Image Source: Wikimedia
When New York Times called monocles a 'trend catching up' (read spreading like forest fire), the response to the story was quick and harsh. While some welcomed the resurgence of monocles with an understandable enthusiasm of recovering or rediscovering antic family jewelry which had gained value for the decades it had spent in the dark and yet survived; some trashed it outright. There was something common between both of them. The opinions were rather emotional and laced with some reality check.
So, are the monocles really making a comeback? It's a classic case of 'egg first or, chicken' puzzle. It can also be the unresolved death of Princess Diana with no conclusive answer or evidence whatsoever. Monocles reentering the lives of commoners is much like some gadget becoming a trend, following the constant flow of features written after its significance, history and style. Following this would be a small group of mostly elite people wearing it at cocktail parties, just to feel the 'in' thingie and also remain 'loyal' to the trend set by magazines.
Yet, we are not solving the puzzle completely here. Hypothetically speaking, at times when matrix and trinity are gaining the capacity to disappear into thin air and teleport themselves into the next world, monocles reappearing from centuries ago may not be more than a comfortable thought.
In late 19th century when specs and shades were yet to be born; intelligent men HAD to sport monocles to look seriously committed to science, and focused on greater discoveries that followed - making others look (non-monoclers) like mundane freaks - monocles stood for a personality trait. They spoke more than the man who wore them. They sent signals to the person opposite without as much as speaking in sentences. They were a character on to themselves. And the men who wore them were cent per cent English gents.
Monocles then came in gold and steel, with a convex lens depending upon how serious the wearer wanted himself to be perceived as. Films showed us the not-so-serious man wearing monocles would often raise his eyebrows in surprise, the monocle would loosen and fall into the wine/whiskey glass kept before him, and land on the floor while the lens turned into smithereens.
Eventually lesbians appropriated the monocles as if to create a completely different persona for this small eye-sight correction device during early 20th century. While the fight continued about what the monocles were to convey through their wearers, the smallest personality enhancing piece went into history. The battle lines disappeared.
Monocle stores have seemingly doubled their sales in the last few years says the New York Times report quoting a rapper wearing the Mr Peanut accessory. Yes, when monocle is believed to have made a return, it is no more a device to correct the eyesight. But, it's more like this 'Yo' showpiece which can play a decisive role in deciding on your 'is that cool or is that cool (kewl, did we mention?)' quotient.
So when someone sticks this thing into his ocular socket and tries to adorn a rather 'different' personality altogether, you cannot ignore and walk away. It's like living in the past with all the luxuries of the present. You can ditch a monocle after a few years, when something else makes a comeback, with the comfort of 'been there done that' kinda feeling.
Whether it is for vision correction, or to simply convey the cool factor, resurgence of monocles is also seeing them in different shades too. While some prefer it transparent and plain, retaining the drama it creates without adding anymore elements to it; some go for purple or combat green tints making it melodramatic. It must make them look a lot like those one-eyed pirates lurking on the surface of azure waters waiting for their next loot.
Either ways, when the monocles truly arrive, and become a trend worldwide, they will soon turn into tech gadgets multi-tasking for the men and women. Have your pieces reserved, ladies and gentlemen!Suggest a correction