CHANEL model A 40942 S0133 – “the oyster” – ss12

CHANEL model A40942 "the oyster" ss12

CHANEL model A40942 “the oyster” ss12

CHANEL model A 40942 is the only pair of sunglasses that has been worn on the CHANEL pret-a-porter ss 2012 catwalk as look 68 (in light beige).

It represents an interesting twist in sunglass making. The frames are covered with cultivated pearls but these are not to be seen on the outside of the frames. These sunglasses represent an oyster which keeps it’s treasure very well hidden within it’s core. In fact, on this black model version, the pearls are only clearly visible to the wearer, and almost invisible to other people.

It is a very luxurious statement to place twenty five real pearls hidden within the frames. A strange statement, but nevertheless a conceptually fitting one considering the entire CHANEL spring summer pret-a-porter collection was inspired by underwater worlds filled with oysters and pearls.

It is a boutique exclusive and has been produced in extremely small quantities by Italy’s LUXOTTICA, despite being available in four different colour ways (despite CHANEL’s lisiting of five different colour ways). The four colors are: rosé semi transparent frames, grey/beige/taupe transluscent frames (colour S1315), light beige transluscent frames (colour S1314) and black non transparent frames (colour S0133). All the colors have white cultivated pearls placed into them.

We believe that the black acetate version with white pearls is the most representative to CHANEL, even though the light beige transluscent version, also included in the sunglssespreservation archives, is the most innovative, rare and sea-like and was, in fact, selected as only pair of shades to actually be worn on CHANEL’s ss12 pret-a-porter fashion show.

Black and white, however, are THE CHANEL colour combinations “par excellence” and the non transparent acetate does not allow the pearls to transpire to the front of the frame. The pearls were not just attached to the frame but were positioned in sockets moulded into the acetate, one by one, creating a very organic look and feel to the finish of these extremely elegant sunglasses. It is as if the pearls were growing inside the acetate, peaking out of the frame.

Each side of the temples bares a little metal CHANEL inscription. No double “C” logos were used to adorn this model and the pure form and colour used to brand them is rather subtle. The lenses are graduated to fade from black to light black. Each lens has the CHANEL inscription lasered into them and the right lens has also the model’s very own personal identification code which can be used in any CHANEL boutique to verify these sunglasses’ authenticity.

When worn, the pearls reflect a soft cloudy light over the wearer’s eyes creating a very peculiar sense of floating within a pearl. It can be annoying to some but it definitely is a new experience we have never felt before when wearing sunglasses. A simple idea to place pearls hidden in the back of the frames transforms into a sophisticated subtle innovation.

Given it’s unique character and precious attitude, we at sunglassespreservation have baptised these beautiful shades as “THE CHANEL OYSTER”.

We have the same model seen here but in “light beige”, color code S1314. Click here to review the “light beige model” baptized: “the oyster jellyfish”.

These sunglasses were so sought after that CHANEL has announced the release of this model as a regular sales item not exclusive to boutiques any longer. The retail version for all CHANEL authorised eyewear dealers will be made in black, caramel, red, tortoise, blue (only model CH 6038 H) and green (only model CH 6040 H). There will be two different models: one that is like the model seen here, with the code number: CH 6038 H (with 25 cultivated pearls on the top back of the frame and bridge) and a slightly longer and higher version in butterfly shape (with 24 cultivated pearls on the top back of the frame) with model code number: CH 6040 H. These sunglasses were planned to hit stores in December 2012 but were ultimately placed on CHANEL’s website in mid January 2013 under the section “new”, which is the section showcasing regular non exclusive retail sunglasses.

The actual difference between the first pearl shades made for ss12 as boutique exclusives (model A 40942) and the new, for reteail released models (CH 6038H and CH 6040H), is that the CHANEL boutique exclusive model, which you see in our sunglassespreservation collection, is made of acetate, while the newer models are made in injected nylon, as stated in CHANEL’s own customer magazine: “31 RUE CAMBON”, issue 8, (2013/14 fall/winter). This means that the actual exclusivity of the ss12 boutique exclusive is preserved, at least in material and in three of the four original colorways: light beige, taupe and rosé.

There is, however, some confusion about the actual material the models CH 6038H and CH 6040H are made of as the CHANEL webiste states that they are made of acetate, while CHANEL’s own magazine (as stated above) states that these sunglasses are made of injected nylon. Fact is that the material code number on the actual sunglasses we have looked at in boutiques is different from the original material code on model A40942, which is: 01081.

However it may be, we do not agree with CHANEL’s policy on taking boutique exclusive models and making them available to all retailers authorised to sell CHANEL eyewear (even if three of the four original colors were not reproduced). This way CHANEL harms it’s image of exclusivity and collectibility. Announcing an exclusive and then mass “re”-producing it less then a year later is not a wise decision when it comes to luxury branding! They have done it before with other sunglasses as well as makeup products (example: the highly limited nail polish: “Particuliere”, 505, which has now entered the standard CHANEL nail polish line).

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