, come spring, our eye adornments should be glorious sights to see.
Browse through the gallery below for our favorite statement-making Spring 2018 sunglasses.