With the federal election only days away, we thought we’d take a break from opinion polls and Fake Tradies and look at something slightly more eye-opening – the role the humble spectacles have played on the political stage. From game-changing glasses to fashion flops, here’s 3 of our faves:
1. Julia Gillard
When the Prime Minister fronted the National Press Club in January 2013 she had two major announcements – the election date and a new look. A new pair of rose-coloured specs to be exact.
An optical stylist from Albert Park had reportedly flown to Canberra accompanied with 100 different frames for Julia to try on (and you thought our Try at Home packs were impressive!). The former contacts-conformer eventually settled on a dark rimmed pair from US brand Oliver Peoples that complemented her pale skin tone and echoed the new eyewear sported by Hillary Clinton just one week earlier.
Her edgy fashion choice soon spawned multiple #HipsterJulia memes and a Twitter account called @julesglasses which personified the spectacles “sitting on the most famous nose in Australia”.
2. Francois Hollande
The French President was turning heads for all the wrong reasons when he debuted his new pair of £765 Lindberg glasses in July 2014. Political commentators accused the “Mr Normal” leader of being unpatriotic for wearing the chunky Danish frames at a ‘Made in France’ event promoting locally made goods. Two French eyewear companies even sent him spec samples to demonstrate their superior quality and design.
However Hollande did win himself favour amongst members of the fashion police such as Nouvel Obs’ Bruno Roger-Petit who claimed that the President’s previous rimless glasses made him look like a “provincial chemist” whilst the newer pair had transformed him into a Don Draper.
3. Rick Perry
Everyone knows that wearing glasses make you look smart, right? Rick Perry certainly thought so. After his disastrous Republican presidential nomination campaign in 2012, the Texas governor decided to nerd up his look with a pair of US$500 Jean Lafont glasses. His wife helped him select the thick dark frames to transform his cowboy image into one evoking intelligence and confidence.
However people quickly saw through his new look. Senator Rand Paul noted that the spectacles “haven’t altered [Perry’s] perception of the world” and Donald Trump wisely (cough) observed that “people can see through the glasses”.
Perry took the criticism to heart, choosing to ditch the frames in his official Texas portrait.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE EYE-CONIC MOMENT IN POLITICS?
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