07 February 2011

Parlez Vuarnet?

Named after Jean Vuarnet


$75 in the '80s versus $25 for Ray Bans


Skilynx - hard to find


Martha on Daddy's boat

I couldn't. Too damned expensive. I went through Ray Ban Aviators like I went through Red, White and Blue beer. In 1985, Ray Bans were $20 to $25 bucks a pair. I was constantly losing or breaking them. Vuarnet 'Cat Eye' Skilynx were $75 to $80 a pair. They were in another league. People who had money and who didn't lose things.

I always thought (and still do) they looked best on girls. Girls who smoked and drank beer and had a back hand. Girls whose Daddys owned a business -- or two or three. These girls owned Orvis Battenkill luggage, bit their nails, never wore makeup and sadly (for me) always seemed to be Republicans.

31 comments:

ann said...

Tintin, " . . . sadly (for me) always seemed to be Republicans," buck up, boy! This is a good thing. This is the proverbial silver lining, the lemonaide made from lemons.

Joy C. said...

What?! Then Ray Bans today are way overpriced comparatively. But I guess you have to factor in the inflation...

Bill Smith said...

I had a pair of Skilynx back in the late 1980s and they were great for skiing. Pity Vaurnet has little to no presence in North America these days, I really liked their lenses.

Unclelooney said...

Vuarnets looked good with turqoise pants with reverse triple pleats. Be happy you could not afford them. :)

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

I still have an old Vuarnet beach towel somewhere, but I don't think I ever even had a pair of the glasses.

I was 10 years old:

"Father, look at my new VAR-nett beach towel."

Father:"I imagine it's pronounced var-NAY. See... it says 'France' just below".

Me:"Oh... var-NAAYY... you've heard of it then?"

Father:"Nope."

Main Line Sportsman said...

Still have a pair and still wear them when I ski...the key is they are made of plastic/vinyl so they do not conduct the cold and they give great depth of field for ski terrain.

the gardeners cottage said...

you crack me up.

M said...

This post brought back memories of my high school tennis team-circa 1986. I recall every girl playing sported these sunglasses, often with white frames.

Mark

greatzamboni said...

I cannot tell you how much those damn shades signified an unattainable and sexy cool when i was in high school (an SF prep school I couldn't stand with the unfortunate name of Lick Wilmerding) I too had the ray bans but those damn vuarnets, damn them and the tanned insouciant that wore them "elan" is that the word? yep, this dates me, class of 86.

greatzamboni said...

PS
as a perfect hybrid between the two, i got the new ray ban RB 4140 and am very happy with em.

Brummagem Joe said...

"Girls whose Daddys owned a business -- or two or three... always seemed to be Republicans."

There isn't a contradiction Tintin since the main goal of the GOP is, and always has been, the furtherance of the interests of business and the richest 5% of country. I'm not knocking it, just stating a reality which they are very successful at obfuscating.

LPC said...

I had Vuarnets. But I didn't play tennis, and I wasn't a Republican. What are archetypes for except the joy in their comeuppance?

LPC said...

Voo-war-nay:).

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

I found of pair of Vuarnets at the top of my first solo lead (Chouinard's Crack, 5.7, Yosemite, Summer of '85). Finders keepers. Wore them the rest of the year and beyond. I'm not sure where they are now...perhaps at the bottom of my closet with the rest of my climbing gear consisting solely of a locking carabiner and figure-8.

Cheers, it's almost Friday.

Anonymous said...

Wore mine skiing in Colorado two Springs ago (they are what I had and I didn't want to spend the money on new sunglasses) and rec'd several compliments from contemporaries wearing more expensive and currently fashionable goggles and sunglasses.

I suppose good taste endures, or at least that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Oyster Guy said...

Sooo much beauty, style and ease on the outside, with the soul of a power tool on the inside. The price of privilege? Tintin, I am trying to forget about these women but you keep reminding me...arrrrggghhhh!!!

The Skinny Guinea said...

Picked up my Vuarnet cat-eyes (in navy) in the summer of '84 at a ski shop in Greenwich. I was 15. They were $75. It was my first and the most significant purchase on a style item and would be for years to come.
Boy, did I feel like the business that winter on Pico Peak with those glasses, some pink Croakies and my hand-me-down CB jacket...
Thanks for the memories,
SG

Anonymous said...

Who gives a s**t about boats, Tintin? They're just a hole in the ocean in which to throw money. Guilt, or wealth envy: pick one. Or both. Almost everyone does. I never did, which may explain my spectacular failures yet personal contentment.

But dig that Jean Vuarnet look in the first image. A look like that would cost a lot less and get a lot more milage.

By the way, if you still lose your sunglasses, you are right to stick to the cheapies.

-DB

Brummagem Joe said...

"Who gives a s**t about boats,"

Quite a lot of people, because they can be an enormous source of sheer physical enjoyment (and discomfort!!) at all income levels. Like a lot of activities it can be about money but it doesn't have to be.

longwing said...

Martha looks like my kinda girl.

Anonymous said...

There isn't a contradiction Tintin since the main goal of the GOP is, and always has been, the furtherance of the interests of business and the richest 5% of country.
Gosh yeah, that's why Goldman Sachs pours all its money into the democratic party and votes something like 80% democratic.
Look at the most democratic states - they have a largest income disparity - no accident.

Hey, Joe, genius, why do you think Soros and nearly every 'super' wealthy person is a democrat? Why do you think Carlos Slim sinks money into the New York TImes? THINK instead of aping the Huff post (another millionairess) tells you.

Patsy said...

My husband's sailing team was outfitted with Vuarnets in the early 90s. He still has them, but they make him look like a dork, so I sort of hid them.

I still have mine from the late 80s, I wonder if I looked dorky too.

Anonymous said...

Man, I miss 1986!

Anonymous said...

That last picture does rather sum it up doesn't it.

Best regards,

JRC

initials CG said...

Along with my pink oxford button down, I had a few pair in the early eighties. Mostly for skiing. Yeah, grew up in that kind of place where we made sure they were authentic by looking for the etching in the lense...Yeah it was rather lame.

Kind of missed them though...and the snooty, but oh so sexy chicks who wore them when ski bunnies wore those tight pants and not that baggy skater crap snowboarders introduced. Less tattoos were nice, too.

Richard A. DeCamp said...

Come to the Dark Side, Tin. We have babes.

Trailer Trad said...

Brummagem Joe,

I really enjoyed your comments about Republicans. You see, I collect antiques and I can really appreciate something old and hoary and I would date that comment to circa 1934. If you could just dig up and dust off a “The Democrats are for the Workun’ Man!”, you’d have a matching set that would make you feel all warm and nostalgic. -Kind of like putting on an actual pair of overalls used to film “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Had a pair with a more square frame. They were great for skiing. And, when a buddy -- who didn't know how to ski, let alone ski drunk -- borrowed them for a run and put his ski pole through the frame and his face, Vaurnet replaced them since they were guaranteed unbreakable.

Jean Vaurnet looks like he's wearing Bastian's stuff.

Hirnpups said...

Still wearing them.

Hirnpups said...

in Oberstdorf together with my nephew.


http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/165445_1775980438845_1219365181_2073290_1429961_n.jpg

whereisthecool said...

If you need a pair of Vuarnet vintage.
HEre it is!
http://www.achiperachoper.com/?p=1056