Bernstein eventually ended up on La Brea -- first, with concession stands inside American Rag and then, at Golyester, both of which are fashion-forward boutiques of urban cool just down the street from his current shop. Word of mouth among L.A.’s hip brigade led to several celebrity stylists picking up a pair of his glasses, and soon after that, celebrities were walking off photo shoots and video sets wearing his work, including John Travolta, in his Breitling print ads; Gwen Stefani, on her The Sweet Escape album cover; Scarlett Johansson, in a movie poster for The Spirit; and Jay-Z, in the video for Beyoncé’s “Upgrade U.”

Bernstein uses words like disgusting, sick, nasty, and tricked out to describe his handy eye work. Even sicker, though, is the deft method with which he styles -- or rather bullies (but with the best intentions) -- his clients, sending them out the door decidedly less flush with cash but genuinely more cool. Soon, they will be leaving with sunglasses from Bernstein’s own line, a collection of frames he’ll be fashioning from solid gold. That is also sick, and there’s no doubt the price will be too.

Back at the Melrose Trading Post, Bernstein stumbles upon a Nigerian vendor selling small leather boxes from Africa that perfectly fit a pair of sunglasses. Bernstein commissions 100 custom-designed boxes on the spot for $35 each. “I’m like Indiana Jones,” Bernstein says of his scavenging. “I was born in the wrong century.”

JACK’S TIPS FOR THE PERFECT FIT


Oval faces: Almost any frame shape works for this face as long as the frame size is proportionate to the size of the face.
Suggestions: Any frame shape.
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Round faces: Frames should make the face appear longer and thinner. Look for frames with straight or angular lines that are equal to or slightly wider than the broadest part of the face. Higher temples will create a longer profile and pull the eye upward, making the face appear longer.
Suggestions: Wider frames with angular/rectangular styles in darker colors.

Square faces: Frames should soften the facial features. Look for frames that have soft curves or an oval or round shape. The top of the frames should sit high enough on the face to downplay the jawline. Aviators work well on this face shape.
Suggestions: Oval or round frames that are thin.

Oblong faces: Long, narrow faces are similar to square faces. Maximize face length with frames that cover as much of the center of the face as possible, and widen/shorten the face by choosing frames that do not extend past the widest part of the face.
Suggestions: Round or square frames.

Heart faces: Frames with a thin rim and a flat line across the top will help balance the bottom part of the face. Frames should not sit too high on the face. Avoid large frames, heavy nose bridges, and square shapes.
Suggestions: Cat eyes or oval frames with a straight top line.

Large nose: Large oversize frames are recommended for balance. Small frames will make the nose stand out.
Long nose: Frames with high sidebars draw attention upward toward the temples and away from the nose.
Small nose: A high bridge lengthens a short nose.