Next to Michael Caine, Peter Sellers must be the second most iconic British wearer of spectacles of the 1960s and 1970s. The look of both these men, Caine and Sellers (both with think framed, black glasses), has been very influential to my own Bertie Hudson range of eyewear. Much as Jacques Marie Mage tried to bottle the spirit of Burt Reynolds’ film persona, I tried to suggest something of Sellers and Caine in my Marco and Tom ranges respectively. Caine, for me, was boisterous and flamboyant, the snake-eyed lighter-up of smoke-filled rooms, dominant, kind of brash, rowdy even, while Sellers, from where I am standing, was not at all garish nor overconfident. He was thoughtful, elegant, the quintessential English gentleman, as equally strong as Caine but less careless, more composed.
Like a lot of key characters in the history of eyewear fashion, both Sellers and Caine can be used as cultural shorthand that takes us to a styling concept really quickly and drags in with it all its associations and suggestions. Just as you know what you are talking about when you talk about Jackie O, you know what is being conjured and evoked when you refer to the Peter Sellers effect in a pair of spectacles: a warm wit, unalloyed charm and a sense of fun, impeccable manners and the epitome of the classicism and ease of mid-century style. This is what my Marco range tries to channel. My Tom range is more full of itself and is bold and brazen like the Caine of The Italian Job and Pulp.