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An Alternative To The Traditional Gift For Dad

Originally Posted: June 17, 2010

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

Harrington's favorite, the Uptown in Tortoise Shell. (Blue & Cream)

East Hampton - So what does the toney Hamptons Dad really want for Father's Day, perhaps another tie? In truth, at least in my opinion, you can never have enough ties or pocket squares, but how many years in row should he have to open the same long, thin rectangular box?

Does he really long for a new sweater? Well, I think that choice is not particularly well timed considering we are heading into summer, should Dad really have to wait until fall to wear your gift? Unless, of course, it is a thin cotton sweater seen so frequently wrapped around the shoulders of Hampton men as more of an accoutrement than a functional piece of apparel. As I noted in my last column, I would love to see a further proliferation of ascots on Jobs Lane, but of course, it is only the boldest of Dads who will relish such a stylish gift.

What to do, what to do, what to do? Quite the dilemma, n'est-ce pas? May I make a suggestion that is both functional and stylish? Something I bet you have never considered as a gift on this day that celebrates the gentleman who taught you how to ride a bike, throw a ball and tie a tie or ascot. Not to mention the fact that he almost went into the poorhouse putting you through college. Sunglasses!

The Lamptons in Blue and Cream.

Yes, sunglasses! The right pair absolutely completes an ensemble and chances are Dad has been wearing the wrong pair for years. You know, something he pulled off a rack at Walgreen's or 7-Eleven after he sat on his last equally tacky pair, forgetting they were on the car seat.

Of course, there are the mainstays like Foster Grants which are definitely a step up for the big guy, but not that much of step up. The iconic and highly regarded Ray Bans have been the standard by which all other sunglasses have been compared to for years, but perhaps your Dad is not Jack Nicholson, nor do you have Jack's bankroll. Oakley has been the flavor of choice over the past decade, but they tend to sporty and youthful, perhaps Dad is neither. All the major designers from Dolce & Gabana to Brooks Brothers to Calvin Klein offer their personal lines of sunglasses; some are quite gorgeous and some are quite pricey. Go for it if you've got it.

I just got wind of a new line of shades that are being featured at Blue & Cream in East Hampton that might be flying under your radar, but worthy of consideration. The Blue & Cream private line sunglasses were designed in collaboration with Linda Farrow who has designed shades with Alexander Wang, Matthew Williamson and Jeremy Scott.

The Bowery in Black.

The collection is inspired by a vintage frame discovered in a small town vintage shop near Cannes in the South of France. Perhaps left behind at a roadside bistro by Francois Truffaut or Bridget Bardot en route to the film festival? As you all know, anything French flies with me.

These unisex sunglasses are shaped in a classic, over-sixed aviator design. They feature gold hardware and gradient lens. The collection consists of three styles - Uptown, Bowery and Lamptons. Lamptons, I query? Apparently it refers to "lamping," which means lounging in the Hamptons. I guess I need to spend more time with the young and hip at The Pink Elephant.

Speaking of young and hip, Blue & Cream publicist Celia Atassi of Shadow PR informs me, "Fashion model, Anne Vyalitsynaand boyfriend Adam Levine of Maroon 5, were both spotted wearing a pair of the sunglasses, as well as athletes such as Sean Avery are also fans of the universal and stylish collection of sunglasses." So along with picking up a pair for Dad, you might want to pick up a pair for yourself.

Of the three choices, I personally prefer the Uptown version with Tortoise Shell frame. And I am, by the way, a Dad myself. (Just in case my own kids are reading this column). The Blue & Cream private line goes for $160 a pair.

Brand new for 2010 this collection will definitely set Dad apart from the crowd, at least at the start of the season. Undoubtedly, we will see people lamping in Lamptons all over the Hamptons before the summer ends.

Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com Hamptons HamptonsOnline HamptonsOnline

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