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Photography by Emma Hartvig

A Definitive List of the Best Sunglasses for Summer

From Céline's angular frames to Gucci's pearly brilliance, we present our edit of the best sunglasses around this season

TextOlivia SingerPhotographyEmma Hartvig Photographic EditorHolly Hay
Lead ImagePhotography by Emma Hartvig

At long last, summer is finally upon us. Not only does such a season present a re-up of Vitamin D, opportunities for M&S-catered picnics and trips to Hampstead’s Sapphic fantasia the ladies’ pond, but it also offers the opportunity to refresh one’s accessories – and purchasing a new pair of sunglasses is, in many ways, an experience of unparalleled joy. After all, they are one of the cheapest investments you can make for your wardrobe, yet can be worn daily: essentially, they are the most justifiable purchase on a cost-per-wear basis, and can transform you into a sci-fi villain or 40s starlet in one swift transaction. Here, we showcase our edit, as presented through the rose-tinted lens of Emma Hartvig.

Céline (above)

Simultaneously embracing the aesthetic of 80s punks and 90s villains, these Céline sunglasses channel the spirit of both Katinka from Zoolander and Lydia Lunch. It is a combination that we thoroughly endorse, and which ensures you never end up looking saccharine – no matter how floral your summer dress.

ZanZan (left)

Golden age glamour made completely contemporary, ZanZan’s Le Tabou style is named after the Parisian cellar club where Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre would get together to discuss existentialism after hours. Wear them to sun yourself at La Colombe d’Or while reading Cliffnotes on Camus.

Versace (right)

If anyone knows how to reinvigorate 90s style, it is Donatella Versace, the unparalleled doyenne of that era. These transparent orange sunglasses transport us back to those Avedon campaigns, but as seen through the prism of The Simple Life. What more could you ask for?

Saint Laurent (left)

Nothing says insouciant, left-bank cool quite like Saint Laurent, and these dark-lensed beatnik glasses are testament to that fact. But instead of wearing yours with a Bréton and a beret, we suggest nothing at all. There’s nothing so nonchalant.

Prada (right)

“I was thinking about something much more simple and trying to find a new sort of elegance,” said Mrs Prada of the S/S17 collection, where these glasses debuted. And simple, angular elegance was duly achieved: never nostalgic but here with a nod towards the best bits of the 70s.

Prism (left)

Prism’s Calvi present the perfect cat-eye – and here, in translucent pink with orange-tinted lenses, they are slightly more sinister than they are saccharine. Plus, they’ll match your rosé.

Cutler and Gross (right)

Who’d have thought octagonal sunglasses were a good thing? Almost nobody, but Cutler and Gross has proved us wrong. These ones, with a ‘Northern Lights’ lens are particularly brilliant.

Miu Miu

Miu Miu’s beachy brilliant S/S17 show presented the best poolside fashion we’ve seen yet: floral swimming caps, towelling and ruched bikinis made for the ultimate holiday fantasy. “It’s a celebration of summer with all its pleasures and the scary idea of if we can have it again,” Mrs Prada said backstage. For those yet to invest in a rabbit fur robe to chuck on once you get out of the jacuzzi, we suggest these sunglasses to channel her bittersweet sentiment.


In Alessandro Michele’s world, more is more. Here, his particular penchant for pearls is encrusted upon 80s frames bearing the iconic house logo: the eyewear that completely captures the zeitgest for gleeful abundance.


When Maria Grazia Chiuri joined Dior, nobody could have expected the seismic impact she would have within the world of branding: j’adior-printed shoes and monogrammed handbags are now in brilliant abundance the world over. Here, her proclivity for logomania manifests with a particularly utilitarian style, and we love (or “j’adior?”) it.