Our archive at Curry & Paxton dates back well over 100 years and there are many interesting objects and instruments we like to look at to remind ourselves of our innovative past. However, two of our most astonishing discoveries which have proven to be the most inspiring are two pairs of protective, side-shield driving glasses - one of which was found in its original prism-shaped case. To coincide with our re-launch, we’ve reproduced them both in collaboration with Motolouxe.
Before we dive into the details of these discoveries, we’d like to tell you about Motoloxe. Founded in 1905, the British brand is a specialist in performance outerwear and it’s renowned for its Teddy Bear coat, which is a grand piece of outerwear made from deep pile alpaca fabric with a double-breasted button configuration and a louche belt.
Like the side-shield frames, their original purpose was less about fashion and more about performance and functionality. They provided motorists with extra warmth and comfort during a time when cars didn’t have the luxury of centralised heating. They were also favoured by some of the 20th century’s most notable names, such as Sir Winston Churchill, Mick Jagger and Salvador Dali. Motoluxe makes elegant and sophisticated clothing for discerning and adventurous types, with function and performance being at the forefront of the design.
With helpful and expert guidance from The College of Optometrists, our original side-shield frames are thought to be almost exactly 100-years-old, which means that they are redolent of and belong to the period of the Roaring Twenties. You can easily picture the Bentley Boys, for example, wearing them as they broke every record imaginable at Le Mans.
As mentioned in Our Story, we registered a patent in the design of protective goggles in June 1939 that helped prevent injury to the wearer in case of a collision or crash. The patent comes almost 20 years after our two archive pieces are thought to have been created, but what it goes to show is that Curry & Paxton was one of, if not the, first eyewear manufacturer to create such a thing which only further underlines our innovative credentials.
The older of the two discoveries feature fixed metal mesh sides, and sadly only one arm. The lenses are also smaller and narrower. To say these side-shield frames are delicate is a huge understatement. The second pair is in much better shape. In fact, there’s a high chance that they’ve never been worn and in contrast to the metal mesh sides, they feature a cognac leather side shields which is a lot more flexible and contemporary.
Drawing inspiration from the two, our side-shield frames in collaboration with Motoluxe have received some needed updates. For instance, the side-shields fold inwards toward the nose pads to make them easier to store and both have been finished with touches of premium acetate for a contemporary finish.
The metal side-shields are complemented with gunmetal grey arms, while the leather side-shield frames have bright gold arms. Both, of course, are finished with the three-dot logo which is on the tips of the earpieces.
Inspired by the original prism-shaped packaging from the 1920s, the new frames come in a handsome yellow prism-shape case that’s collapsable and can easily be tucked into your pocket or into the glove compartment.
While the originals weren’t deemed fashionable, there’s no doubt that these are statement frames for stylish folk. Time to take the vintage, open-top Jaguar for a spin, don’t you think?
Curry & Paxton X Motoluxe Side-Shields in Gunmetal
Curry & Paxton X Motoluxe Side-Shields in Gold