Oh, darlings, let me whisk you away on a tale that twirls and swirls through the opulent corridors of high fashion and art, all seen through the most flamboyantly fabulous eyewear imaginable. Imagine this: Venice, a city as dramatic and unique as the characters it hosts, and among them, a woman with a flair for the extraordinary, Peggy Guggenheim. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, a little confession from yours truly.

Growing up, my nose was the star of the show, and not in a way I cherished. “Gonzo,” they’d call me, as I navigated the school corridors, feeling every inch the odd one out.

Fast forward a few years, and at 23, I decided to take matters into my own hands, opting for rhinoplasty. But alas, this was a time when the art of nose refinement was more hit and miss than the precise science it is today. While the size of my nose changed, the procedure left me with nerve damage—a constant reminder that sometimes, the solutions we seek aren’t solutions at all.

Prada's Minimal Baroque Sunglasses Gracie Opulanza 2011 2015 Bentley GT

Quirky Eyewear

This twist of fate led me down a path Peggy Guggenheim herself trod, finding solace and expression in the realm of quirky eyewear. Peggy, with her illustrious lifestyle, buzzing social circles, and an eye for art that could eclipse many, had her own battles with a “potato nose,” as she affectionately termed it. Like me, she sought refuge under the knife, but the outcome was far from what she envisioned. It was this shared experience, albeit decades apart, that endeared Peggy to me.

Peggy Guggenheim, however, did not just stop at lamenting her surgical misadventure. Oh, no. She turned her predicament into a canvas for creativity and self-expression. Among her circle of friends—artists, visionaries, and designers—she found willing collaborators to craft accessories that were as much art as they were fashion. And among these creations, none stood out more than her iconic butterfly sunglasses.

These weren’t just any sunglasses; they were a statement, a testament to Peggy’s indomitable spirit and her refusal to be defined by conventional standards of beauty.

Peggy eyewear Venice

Designed by the brilliant Edward Melcarth, they were bold, they were extravagant, and they perfectly encapsulated Peggy’s essence—a woman who lived her life in bold strokes.

When I first laid eyes on these sunglasses, it was as if I found a kindred spirit across time. Here was a woman who understood the power of adornment, not as a shield but as a spear, carving out her identity in a world that too often sought to diminish it. And just like Peggy, I found my refuge in quirky eyewear, pieces that didn’t just hide what I perceived as flaws but celebrated my uniqueness.

In 2014, the Italian eyewear label Safilo paid homage to Peggy’s legendary style by releasing a limited-edition model inspired by the original butterfly sunglasses. It was a moment of vindication, not just for Peggy but for all of us who found solace and expression in our eyewear. These glasses weren’t mere accessories; they were armor, imbued with the spirit of a woman who navigated the highs and lows of the art world with unparalleled flair.

Embracing this ethos, I began curating my collection of eyewear, each piece a narrative thread in the tapestry of my life. From vintage finds in the hidden corners of flea markets to bespoke pieces that whispered secrets of their craftsmanship, my collection grew. And with it, so did my confidence. No longer were these glasses a disguise; they were declarations of my identity, my history, and my love for the opulent and the unconventional.

Hiro Miyoshi Hair And Beauty - The Ritz London 2019 Gracie Opulanza United Kingdom (1)

Be Yourself

Peggy Guggenheim taught me that beauty isn’t about conforming to an ideal; it’s about the courage to be yourself in a world that clamors for uniformity.

Her butterfly sunglasses, with their dramatic flair and undeniable presence, were not just fashion statements but manifestos of individuality and resilience.

In crafting this collection, I found not just a way to navigate the world but to reinterpret it, seeing beauty in the quirks and imperfections that make us who we are. And just like Peggy, I learned that sometimes, the most profound art isn’t found on the walls of galleries but in the ways we choose to present ourselves to the world.

So here’s to Peggy Guggenheim, to quirky eyewear, and to all the “potato noses” out there. May we all find our butterfly sunglasses, embracing our quirks not as flaws but as the facets that make us brilliantly, beautifully unique. And remember, darlings, in a world full of standard frames, dare to wear the ones that make you feel like a masterpiece.

pucci print Ca Sagredo palazzo venice italy h

Venice 2021 during lockdown. Imagine like Peggy having a Palazzo all to myself