The 2000 blockbuster movie, American Psycho, is remembered for its scathing satire and deathly dark humour. Teasing at the yuppie culture of 1980's New York businessmen, the horror flick portrays a deeply troubled investment banker with a habit for murder; Patrick Bateman.
With the obligatory blend of boxy pin striped suits, braces, power ties and coaster-thick business cards, his Wall Street wardrobe features a memorable pair of tortoiseshell spectacles to seal his sartorial look.
These round glasses were an integral part of his dual identity as a successful investment banker by day and a murderous psychopath at night. In this blog post, we take an up-close look at these signature glasses from American Psycho and explore how they played into Bateman's disturbed character.
What glasses does American Psycho wear?
In the satirical horror film American Psycho (2000), protagonist Patrick Bateman wears a pair of Oliver Peoples O'Malley glasses. These thin round spectacles are made from an acetate similar to tortoiseshell imitation with streaks of semi-transluscent amber and opaque dark brown.
If you're unfamiliar with the brand, Oliver Peoples are a Californian optical company, famously based in Los Angeles. Their range of high-end optical frames are commonplace amongst celebrity culture, worn by and even collaborating with some of Hollywood's biggest names.
The O'Malley frame itself is a quintessentially '50s shape with a relitively thin stature and traditional keyhole nose bridge. Fitting with Bateman's tailored suits, power-ties and two-tone timepiece, these spectacles are the perfect accompaniment for his carefully manicured aesthetic.
“Paul Allen has mistaken me for this dickhead Marcus Halberstram. It seems logical because Marcus also works at P&P and in fact does the same exact thing I do and he also has a penchant for Valentino suits and Oliver Peoples glasses.”
Patrick Bateman's American Psycho glasses
The O'Malley glasses frame was launched in 1988 by Oliver Peoples. It was inspired the round-eye spectacles worn by former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team owner, Peter O'Malley. Since it's conception, this studious spectacle frame has become one of the brand's most successful designs, being worn throughout the years by famous celebrities, on and off the silver screen.
Today, Oliver Peoples' are owned by the Luxottica group with their wide range of frames being manufactured in their enormous, northern Italian factory. The frame worn by Patrick Bateman in American Psycho is their 'Raintree' edition, one of the brand's proprietary acetate colourways.
This charming material is a blend of semi-transluscent brown, amber and dark brown with subtle horizontal streaks of varying opacity. These earthy, organic tones bring warming notes to Bateman's complexion and serve as a friendly, bespectacled look. The perfect disguise amongst his successful, investment banker peers as he hides in plain sight. A wolf in sheep's clothing per se.
Made using traditional methods, the O'Malley spectacle features traditional dual-pin rivets which can be seen on the front and temple arms. These secure the metal hinges to the frame and give a very traditional, timeless sort of look to Bateman's glasses. How could their wearer possibly be such a villain?!
It's easy to see why the Oliver Peoples O'Malley frame is so incredibly popular. It's a timeless design that suits the vast majority of face shapes. If you'd like to replicate Bateman's sartorial spectacles you can grab a pair here.
What's the significance of Patrick Bateman's glasses in American Psycho?
In American Psycho, the glasses worn by Patrick Bateman are an integral part of his dual identity. By day, he's a successful and powerful investment banker, but at night he descends into depravity as a murderous serial killer.
In conjunction with his pristine wardrobe, opulent accessories, extravagant lunches and manicured aesthetic, his O'malley glasses frame maintains the façade between these two personas. They also connect him to his peers, with the glasses having become a sign of fashion amongst Bateman and his similarly dressed colleagues such as Marcus Halberstram.
The O'Malley spectacles are another piece in the puzzle that is Patrick Bateman's characterisation; a sort of mask he wears while he carries out his terrible acts in secret. It's a reminder that, no matter how successful or powerful someone may be, everyone has two sides and not all of them are good.
So, while we might not condone the actions of Patrick Bateman, it's hard to deny that the Oliver Peoples O'Malley frame he wears is anything other than stylish. So much so even Jennifer Aniston and Robert Downey Jr are fans.
Ultimately, the glasses are a subtle symbol of his dual personality and a reminder that no matter how powerful or successful you may be, there's always an element of mystery behind the mask.
Does Patrick Bateman wear sunglasses?
In addition to his slim tortoiseshell acetate glasses in American Psycho, Patrick Bateman also wears a pair of Ray-Ban 2140 Original Wayfarer Sunglasses. During the scene where he asks his colleague Jean to dinner, he's obnoxiously sitting on his office couch wearing a black pair of the iconic Wayfarer sunglasses.
Since it's launch in 1952, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer is one of the most successful sunglasses frames ever made. Having been worn by Hollywood celebrities such as James Dean (Rebel without a cause), Don Johnson (Miami Vice), Tom Cruise (Risky Business), Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and recently Steve Harrington in Stranger Things, these thick rimmed acetate frames are a simple but iconic design that exudes casual cool.
American psycho sunglasses
Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses frame is a classic design that has stood the test of time, becoming one of the most iconic eyewear pieces in history. Featuring thick acetate rims, rectangular shaped lenses and a saddle bridge, this style offers a timeless look that will never go out of fashion. The frame features metal hinges for improved durability and comfort, and the signature Ray-Ban logo bezel sits subtly on each arm.
The frame also comes in a range of colours, various lens tints and even polarised versions which make them easy to customize to suit your individual style. Whether you're looking for a classic black or tortoise shell frame, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses frame is an ideal choice for anyone looking to make a bold fashion statement.
Why does Patrick Bateman wear sunglasses?
Wearing the dark Wayfarers in his office, you could view that Patrick Bateman's sunglasses as a means of disconnection between him and his innocent colleague Jean. As one of the few 'normal' people in his life that seems unaffected by the pretentious materialism from Wall Street wealth, she's a contrasting figure in the plot.
Knowing that she has feelings for him, he impulsively asks her out for dinner whist sitting casually on his office couch wearing the sunglasses frame. Having agreed to his offer, Bateman swiftly phones the fully-booked Dorsia restaurant and fakes a conversation to make it sound like he managed to effortlessly wrangle a dinner reservation.
When he hangs up the phone, Jean confusedly comments "you didn't give a name?". Just like his shady sunglasses disguise, he lies and says "they know me". More than just a brashy display of arrogance and deceit, this strange scene is really a ploy to lure Jean to his apartment later that evening where he can kill her.
Thankfully he doesn't go through with the murder, but this dark ploy is symbolised via his adornment of the sunglasses which he hides behind whilst speaking with Jean. A devious and enactment that displays his malevolent intent.
The Oliver Peoples O'Malley frame is the perfect glasses style for Patrick Bateman's dual persona. Acted perfectly by Christian Bale, his character is impeccably well-dressed and these spectacles are the ideal eyewear for his high-flying, materialistic and corrupt capitalist lifestyle.
Although you mightn't be in finance, working 'in the city' like Bateman, a pair of these round eye spectacles are a stylish adornment. Round eye spectacles like these are a timeless look that gives you a studious, informed aesthetic.
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