Send in your spectacled selfies as Sunderland celebrates glorious glasses

(Spectacles) Glasses exhibition at the National Glass Centre - Jenny Payne Gallery Learning Facilitator, National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

(Spectacles) Glasses exhibition at the National Glass Centre - Jenny Payne Gallery Learning Facilitator, National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

A NEW exhibition puts the world’s most famous spectacle-wearers in the frame.

Michael Caine, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana and Grace Kelly are among the many bespectacled celebrities to feature in the Oliver Goldsmith collection, which goes on display tomorrow at the National Glass Centre.

The British glasses designer is behind some of the most iconic frames of the past 60 years, many of which feature in the new display.

During the latter half of the twentieth century his designs became synonymous with forward-thinking fashion and adorned the face of everyone from Diana Dors to John Lennon.

Curator Sarah Rothwell, said: “The exhibition charts not only optometry, but the fashion influence of spectacles that progressed in the latter half of the twentieth century.

“Oliver Goldsmith was instrumental in bringing that fashion element.

“Prior to that, glasses were more of a necessity than a fashion statement.”

The exhibition features more than 150 pairs of glasses from wacky 80s sunglasses to the more sleek and stylish.

Over the decades, Oliver Goldsmith Ltd worked with fashion houses such as Givenchy and Dior, and frames from these collaborations also feature in the display, which runs until May 6.

Sarah added: “The Oliver Goldsmith prescription house was in Soho where many of the TV, film and advertising companies were based. Members of the production team would often come in asking for glasses for films.

“They asked for a pair for Michael Caine when he was in The Ipcress File, which is where his signature black frames came from.

“The big white bug-eye style ones worn by Audrey Hepburn in Two For the Road were also designed by Oliver Goldsmith in collaboration with Givenchy, specifically for the film.”

Three generations of the Olivers steered the company into becoming one of the most successful British spectacle designers of the last century.

National Glass Centre is encouraging members of the public to get involved with the exhibition by uploading their own spectacles selfie images, using the Twitter and Facebook hashtag #bespectacular.

These photos will be displayed alongside the exhibition on a digital Twitter wall.

Send in your selfies

WHAT’S your spectacles style?

We’ve teamed up with National Glass Centre to launch a Be Spectacular Competition.

All you need to do to enter, is send in a picture of yourself in your best glasses. Silly, wacky, stylish – we want to see you at your spectacular best.

Two readers will win £50 worth of vouchers for National Glass Centre, to spend on a meal in its brasserie, a gift from its shop or a glass-making experience.

Send us your spectacular spectacles selfies, along with your name, using hashtag #bespectacular to

@Sunderlandecho on twitter, email us at or private message them on our Facebook account.

You can also send photos, with your name and contact details, to Bespectacular Competition, Katy Wheeler, Echo House, Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland, SR4 9ER.

The closing date is February 10.

The best pictures will be printed in the Echo.




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