Oliver Peoples Glasses & Tom Ripley
Curse my optician. I pop in to have my William Morris specs adjusted and I come out with an order for Sheldrake glasses by Oliver Peoples.
"Try them on", he said, handing me the well-constructed acetate frames with a cunning smile on his face. "How do they feel?" he added, rubbing his hands and opening his till (rather presumptuously). Fatal. Immediately, I see a similarity to the ones Matt Damon wore in The Talented Mr Ripley. Is there something about spectacles that make you feel like you're playing a character when you put them on? Or is that just me? I hand over my pounds.
A week later, with the lenses fitted and the glasses collected, I have to say I'm very pleased. The frames are made in Japan and have a quality feel to them. The branding is tucked inside discreetly, not plastered on the outside of the arms. That's good. I understand that Oliver Peoples make frames in limited quantities. Also good, but I'm not sure how limited. Mine are a dark tortoiseshell frame, but some of the other Sheldrake colours look nice too, like the lighter ones below.
(Why Brideshead Revisited in the photo? A classic novel, but it really would have made more sense to use something by Patricia Highsmith. I didn't have one to hand.)
Oliver Peoples is based in Los Angeles, USA. The company was started in 1986 by brothers Larry and Dennis Leight. Somewhat inevitably, the company is now part of the Luxottica group.
Who's your favourite film Ripley? Delon maybe? Damon or Malkovich perhaps? We'll take a look at Patricia Highsmith's complicated character sometime, probably starting with the Delon film version. I recall a nice leather bag in that film, and a pair of loafers too.