Visors are arguably among the most important accessories of the past few fashion seasons. Important meaning not actually important the way presidential elections and brushing your teeth every night are, but significant in the sense that certain ones were photographed by nearly every fashion magazine for nearly every fashion spread, and, to the people who look at this stuff all day every day (HI!) much more memorable than most clothes, hats, sunglasses. Two in particular were a big deal.
First, Balenciaga's visor hats from the spring 2012 collection, which looked like this when they debuted on the runways:
People going to Fashion Week actually wore these to fashion shows so they'd get their picture taken by street style bloggers, even though they're just about the shadiest-looking thing one could wear next to a holster filled with guns. At least the purple shiny stuff gives this one some levity:
According to Fashionista, only ONE of these was mad available for sale in the U.S. — and it actually sold for $3,250.
The second visor of particular significance was brought to us by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, who dreamed up a mirrored-looking mask style with her hair stylist Guido Paolo, faced with the great quandary of how to make the hair look "dynamic" but not "couture." Here's how it looked on the runway:
Pretty cool, right? It's like the Terminator of visors. The McQueen store in New York tells me they'll be in next week for the reasonable (compared to Balenciaga's lottery-priced thing) price of $450.
And the trend doesn't stop with these novelty styles. Balenciaga and Givenchy showed more normal-looking visors in their 2012 resort collections, leaving Vogue to declare visors "a cool new alternative to sunglasses." To the magazine's credit, they were in rare form suggesting readers buy a $10 American Apparel version and $3 style from Oriental Trading. (FYI, you can now buy the Givenchy visor on sale for $400, marked down from $800.)
But other luxe visors not by Givenchy are out there, waiting to be bought, like this leather style, currently selling for about $310:
So while fashion's been visor-obsessed for some time, the question remains: will this trend catch with the masses? It always takes about a year or so for things to go from runways to real people so now's about the time for us to see if visors will in fact happen. Maybe they will in the ironic way we've embraced high-waisted pants, acid wash denim, and everything else American Apparel sells. Or maybe we'll just embrace the visor's practicality and mom out with the straw kind you find in drug stores in coastal towns, like Scarlett Johansson recently did.
The summer's not over, so you still have time to make it happen. After all, kids, this could be you: