MiNDFOOD STYLE caught up with Kim Cattrall while the actress was in New Zealand to launch Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition. Cattrall, who has been wearing glasses since the age of ten, reveals the craziest glasses she owns and shares her tips for buying the perfect pair.
There’s that well-known scene in Sex & The City when Samantha declares “Yes. I need glasses and I’m not ashamed.” Do you think the relationship between ageing and wearing glasses has changed over the years?
For my generation there was a stigma attached to wearing glasses; it was seen as something negative, as if something was wrong. But now the glasses are so synonymous with style, they have become the ultimate accessory: because they’re on your face, people really notice them. They can really enhance your mood or your face.
When I got glasses at the age of 10, they were National Health glasses – they weren’t fantastic! But I found a pair I really loved. We’ve come such a long way, glasses are such a statement now. Some people don’t even have lenses in their glasses – they just want them as an accessory, and sometimes people just say “I feel smarter in glasses.”
Tell us about Samantha’s wardrobe of glasses.
It was always the last thing we’d come to when we were doing costume fittings. It was the cherry on top of the outfit that Pat Field was putting together for Samantha. There were colours and shapes that I would never have bought myself, so it forced me to open up and change my perspective of what would work on my face. It taught me not to take it all too seriously. I think that people are often more open to doing that with their sunglasses, but with their regular glasses they get more conservative.
Have you kept glasses from years gone by? Do you ever still wear them?
I have kept a lot of glasses I’ve had over the years. Sometimes looking at them is much like looking at a photograph – I remember exactly why I bought them, when I bought them, and what the style was reflecting. I remember in the early Seventies buying a John Lennon look. There are all these difference influences that are revealed in your choices.
I do still wear glasses from the past; I tried some on before I got on the plane to come to New Zealand. There were these round-framed Oliver Peoples I bought that were massively expensive. I put them on and I thought, “these don’t work.” But at the time I was so committed to them, they were such an investment financially but I never really felt comfortable in them.
What’s the craziest pair of glasses that you’ve ever owned?
When I was doing Mannequin we had glasses for a promotional tour and there was a character Hollywood in the movie, he wore those glasses that kind of wrapped around your face. There was a bunch left from filming, so I took some, more for a memory than for wearing but I have worn wear them a couple of times. They were pretty outrageous – almost like Dame Edna-esque.
Do you have any tips for shopping for the perfect pair?
No matter what I’m shopping for, I have to be in the mood for it but with glasses you’re not taking everything on and then putting it back on again, undressing and dressing, undressing and dressing. You just put it on your face and then go to the next pair – it’s much easier! There are certain shapes and styles that I know look good. And there are certain things I’ve learnt through trial and error. Taking a girlfriend to egg you on or pull you back is always a good idea.
Can you describe your ideal pair of glasses?
I’m looking for something comfortable first of all. If it’s too big or too small I won’t wear them. I wear my glasses most of the day, so they need to be comfortable. But I’m also looking for something that reflects my mood and what I’m wearing. Today we’re having an intelligent conversation so I think if I turned up in my Dame Edna glasses, I don’t think we’d have the same conversation! Not fundamentally, but it would change what was going on.
What will you be looking for when judging Spectacle Wearer of the year?
Personality. When what you’re wearing, whether it’s glasses, your jacket or your handbag, has a sense of harmony – I don’t mean everything matching, that’s boring – but if you mix it up and you do it with a point of view that expresses who you are, to do that is a very confident and positive thing. When I first started in Sex and The City, I think people were dressing up in a way they thought I would like, but to dress like Samantha, that’s not who I am, and I played Samantha! So, I really want to encourage women, young women especially, to find their own unique sense of style. Maybe for a time that’s adopting, but it’s not inhabiting. I’m looking that someone can express who they are with confidence.
Fancy the chance to meet Kim in New York? Find out how here.