John Lennon. Life through his lens
The Beatles, one of the most iconic bands in music history, not only revolutionized the sound of popular music but also had a significant impact on fashion trends and even eyewear – in fact, John Lennon famously wore Oliver Goldsmith. Formed in Liverpool, England in 1960, The Beatles, comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, quickly rose to global stardom. Their innovative sound, combining rock 'n' roll with elements of pop and experimental music, paved the way for countless artists and shaped the course of popular music.
Beyond their musical prowess, The Beatles were trendsetters in the world of fashion. Their signature mop-top hairstyles, tailored suits, and ankle boots became emblematic of the "Mod" subculture in the 1960s. The band's style reflected the youthful rebellion and spirit of the era, capturing the hearts of fans worldwide. John Lennon, the band's enigmatic frontman, was known not only for his distinctive voice and song writing talents but also for his unique fashion sense, particularly his eyewear.
John Lennon's Sunglasses and Spectacles
Lennon was often seen sporting round, wire-rimmed glasses, originally designed by Oliver Goldsmith, which became an integral part of his iconic look. In fact, a broken pair of his Oliver Goldsmith spectacles sold at auction for a whopping £137,500.
In 1966, John Lennon was given a pair of round glasses to prepare for his role in Richard Lester's film How I Won the War. Quickly they became synonymous with his image and later his name and became perhaps some of the most iconic sunglasses in rock and roll history. Alan Herring, John Lennon’s former chauffeur states that
...In the summer of 1968 I had picked John up with Ringo and George in Ringo’s Mercedes and driven the boys into the office. When John got out of the car, I noticed that he’d left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected. I asked John if he’d like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry they were just for the look! He said he’d send out for some that fit. I never did get them mended I just kept them as they were as John had left them.
In the early sixties, Beatles mania was sweeping through the fabric of British life. John Lennon was at the epicentre of this euphoria and his influence on fashion, eyewear and music was inescapable. The Kolus by Oliver Goldsmith were one of several pairs that Lennon wore. John Lennon and his eyewear were undoubtably an iconic pairing. His eyewear was symbolic of a time of counterculture, sartorial freedom and individualism, and he famously said,
I'm not going to change the way I look or feel to conform to anything.
These glasses not only served as a fashion statement but also played a role in defining Lennon's image as a visionary artist. Lennon's eyewear choices were diverse, ranging from classic circular frames to more avant-garde designs. His eyeglasses collection evolved over the years, reflecting his evolving tastes and the changing fashion trends of the time.
Originally designed in 1962, the Kolus features a heavily bevelled silhouette that gives it weight and depth resulting in a charismatic and nostalgic frame. With a heavy dose of sixties styling and unadulterated rock n roll cool, Kolus will transport you straight back to London, 1964.
When The Beatles arrived in the United States in 1964, they brought with them a fresh and exciting fashion sensibility that captivated American youth. Young fans on both sides of the Atlantic sought to emulate their style, sparking a global frenzy for anything remotely related to the Fab Four. As the 1960s progressed, so did The Beatles' music and fashion sensibilities. Their ground-breaking album "Revolver" released in 1966, marked a turning point in both their sound and style. The cover art, designed by Klaus Voormann, featured a bold, psychedelic collage that reflected the band's evolving creative spirit. This album cover and their experimental fashion choices of the time became emblematic of the psychedelic era.
The Beatles - Fashion and Style
One of the most enduring aspects of The Beatles' fashion influence was their commitment to authenticity and individuality. Each member of the band had a distinct style that reflected their personality. John Lennon was known for his penchant for avant-garde and eccentric clothing, while Paul McCartney exuded a more classic and polished look. George Harrison's interest in Eastern spirituality and culture was often reflected in his clothing choices, and Ringo Starr maintained a more understated yet effortlessly cool aesthetic. Even decades after their breakup, The Beatles' impact on fashion remains palpable. Elements of their style continue to influence contemporary fashion trends, with designers drawing inspiration from their eclectic wardrobe choices. From high-end fashion runways to everyday streetwear, the spirit of The Beatles lives on in the choices we make about what we wear.
"Now and Then", The Beatles new song
In recent news, fans of The Beatles have been eagerly anticipating the release of a new song titled 'Now and Then' originally written and recorded by John Lennon in the late 1970s. This unreleased track, rumoured to have been recorded during the band's 'Let It Be' sessions, offers a glimpse into the creative process of the legendary group. With its characteristic harmonies and poignant lyrics, 'Now and Then' promises to be a valuable addition to The Beatles' extensive discography. The track features John Lennon's vocals and George Harrison's guitar playing and was finished by Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr with the help of audio restoration technology, pioneered for film director Peter Jackson, allowing Lennon's original demo to be cleaned up and used. The song is being issued as a double A-side single with the band's 1962 debut Love Me Do.
The Beatles' impact on music, fashion, and popular culture is immeasurable. From their ground-breaking music to their influential sense of style, the band's legacy continues to resonate with fans of all ages. John Lennon's glasses collection is just one example of how their influence transcended music, leaving an indelible mark on the world of fashion.
As we look forward to the release of 'Now and Then,' we can't help but be reminded of the enduring legacy of The Beatles and the timeless appeal of their music. Their ability to push boundaries and inspire generations is a testament to their status as true pioneers in the world of music and style.
With a limited run of Kolus Black available, why not seize the moment and snag yourself a piece of Beatles history. You won’t regret it.
John Lennon is photographed wearing Kolus sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith. Photographed by John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins during a rehearsal for ABC’s TV Show ‘Thank You Lucky Stars’ at Teddington Studios London in 1964.