The rake

The modern voice of classic elegance

StyleApril 2018

Exclusive! The Rake x Cubitts La Dolce Vita Sunglasses

Want to look like Marcello Mastroianni this summer? Tom Broughton, the founder of Cubitts, is reincarnating his La Dolce Vita sunglasses in a ridiculously limited edition for The Rake.

captionRelive La Dolce Vita thanks to Cubitts' extremely limited recreation of Marcello Mastroianni's iconic sunglasses, exclusive to The Rake.

Not only a masterpiece of mid-century cinema, “Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was arguably the first film which introduced the world to Italian fashion.” So says Tom Broughton, founder of London eyewear firm Cubitts, which has collaborated with The Rake to produce what Broughton calls “an outrageously limited run of just six pieces” of the sunglasses Marcello Mastroianni wore in the film. “Marcello Mastroianni’s character was revered for his style: slim single-breasted jackets, crisp white shirts, and — perhaps most notably — his sunglasses. Worn day and night, indoors and out, they are simply some of cinema’s most iconic sunglasses,” she remarks.

The particular sunglasses worn by Mastroianni in the movie were made by Persol (the brand’s name a contraction of ‘per il sole’ — ‘for the sun’ in Italian). However,Broughton explains, “The frames were inexplicably discontinued shortly after the film’s release, and have never been remade in their original form. Which is why we’ve stepped in. Dubbed the ‘Veneto’, each pair has been handmade from start to finish in our workshop by our spectacle makers, Mat and Mila, and glazed by our very own Italian, Paolo.”

Like Marcello’s impeccable wardrobe throughout the film, Broughton says, “The ‘Veneto’ isn’t over-styled. They have no external branding and focus instead on a timeless silhouette and outstanding materials. An aviator shape but with a less sporty feel means they work seamlessly with sharp tailoring. And the colour is timeless — an enduringly classic dark turtle colour, a warm Havana acetate from Mazzucchelli in northern Italy.”

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As with the originals,Broughton says, the ‘Veneto’ boasts “a flat bridge and front. Each frame features warm brown UV400 Zeiss lenses, pinned hinges with our signature plaques, and has been engraved ‘Cubitts for The Rake’.” They are,Broughton reckons, “shields as much as sunglasses”.

Mastroianni’s character (a celebrity/society reporter, also named Marcello) certainly seems to use his as a protective barrier in the film. “He wears his sunglasses throughout the movie, except in two scenes with his friend and mentor, Steiner,” Broughton recalls. “It’s as it if he wants to keep his character at bay, allowing him to engage only when he sees fit.”

The name ‘Veneto’ is inspired not only by Rome’s Via Veneto, the epicentre of La Dolce Vita (the movie and the era), the elegant boulevard where Gianni Agnelli kept a permanent hotel suite for clandestine assignations. It’s also a nod to the region that is the traditional home of Italian frame-making, which stretches from the Dolomite Mountains to the Adriatic Sea.

As for why this period in time continues to stir such interest and inspiration,Broughton suggests: “The early sixties ushered in a new era of confident modernism and understated glamour. Style didn’t need to be loud to have impact.” Wearing the incredibly limited-edition ‘Veneto’ will, she says, “transport the wearer to a different era”.


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Christian Barker

Christian Barker is The Rake’s Asia editor-at-large, a frequent contributor to this site, and an enthusiastic consumer of fine whiskies, sashimi and classic disco music – ideally in unison.

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