Sunglasses

In Attire
Relationship: unknown

These sunglasses belonged to my mother, who wore them around the time she attended university in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, a university I too have attended. Knowing my mother's economic means, these sunglasses would have been a significant purchase for her. Her decision to do so represents her commitment to fashion and desire to move continually with the trends of the time. Purchasing an American brand of sunglasses in 1980s Ireland is exemplative of Ireland at the time - the rise of consumerism, new trade connections with large American firms, and shifts in values away from religion and traditional Irish culture to a culture built on self-expression and personal liberty. These sunglasses provide a link to home as I continue my university education in the United States at New York University. Insofar as they symbolized changing times during the time of my mother, they now represent an important connection to the "new, modern Ireland" that I come from and an enduring connection with my family. The fact that these sunglasses have been enjoyed by two Irish people of different generations, as well as countless other people of varying ages and nationalities speaks to the creation of shared values around fashion, caused by modern consumerism. Despite the fact that I dislike consumerism, because these sunglasses remind me of home and are aesthetically pleasing, they are an especially important item for me, and an heirloom that I use on a daily basis.

Year: 1980

– Matthew Collins

Relationship:  unknown unknown