Eyewear History: Metal Combination Frames
BROWLINE – OR METAL COMBINATION – FRAMES ARE A STYLE OF EYEWEAR FEATURING “BOLD” ACETATE UPPER RIMS THAT RESEMBLE EYEBROWS COMBINED WITH LOWER METAL RIMS.
A tortoiseshell acetate frame with a keyhole bridge has an iconic place in the history of eyewear design and remains a timeless choice for a classic look with a vintage feel.
Arguably one of the most recognisable eyewear features, the keyhole bridge became widely popular with the rise of acetate frames in the 50s. The new material malleability allowed for a simplified manufacturing process and therefore created room for creative experimentation in frame design.
However, this type of bridge isn’t just a decorative element but a feature with a precise purpose. We asked Robert Roope a few questions to illustrate the main differences between the keyhole bridge and regular bridge design, comparing the specific effects on the architecture of a face.
What’s a keyhole bridge exactly?
“The keyhole bridge has the shape of a keyhole. The design has short pads that sit on each side of the nose, which is considered to be the best areas for comfort.
This type of design also prevents the top of the bridge from making contact with the top of the nose which might be perceived as uncomfortable and leave marks where it touches the skin.”
What’s the main difference between a keyhole bridge and a regular bridge in terms of comfort and support?
“The regular bridge, on the other hand, is designed to fit across the top of the nose like a saddle. The sides spread evenly along a wider area creating a more even distribution of the weight of the frame and lenses.”
What’s the keyhole bridge effect on the nose and face shape?
“The keyhole bridge will usually make the nose look longer and wider which can unbalance the eye-nose geometry, particularly if the frame colour is dark. The keyhole bridge can also be used to adjust nose shape if required.”
How can a regular bridge influence the appearance of the nose?
“The regular bridge is most effective when used to shorten and narrow the nose shape. The effect can result in a more balanced structure to the overall appearance to the face, especially when the top rim of the chosen frame is aligned along or just below the brow line.”
3 Black Eyewear frames with a keyhole bridge?
3 Black Eyewear frames with a regular bridge?
So… what’s the most popular bridge design?
“Both bridge designs are widely used. Across the world what wearers most desire is comfort and a design that enhances their appearance. The choice of colour has its own particular effect on the final look of your chosen design. A lighter colour – like a clear crystal or a light yellow – will minimise the effect of a key hole bridge on the nose.”
The choice is yours. A well-fitting frame, that sits well on the bridge and that is flattering to your face shape will add something positive to your appearance and become part of you. Take your time to find it.