Born 1952 in Los Angeles, Mariam Slater was due for a successful career in both art and eyewear. This California girl studied painting at the University of Fullerton and upon graduating in 1975 she began exhibiting her own work. It wasn’t long before the celebrities of the mode began to take notice such as Jack Nicholson, Quincy Jones, and Jeff Bridges (or as fans of The Big Lebowski would call him, “The Dude”).
Miriam Slater’s love of art and her increasing popularity amongst celebrities certainly opened some doors in the City of Angels. As her notoriety grew publications not only began to take notice of her work, but also her outstandingly large and exotic eyewear collection. Elaborately designed frames composed in outlandish shapes were certainly Slater’s muse. Her collection of fabulous eyewear has been featured in a book published in 1981 and even made the cover of the August 1984 issue of FMR magazine.
If you check out Miriam Slater’s complete collection of sunglasses and eyeglasses you will see butterfly styles prominently displayed. These are not cute little butterfly print sunglasses we are talking about, the butterfly shape is very in your face! Butterflies can be a symbol of transformation and I’d imagine these designs were an important token for her throughout her budding career as an artist. Currently residing in Santa Barbara, I wonder if Slater ever wanders over to the Ellwood Main Monarch Grove in Goleta, which at the height of the season in 2012 became home to 50,000 Monarch butterflies. I’d say she almost has that many pairs of butterfly frames in her eyewear collection…. almost!
Wing like shapes were clearly demonstrated throughout Miriam Slater’s exotic collection and these pairs are no exception. I love how the “feather-look” has been achieved without the use of feathers in the design of these frames.
Embellishments are ever present in Miriam Slater’s eyewear, but this swan neck design that creates a cat-eye shape to the frames is a show stopper.
These novelty Musical Note Sunglasses are a must have for an eyewear collector, or anyone who wants to start a conversation, or even breakout in song! It is frames like these that could really get the party started on a Saturday Night as they are sparkly, fun, and beg for the disco ball to spin and the music to pump. Do the hustle!
As an artist herself, it is no surprise Miriam Slater included these Art Deco eyeglasses to her exotic collection in the 1970s. I can appreciate Slater’s keen eye for special eyewear when she saw something in these late 1950s frames from France decades after their creation. The bling on the vintage frames certainly helps catch the eye!
What southern California princess could reign over the Golden State with sun in her eyes? These Tiara sunglasses are the perfect blend of luxury and sun protection. It would be a travesty for an acclaimed artist to get cataracts of the eye from sun damage. Especially an artist like Miriam Slater who was an avid eyewear collector. We (and by we I mean “The Royal We”) can’t have that!
This classically trained artist was very well rounded in her work. Although she loves to paint objects such as teacups and the human figure she was no stranger to surrealism, cubism, and classicism. Frames like these are not sending an obvious message, but rather encourage the wearer and those who gaze at them to feel how they want to feel about the decorative plastic frames. It is clear that by the 1970s the “au naturel” aka hippie look was out, and the glam of disco and rock and roll was in. Miriam Slater used her artistic eye to seek out this batch of glamorous eyewear.