Strange Visors Getting Their Moment in the Sun

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Vanessa Stiviano comes back from court and shopping at Fresh and Easy.]
Vanessa Stiviano comes back from court and shopping at Fresh and Easy.] Photo: Splash News/Corbis

Perhaps you'd like to divert attention from yourself while at the same time attracting all the attention to yourself? Home-recording enthusiast and budding fashion icon V. Stiviano has found the happy medium of those two warring impulses with the face-covering sun visor she has been wearing in public since all that stuff went down with her ex-boyfriend. Like a balaclava made of shatterproof plastic, this accessory protects her identity while making crystal clear that this is she, the woman in the ridiculous visor. So how did we get from a world where visors were utilitarian items worn to shade delicate eyes from the sun to a world where visors are terrifying, face-obscuring, rainbow-colored masks that simultaneously terrify and delight? Here, a partial history. As with most trends, both Anna Wintour and Daft Punk are involved.

The term visor (alternative spelling: vizor!) originated in the 1300's, and comes from visage in French.

circa 1945:  A bookkeeper sits at a desk in the dark and writes in a ledger with a lamp hanging above him. He wears a visor, a vest, and shirt sleeves.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1945: A bookkeeper sits at a desk in the dark and writes in a ledger with a lamp hanging above him. He wears a visor, a vest, and shirt sleeves. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Photo: Hulton Archive

Old-timey accountants wore green celluloid eyeshades to protect from eyestrain. Call it Bartleby chic! (This trend also extended to cartoon waterfowl, in the form of Scrooge McDuck.)

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 14: Lauren Davis adjusts her visor between points while playing  Li Na of China during the Western & Southern Open on August 14, 2013 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Photo: Matthew Stockman/2013 Getty Images

Tennis players wear them.

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/2012 Getty Images

Anna Wintour loves tennis. And she loves covering large portions of her face with giant sunglasses. Hmmm.

Photo: Craig McDean for Vogue

She put helmet-wearing duo Daft Punk, whom some have been calling a Stiviano style reference, in the pages of Vogue alongside a helmet-haired Karlie Kloss, officially cementing the look as the pinnacle of fashionable face obstruction.

Stiviano's particular style of sun visor is quite popular in Asia. A 2004 blog post cited it as being a "craze" in China. The closest style to the Stiviano Visor we can find on Amazon is this one. It is sold out, a phenomenon possibly related to her popularity, or just indicative of the world's overall shortage of visors.

Photo: Armando Grillo/Imaxtree

But you still have plenty of options if you want to rock the look! Let this photo from Alexander McQueen's fall 2012 show be your inspiration.