FashionSunny Side Out: Dior So RealWe reveal the makings of the Dior SoReal sunglasses in eight steps – so simple they almost betray the loving savoir faire that goes into them13.03.2017 by Gordon Ng / 1. Birthing an idea: The SoReal sunglasses were first spawned from the eyewear design studios at Dior’s historic 30 Avenue Montaigne address. Precisely detailed technical drawings map out the exact measurements, proportions and details that will go into the now-iconic shades. God is in the details, right?2. As the seasons change: Since its introduction in 2014, the SoReal has undergone numerous iterations in design. For the Cruise 2017 version, there’s a new ripped-effect double mirrored take. This new design begins with the studio making considerations and changes to accommodate the new lens effect.3. Double-time: A special pad-printing technique was developed specifically to create the ripped lens effect. It involves protecting the middle section with white ink and having the two exposed sides undergo individual and separate mirroring processes to attain the two-toned design. The lenses are treated with hand-poured powders to obtain the exact and intended shade.4. A special request: After the mirroring process is complete, the white ink is gently removed which leaves the middle section translucent as normal polarised lenses would appear. This printing technique was specially developed to produce these sunglasses by artisans in the Venetian hinterland, where the lenses are produced.5. Cutting edge: The metal frames that form the structure of the SoReals are cut out of a metal alloy then buffed and polished manually with a cotton wheel to avoid damage. It then undergoes a galvanising bath and a slick of transparent varnish to enhance the quality. We like that the branding is minimal – the brand’s “CD” initials are engraved discreetly only on the temples.6. Sum of its parts: Many parts go into the making of a pair of these sunglasses – all of which are hand-assembled by Italian craftspeople. The lenses and acetate temples, rims and bridges are positioned and placed manually, capitalising on the fusion of time-honoured savoir-faire and the design opportunities afforded by technology.7. Set by hand: A more glamorous take of the SoReals are the stud-set versions. They feature a total of two hundred and eighty gilded or silvered studs spread over the two lenses. Each stud is painstakingly placed and set by hand in Italy.8. The final product: From drawing to realisation, the Dior SoReals are an embodiment of the possible joys of marrying the technological upsides of modernism and time-treasured artisanal skills. Their design deconstructs and toys with the ideas of traditional eyewear construction while offering myriad ways of interpretation season after season.