Portland

Etnia Barcelona

30th January 2012 Etnia Barcelona has just released a vibrant, colour-fuelled collection in beautiful, high quality organic resin, extracted from cotton fibres. The caramel texture finish adds to the luminosity of the design, and its avant-garde expression. Available in nine delicious colours – including this lively, bright blue. www.etniabarcelona.com JG

Tabula Rasa

Lunettes Kollektion, Berlin

27th January 2012 Clodagh and I saw the Lunettes Kollektion in Munich and really loved the new designs for Spring/Summer. Uta Geyer’s creations encapsulate the spirit of Retro, the sleekness of modernity, and breezy, stylish chic. Model Tabula Rasa (worn above) has a strong shape and is made from a contemporary glossy black acetate. There are designs for both men and women – vintage inspiration beautifully handcrafted by skilled artisans. Further details at www.lunettes-kollektion.com JG

Beppi

Sashee Schuster – Daddycated Collection

27th January 2012 As a child, Alexandra Saschi Schuster had already found the source of future inspiration in her life – her father and the way he dressed. Père Schuster also wore glasses, which influenced, and eventually lead his daughter to create an eyewear collection, dedicated to her father, with Retro-chic forms and distinctive colourations. Handmade in Austria, the frame above demonstrates the beauty of lovely purple/blue combinations that are a highlight of the spring season. Further information at www.funk-eyewear.com JG

 

Madame

Waiting for the Sun

26th January 2012 Waiting for the Sun, the trendy French sunglass label, has created this two-tone bamboo style, in a limited edition of 50 pieces. It’s available on their website in this pure white and natural finish version, and can be viewed alongside the full range of natural teawood and bamboo styles. One other favourite shape is the new “Delta Naturel”. These wood sunglass styles are fitted with Zeiss lenses and are available primarily through fashion retailers, priced at around 130 euros.  Check their website for more details. www.waitingforthesun.fr CN

Happy New Year……

…And a New Year means new beginnings!

We launch 2012 with designer sunglasses and artistic frames from innovative, international designers. This month we are attending the trade exhibition Opti Munich, and will introduce you to the latest eyewear collections – a great way to start 2012! Our award-winning Designer of the Month expresses his unique perspective, and the Boutique section highlights exceptional shops reflecting current marketing strategies. Click on City Guides for what’s new in exhibitions, restaurants and other cultural activities. With the New Year, Eyestylist celebrates its 1st Anniversary! We want to sincerely thank our readers and valued sponsors for their support, and we look forward to 2012 being a stellar year for eyewear and fashion excitement! JG

Theo by James

James 3

25th January 2012 Theo and award-winning designer James Van Vossel have collaborated to create a unique titanium frame that is constructed with just one metal wire. The round titanium wire runs along the top of the glasses and crosses over the bridge of the nose.The ingenious design is very light with a distinctive detail – only one ear tip has a hole – the other doesn’t. In the 19th century, open ear tips on frames were a fashionable accent, and now they are new again!  A variety of dashing colours are available, including hot red, (above) fluorescent pink, black, chocolate brown and blues purple.  Further details at www.theo.be JG

S/S trends 2012

Marni sunglasses

23rd January 2012 I have come across the Spring/Summer sunglasses collection by Italian brand Marni this weekend, a brand that a few opticians have mentioned to me as having a special fondness for interesting interpretations in their sunwear. For the coming season, the range features big, round glasses in transparent acetate, and some elongated shapes including a modified aviator with a flat top. I am pleased to see interesting, rich colours such as a fresh orange and feminine lilac, some matt classics – the grey is on-trend – and tortoise-inspired pattern; a real favourite is the cool black and pistachio combination which I’ve got my eye on. I love the detail in the catwalk pictures where the colour and shine of the acetate sunglasses work seamlessly in combination with big earrings in concentric, multi-coloured shapes and deco-inspired resin bracelets. Available at Marni, Sloane Street, London, SW1. Go to www.marni.com for online shopping and find their very chic quarterly online magazine at www.marni-anticamera.com/eng. In Paris, Marni sunglasses are available at Les Plus Belles Lunettes du Monde (www.lesplusbelleslunettesdumonde.com). CN

Marni sunglasses, S/S 12
S/S catwalk collection 2012

 

An eye on what’s new

Trend alert – Purple passion

20th January 2012  One of the trends we spotted in Munich last weekend was the beautiful array of purple tones in glamorous eyewear. Colours range from candy pastels, to rich and royal hues with deep intensity, including the matt titanium design (above) from Götti Switzerland. www.gotti.ch

 

Escort by PM Frost Germany

 

The pastel colours coincide with fashion preferences for spring, while deeper purple tones are a lovely alternative neutral, also working well with other colours, particularly black and grey. Here are a few of our favourites from European designers.

 

Robert La Roche

For more details about Frost go to www.pm-frost.de Further information on Robert La Roche at www.robert-laroche.com JG

 

 

 

 

Francis Klein

Eyewear Art in Wood

17th January 2012 Francis Klein has launched an astounding custom collection of elegantly crafted wood frames that we just love! Beautiful interpretations are sculpted into unique designs with flair and flow.The Paris based company has once again captured a new mood in fine eyewear. Their delightful boutique is located at 30, rue Bonaparte 75005 in Paris. www.francisklein.com JG

Francis Klein new edition in wood

 

 

An eye on what’s new

Setting the Eyewear Pace for 2012

16th January 2012 This weekend’s show Opti-Munich 2012 launched the new eyewear year with an international line up of extremely desirable designer frames that captivated Clodagh and I. We discovered some new companies, and found great styles from our favourite designers. Pretty pastels are a welcome trend, along with shimmering acetates in gorgeous translucent tones. Vintage is fabulous and forever – Austrian designer Lena Hoschek (above – style SO11) loves vintage for eyewear, as well as her fashion collection, which graces the catwalks in Berlin this week. Watch this space for more fab frames launched in Munich that will soon be in boutiques. For more information on Lena Hoschek, visit www.robert-laroche.com JG

Art by Jono Hennessy

13th January 2012 It is no coincidence that our last two posts and this new one feature hints of pale green and jade….this is a colour that tops the bill for Spring/Summer, making a splendid entry as we look forward to the sunny seasons. These lovely Limited Edition styles from Australia’s Jono Hennessy are new additions to their Art Collection which is awash with sweet tones, from a fresh pistachio or jade, to a pearlescent alabaster, paired with bottle green and a sumptuous tortoise among other classics. For more details on the full collection by Jono Hennessy go to www.jonohennesy.com CN

Trend alert: pastels

13th January 2012 The coming season promises lots of pretty pale shades, and with this in mind I have been looking out for some sunglasses that reflect a new mood. Prabal Gurung’s statement piece, a sunglass produced in a brand new collaboration with the well-loved London-based Linda Farrow gives a taste of this new wave in pale tints and transparents with a hint of the futuristic, despite referencing the 1950s catseye all the way….this is an unusual show-stopper of a design that has had great success on the catwalk where they were featured with Gurung’s bold floral print dresses and lavish figure-enhancing pieces with contrasting sheer panels. Above: Prabal Gurung by Linda Farrow Projects SS’12 – for Linda Farrow visit www.lindafarrow.co.uk. For details on designer Prabal Gurung, and to see the full Spring 2012 runway video featuring the sunglasses, visit www.prabalgurung.com CN

Erna

Winning Awards – Fleye

12th January 2012 Danish eyewear company Fleye have launched the New Year with a stunning new design, an international award, and a business citation. They were named Eyewear of the Year 2012 in the category “Ladies Eyewear” at the International Optical Fair in Tokyo (IOFT). The winning frame is elegant Erna (above), with Diva details in the flowing acetate shape in Havana brown with gold dust, and gold temples in a subtle honeycomb pattern. In addition, the leading Danish business newspaper, Borsen, named Fleye as a high growth company in 2011. www.fleye.dk JG

A note on acetate quality

11th January 2012 Acetate frames come in all variants…if you see as many frames as we do, then it’s obvious that there are some truly outstanding ones around, but I always think it’s a point that should be illustrated as there is so much choice these days….if you are shopping for a new acetate frame and you want a good one, then it is worth studying what’s on the shelves and comparing the colours and detail of the pattern or finish ….here I have picked out some first favourites for 2012 which have been photographed to highlight the stunning transparency and vibrancy of the material at its finest. Pictured above: La Polverosa by the Italian label L.G.R. www.lgr-sunglasses.com. This design comes in a range of beautiful acetates, including the soft horn-like tone pictured, a look that is very much of the moment.

Oscar Magnuson

In the industry, Italian cellulose acetates (also known as zyl) and some of the Japanese ones are considered to be at the top of the league with the Italian producer Mazzucchelli being the most popular choice for the highest quality labels…the colour tones, depth of pattern, detail and overall beauty of the material tend to be very pleasing to the eye if you choose a top-quality one, giving the frames a special lightness and luminosity on the face….see for yourselves in these elegant examples.

 

Henry by Yellows Plus

For more information on Oscar Magnuson spectacles visit www.oscarmagnuson.com. For further details on the Japanese brand Yellows Plus featured above, visit www.yellowsplus.com CN

Moss Lipow

Author of Eyewear – a Visual History – speaks exclusively to Eyestylist

9th January 2012 Visual arts connaisseur and eyewear designer Moss Lipow takes time from his busy agenda to answer our questions about his most enduring passion – eyewear.

Eyestylist: When did you start collecting frames and what sparked your interest?

Moss Lipow: I originally found I had to wear glasses in my late teens. I was less than enthusiastic. I was surprised to find that rather than limiting my style, they gave me a chance to enhance my style. I began to get more and more glasses for my prescription, then I started getting frames I liked just as a design object. When it reached critical mass and became an actual collection though, it is hard to say. Eventually I realised I loved it as a design medium and wanted to create in it, so I began to collect more to learn more. There really wasn’t a thorough reference available. Eventually, I decided I’d like to write one, so I began to curate while I was collecting, so I’d have representative examples of everything. I conceived this project ten years ago. I’d say I have about 3000 frames, and almost all of the pieces were acquired individually and curated from a diverse collection. It’s hard to pick a favourite. I tend to like old safety and motoring glasses. They weren’t actually trying to be stylish, but they were definitely stylish.

American actress Melitta Mara with her dog "Frisco"

Eyestylist: What has been your most astonishing discovery about eyewear?

Moss Lipow: The lack of limits as to what can be done with it. I think a great many fascinating things have been done in the past, and even more will be done in the future.

Eyestylist: Does your art background influence your designs?

Moss Lipow: I basically work on two different levels. I do things for performers and fashion editorial that are rather theatrical. I use an arsenal of visual reference to drive home the point to be made. The only rule is to say what you need to as clearly as possible. You mine references with designs meant to be worn on a day to day basis as well, only within accepted parameters of wearability. Taste and restraint are necessary. In a way though, when a person picks their outfit for a given day, they’re styling their wardrobe – it’s almost like their life is a movie, and they’re the star. As a designer it’s your obligation to help them feel like the star – cool, glamourous, elegant and mildly heroic.

Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita (1960)

Eyestylist: Who do you feel are the “visionaries” in eyewear today?

Moss Lipow: The newer wave of entrepreneurs and designers building more self-consciously design oriented brands.

Eyestylist: Do you think that the interest in eyewear will continue?

Moss Lipow: Yes, it’s been pretty consistent since the late 1920’s. Most of all, it’s related to the acceptance of eyewear as a fashion item. I think the future will manifest itself in the continued proliferation and growth of boutique brands. They are niche now, but it’s a nice sized niche, and it will continue to grow.

 

Cezanne sunglasses, Foster Grant, U.S. Late 1960's

 

Eyestylist: Do you have an amusing/unusual/ “serendipity moment” about your research for the book?

Moss Lipow: Getting recognition as a designer let me know a lot of the people who made the fashion history I wrote about. For the future, I plan on opening a retail store in New York that will be a sort of eyewear Mecca. I’ll do custom work for special clients, sell my work, and it will be a shrine to the medium. Eyewear – A Visual History is published by Taschen www.taschen.com  JG

 

All images courtesy of Moss Lipow.

 

 

 

Mykita 8

Mykita celebrates their eighth anniversary

8th January 2012 Mykita 8 –  published by the Berlin-based eyewear company – offers a behind-the-scenes peek of events and goings-on in the Mykita workshop. The book coincides with the company’s 8th anniversary, and a variety of artists were asked to describe the spirit and feelings they associate with their Mykita frames, illustrated through text, art and photography. Further festivities include the relaunch of Mykita’s iconic Platinum design, a Limited Edition with three different styles. Each style is resplendent with an exclusive platinum coating that is applied using a galvanic process. One of the most valuable raw materials on earth, the coating is applied to both the frame and the Christian Dalloz Sunoptic lenses. Happy Birthday Mykita! Further details at www.mykita.com JG

 

Robert Marc

Via Roma

4th January 2012 New York designer Robert Marc, who recently received the 2011 Visionary Award from the Accessories Council, recognition for his outstanding contribution to the world of accessories, has brought out a sumptuous and colourful new range of optical frames and sunglasses. Via Roma takes the Italian capital as its inspiration, and as Marc explains, reinvents classic formulas, using crisp yet sensuous lines and dinstinctive, brightly coloured materials. Glamorous gem tones, perfect for the Spring, include bold amethyst, sapphire and garnet paired with patterned acetate for women and trendy tortoise or mellow olive for men. For more information or to find European stockists visit www.robertmarc.com CN

Arcadia

Entourage of 7

I enjoy finding new labels, and while I haven’t yet worn one of these or had the chance to see the whole line, I am very pleased it has appeared on my desktop. Arcadia is topping my wishlist for 2012…this is a bold thing in red, the slightly articulated, angular design is modified from a 60s cat shape with a lovely deep lens, and it bears no decoration or emblem which seems to serve it very well indeed. If you want your sunnies to combine a very trendy shape for 2012, and preserve a touch of vintage chic and handcrafted originality, this is a style we recommend. Made from Japanese zyl, the frame has top quality, durable 5 barrel hinges and double gradient AR backside coated lenses for a high-level UV protection. The brand Entourage of 7 is located in Los Angeles, and is run by two Danish eyewear designers, Rikke Brogaard and Jakob Talbo, who love 50s and 60s Danish design, and L.A.s laid back style, which is caught in the frames through the choice of warm, playful colours. Frames to look out for. www.eof7.com CN

 

Alexander Wang AW14C2

Linda Farrow/Alexander Wang collaboration

An aviator that has caught my eye, partly because this shape defines a key mood for next year, but also because this one adds a decorative touch to the metal base with a patterned acetate. An American fashion designer of extraordinary repute who has won countless awards including, in 2011, GQ’s best new menswear designer of the year, Wang’s sunglasses have an edge that send fashion editors into a frenzy…his “extreme” cat eye sunglasses with metal corners were, and still are, a bit of a cult piece for girls. It will be very interesting to see if this one, or any of its sister shapes in the designer’s S/S 2012 range produced with the UK’s Linda Farrow, gets the same buzz this year. Coming soon to the online store at www.lindafarrow.co.uk CN

Metal Charles

Victoria Beckham from Cutler & Gross

This designer sunglass collection is an elegant addition to Ms. Beckham’s fashion collections, and, produced by Cutler and Gross, it seems there is no compromise on quality or style. Metal Charles is possibly the top shape of the collection and will be an editor’s favourite, but we have looked closely at the whole line and love the 1970s theme and crisp white or washed out hues and pastel tones in the collection. Metal Charles combines gold and black metal frames with mink, honey, black and white lenses and are fashionably lightweight and easy-to-wear. Handcrafted in Italy, the collection is made with fine techniques and materials. Each piece reflects the modern considered aesthetic of the Beckham fashion range, and, as we viewed the sunglasses next to the S/S ready-to-wear, we can see that in context the sunglasses add a fresh and effortless elegance to the overall collection. For really lightweight sunnies try the Fine Metal Style, an exercise in featherlight construction, which Victoria has devised to overcome the red marks on the nose, often produced with a heavier or ill-fitting sunglass style. www.victoriabeckham.com  CN

Cabriolet Coccinelle

Cabrio Eyewear – Hoet Concept

We first featured Cabrio in February this year and it’s an enduring range with an intriguing use of materials that deserves lots of attention! This model, the Coccinelle, the latest edition in the line, is based around the rimless lens, which is curvaceous and enveloping to fully shade the eyes. The frame itself, like those of the whole range is made of a laminated plastic which is creased, folded or manipulated by hand to create a distinctive lightweight sunglass with a sporty design. Two versions available in three colours, the Coccinelle  is out in stores from February. Stockists in the UK include 36 Opticians www.36opticians.co.uk and Schuller Opticians www.schulleropticians.com. For more details go to www.cabrio-eyewear.eu CN

 

Katida

Vera Wang Sunwear / Salon Spring/Summer 2012

This is one of a few favourite labels from the US. A bold silhouette in smooth acetate, Katida is an exemplary style in the Vera Wang Salon collection for Spring/Summer 2012. Each of the acetate styles in this group are oversized, with features from the 1950s and a touch of Hollywood glamour. Katida is available in tortoise, black, brown or rose, subtly muted tones which are typical here. The style has an effective graduated colour scheme through the front of the frame and  will bring instant elegance to everyday style. CN

For more information visit http://kenmarkoptical.com/FrameDetail.aspx?fid=341322&nm=Katida For information about the New York designer Vera Wang go to www.verawang.com/lifestyle/eyewear

Lindberg 1135

Acetate and titanium unite in Lindberg’s sleek frame with an acetate front and titanium temples. Technically, this design is a little gem, with the titanium bridge integrated into the acetate bridge. This allows the frame to be angled to follow the contours of the wearer’s face. The integrated bridge also has nose pad arms, so the frame is 100% adjustable, insuring comfort and stability. The colour selection is lovely – brown and sand (above) black with orange, and a nautical effect in red with blue. www.lindberg.com JG

830 Sattler

Vienna Collection by Robert La Roche

Klaus Huber retraces collegiate days and memories of school uniforms with frames from the ‘Vienna College Collection’. The preppy shape is rooted in classicism, combined with modern grace and flow. Handmade in Italy, the 8-mm acetate is truly luxuruious, particularly in night blue with grey transparent temples (above). For the first time, Robert La Roche gives names to the individual styles, which were selected based on Austrian winemakers who produce speciality, quality wines – just like Robert La Roche creates speciality, quality eyewear. www.robert-laroche.com JG

Gladys

Lafont Eyewear

Leopard accessories are a significant winter trend, and for designer frames, Lafont has this great style with a touch of  jungle magic and vintage flair. The edgy design by Thomas Lafont, has a slightly raised peak along the brow, for a stunning ophthalmic shape in layered acetate. An architectural lift highlights the sculpted temples, and the overall result is beautifully crafted. As a Lafont wearer, I know from experience that the designs fit so comfortably, and literally, frame the face in an elegant manner. For further details, visit www.lafont.com JG

Vinci

Anne et Valentin

Beautifully muted tones of purple and smoky taupe merge elegantly in this lovely frame from Anne et Valentin. Created especially to fit small, feminine faces, the frames have a vintage spirit with a smart retro shape, cut out nose detail, and the two-tone end tips follow through on the bi-colour theme. The totality is a harmonious mix of colour and design. The Anne et Valentin collection is available at Cappelle Opticien in Brussels – www.cappelleopticien.be, and in Innsbruck – www.krischan-panoptikum.at. Visit www.anneetvalentin.com for further information. JG

Goa

Benner KG – Germany

This frame brings vividly to mind the warm and fluctuating tones of the Caribbean Sea, silky beaches and chanting seagulls – a pleasant thought this chilly season! Benner KG (formerly Grotesque Frame KG) has launched several new styles that uplift spirits during the winter months. I’m very fond of Goa, above, in shiny, polished acetate that features distinctive indentations on the front, with hand finishing.  Acetate in two tones is used for the temples, inside and out, for double colouration. Available in Paris at Optique des Entrepreneurs, and in London at Spex in the City, Covent Garden.  More details at www.benner-eyewear.com JG

On the street

New season style by Anne et Valentin

1st January 2012 Anne et Valentin’s new portraits were a delight to find on a press cd I received recently…they have created a photo album of stunning images of real people wearing their frames on the streets of Paris (outside the Anne et Valentin store there). This is one way to see elegance in real life. The series includes model Element in green (above), and another super well-formed optical style, the Tahiti. The images speak for themselves; the frames are oozing character, but are totally wearable. There are lots more I’d like to show, but here are two favourites. To see the full series visit www.anneetvalentin.com CN

Tahiti by Anne et Valentin