If anyone knows how to make a fun pair of sunnies, it’s Karen Walker. For this autumn, the reigning queen of quirky eyewear takes an entirely new, futuristic direction with the Metals collection, channelling Man Ray. “My favourite Man Ray work is ‘Solarised Portrait of Lee Miller’,” the New Zealand-based designer tells us. “I love the contrasts within it – the real world and solarized world, the simple composition combined with her aloofness, distance, calm and great beauty.”

Sunglasses from Karen Walker's Metals collection

Man Ray’s solarization technique, which involves reversing the light and dark tones of photographic negatives to create a metallic-looking effect, was the main inspiration for the collection. “Solarization’s otherworldly effect, full of unnaturally brilliant whites and outlines, is compelling and fascinating.”

Sunglasses from Karen Walker's Metals collection

The range features her signature shapes, including oversized, round and octagonal, in gold, silver and blue Monel metal frames. Another new element is the reflective lenses and air-cushioned nose pads by Zeiss, an optical manufacturer. “We wanted to go more architectural and refined this season,” she says. “These new styles create a sense of illusion – almost as if the frames float on the face.' Man Ray would certainly have approved. 

The full Metals collection is available on KarenWalker.com and Net-a-Porter.com