In the next several days, you’ll find the continuation of our series Men and Their Glasses; click on Boutiques for a unique shop, and City Guides for a stunning exhibition. Click and stay with Eyestylist -keeping you well informed.
For February, Eyestylist focuses on men’s glasses featuring exclusive handmade labels, respected for style and expression, from independent creators. Also in this edition – this unique leap-year month – designers share their take on trends for men, and predictions for men’s frame collections. In Reviews, you’ll discover exciting men’s designer frames, and in Boutiques, where to buy them. Our Designer of the Month is a talented creator from Sweden.. JG
29th February 2012 “When designing men’s eyewear, there are obvious differences in size. Women are buying more masculine styles, but through my couture service, they are applying some basics to make them fit better. When I design for men, I think about the stability of the frame. I find that (no surprises) men treat their frames badly and certain constructions are just not suitable for men. In terms of shape, men go for flatter tops and more geometric lines. Anything that squares up the jaw and make us look more rugged is great. I would say that quality is now important to men, more than before. Overall, we are still miles behind women when it comes to brands and fashion, but it gets closer each year.
Interest in vintage depends on the man and the country. Overall, I’d say that the preference for vintage is stronger in women, but that seems mainly because men are still buying metal frames – vintage is more often about engineered design. In my collection, titanium styles are building momentum. My favourite men’s wear designer is Paul Smith – for his details and quality.” www.tdtomdavies.comJG
28th February 2012 “Men’s frames must not be as playful and colourful as women’s. For men, more straight and clean lines are needed. Designing women’s frames allows more creativity. Absolutely, men are more aware of fashion, brands, and quality now. I feel that men are as interested in vintage as women – there is no difference between men and women requesting vintage or classic styles.
Men are still not as daring with colour as women. Using vibrant colour for men is still difficult. I think men’s frames will never be very colourful, but this is also good as it is a challenge for eyewear designers to create something original, and special, without using much colour, but other design elements. For my personal clothing designer favourites, I like how Desigual followed their very colourful and great women’s collection with a men’s collection, that is original but wearable. Using more patterns than colour, it’s still out of the box, without using too much vibrancy”. www.benner-eyewear.comJG
27th February 2012 With so many great styles coming out for the Spring, and some exciting shapes that show a new approach to the most familiar men’s designs, we have picked some favourites as part of this month’s special edition. These styles express a new mood, with more curves and gentle preppy styling; there are some nice aviator specs out there, and some deconstructed classics, plus frames in beautiful natural materials such as wood. Pictured above, Kilsgaard Eyewear, www.kilsgaard-eyewear.com
The aviator specs “Augusto” by Res/Rei feature an open bridge. Res/Rei is a relatively new, quality-focused Italian label, specialising in handmade frames made by artisans, some of whom have worked in the field for over 30 years. Available in London at www.mcclintock-eyewear.co.uk who are fans of the quality and design details offered in the collection. www.resrei.com
Leisure Society’s model Harvard (below) is a preppy style designed as a unisex frame which merges modern with classic aesthetics; this is a variation of the shape originated from a style issued to troops by the army in World War II. The model is made from titanium plated in 12k, 18k, or 24k gold combined with Japanese acetate and includes a special hidden spring hinge. www.leisure-society.com
MOD. 302 by W-Eye, designed by Matteo Ragni, offers classic design with its rectangular shape that has soft, contoured lines. This frame can be produced as sunglasses or spectacles and comes in a variety of woods, pictured here in the light grainy ‘Sapelli’. A very smart idea.
W-Eye is an Italian company producing hand-finished wooden eyewear. For more information visit www.w-eye.itCN
25th February 2012 Graphic, technical, sleek and bold, fashionably sums up this handsome men’s design from Face à Face Paris. In grey and blue acetates, Clark is ideal for men who desire stylish, distinctive glasses, while at the same time, an expression of classicism. The colour blue, and its many variations, is a timely trend for women – it also has impact on men’s fashion. Handmade in France, the details and finishing are superb. www.faceaface-paris.com JG
23rd February 2012 “The biggest difference – I think – between designing eyewear for men and women is the fit – women have smaller heads on average than men. I also think it is harder to design for men – they won’t wear big oversized frames, and obviously not cat eye styles. I am broadly speaking of course. But men have a limited boundary in what they will wear it seems. You have to make it fit right, and make it simple and cool. I guess it’s the same in clothing. I’ve lost some of my favourite jeans and t-shirts to girls ‘borrowing them’ – I can’t say I have any of their clothes in return! I think men now care more, know more, buy more and pay more attention to brands, fashion and quality. However, I think that the collective consciousness of the world – men and women – are yearning for a better experience – people want a quality of experience in everything they do, as they now have more choice than ever.
For vintage eyewear, I think men are even more interested than women – I think I see two men to one women sporting a well kept pair of vintage frames. Ninety percent of the vintage eyewear collectors I know are men. I only wear grey, so I have a limited choice every season for clothing, and it keeps me buying many brands. I love Margeila, I only wear Common Projects shoes, and really like Vanishing Elephant. I only notice the trends once they are here – or passed. I somehow manage to stay relevant in my design, just by nature”. www.grazmulcahy.com JG
23rd February 2012 “When I look at the anatomical side in designing men’s eyewear, men tend to have wide nose bridges. I’ve given up labelling a style purely male or female; maybe it’s the no-frills approach that I prefer. I think of design in terms of a process, a story that I tell. The actual shapes are a consequence of that thinking. I would definitely say that men are more aware of brands, quality and fashion. Wouldn’t you agree that men are even more interested in vintage than women? Men looked fabulous in the fifties and sixties. Who doesn’t want to look like Steve McQueen nowadays? It may sound banal, but difficult times tend to bend our view towards the past, and that’s where vintage comes from. We are made to believe that originals from the past, or even just the lifestyle of a certain past era, stand for stability and safeness.
Yes, men are definitely more daring with colour now. I live in Berlin and one thing I observe is that men here tend to go for solid colours, not garish ‘in your face fashion show colour blockings’. I don’t have a favourite men’s clothing designer – most of my pieces are pretty nondescript or plain classic. Good quality tends to have a longer life span. Good design always have a portion of the unexpected – but it has the advantage to interest people. that is a risk a designer must take every time he starts a new project.” www.whiteout-glare.com JG
22nd February 2012 The Danish company’s newest design features lightweight titanium, superbly crafted, that successfully merges aesthetics – functionality, technology, quality, beauty and style. This design, in particular, gives the wearer a feeling of confidence and well-being, with its classic form, interpreted with subtle modernity. The distinctive temple detail adds to the beauty and craftsmanship of the design. www.lindberg.comJG
21st February 2012 We are looking forward to this restrospective on the master shoemaker at London’s Design Museum in May (changed from a March opening just this week). Louboutin opened his first store in Paris in 1992, so this retrospective, the first in the UK, marks the label’s 20th birthday. Louboutin is staggeringly creative and a peep at the website will give you immediate insight into his incredible world of footwear (and bags galore)…and you’ll literally be kicking your heels to get in to this showcase!
In its exhibition, the Design Museum promises to explain the man behind this world renowned shoe empire, as well as exploring the full design processes used to make a pair of Louboutin shoes. Visit the website (it’s no ordinary one) and get into fabulous shoes at www.christianlouboutin.comCN
Image: Copyright, Photographer Phillippe Gracia from Christian Louboutin book published by Rizzoli.
21st February 2012 “There are definitely differences between designing eyewear for men and for women. Guya (my design partner) and I have always found it easier to create glasses for women, but I cannot forget that our best-selling model is a pair of glasses with a more masculine connotation. It’s not easy to design an original and outgoing shape for a man. I find more elements to work with when I think of a female style. Men are now more aware of fashion, brands and quality, including fitness or beauty products. In general, men are more attentive to their own global image, presentation or look – although I think men are less brand addicted than women.
Vintage has permeated fashion in all its aspects. Vintage, dandy, the beautiful and the damned, or Steve McQueen styles have always been sources of great inspiration in men’s styles. Traditional colours are still popular for men – black, brown, honey, Havana, but on the temples you can dare a little more with orange, red, blue and yellow. We’ve had success using double layer acetate – soft colour outside and fluorescent or bright inside. My favourite men’s designer is Paul Smith, but I’m quite conservative in clothing.” www.bluemagiceye.comJG
20th February 2012 Are men more daring with colour now than in previous years? “Without a doubt. And just in case it’s still a secret: men are starving for colour! Particularly in the case of clothing, we have all been cast adrift in a sombre sea of brown, khaki and grey for soooo long. It’s always a challenge to find colour that truly excites. No surprise, then, that men are seizing upon glasses as a key component for exploring the potential not only of colour, but of pattern and proportion too.
Have you seen any specific changes in how men view wearing glasses during the past several years? “Absolutely. Glasses are out of the closet! More and more, I see men discovering eyewear as a way to project their sensibility and define a mood. There seems to be a renewed embrace of eyewear as a key aspect of wardrobing, and as a vital stamp of personality. Our clients often report on how the colour and graphic impression of their glasses have effected changes in what they wear, and how they see themselves. Barbara McReynolds (co-owner/co-designer of l.a. Eyeworks) has often said: ‘Glasses are the fashion. Clothes are the accessory”. In short, free your glasses and the rest will follow”.
Whom do you think are the male style icons nowadays? “To be honest, I hardly ever think of icons in the present. What interests me most is when any person – regardless of their fame, occupation or income – creates a style or signature completely their own; when a person achieves a kind of effortlessness and comfort in the transformation of their look”.
Who are your personal designer favourites for men’s clothing? “I always pay attention to what ‘the majors’ (Paul Smith, Christopher Bailey, Marc Jacobs, Rei Kawakubo, Kris van Assche, et al.) are thinking, but in my own selection, I veer towards smaller brands and more enigmatic items – like the amazing shoe designs of John Fluevog. I probably take most of the direction of what I want to wear from the world around me, be it a Japanese vinyl figure, a Technicolour film from the 50’s, some paste-up graffiti on an electrial box, or some obscure track I might hear late at night. In any case, the most compelling style is tuned from the inside out.” www.laeyeworks.comwww.laeyeworks-wideworld.comJG
17th February 2012 Danish eyewear company Ørgreen has been included in an exhibition at the Danish Design Center, celebrating 10 years of Danish design, seen through the fashion magazine, Dansk (http://danskmagazine.com/). Arranged chronologically, the exhibition presents the development of Danish fashion from 2002 to the present. One of several brands highlighted, Orgreen showcases its unique model Viper in mat white. The exhibition runs from 27th January to 4th March 2012. For more information visit http://en.ddc.dkCN
16th February 2012 From Anne et Valentin’s lifestyle photo series, we present model Freelance (sunglasses above), a contemporary classic for men, and the very expressive optical frame Pop, worn by customers of the French designers outside their Paris store at 4 rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie. A tip for those visiting the Anne et Valentin store in Paris, just across the road is a perfect breakfast bakery, where you can have coffee and fresh patisserie…the staff in the shop will point it out as they say they are often popping over there. www.anneetvalentin.comCN
15th February 2012 “Indeed – there are significant differences between designing eyewear for men and for women. To design women’s frames, you need to explore your most feminine side. You need to think lighter, more delicate, and more “jewellery like”. As far as fashion goes, women take more chances and thus are more open minded. This is a great freedom in the mind of a designer. I think with the emergence of ‘heritage brands’, that tout a traditional Americana look, men are more apt to pay less attention to brands, and place a greater importance on quality and integrity. Of course, given the fact that I design a gold plated titanium, limited production, exclusively distributed product, I’m somewhat biased.
Men are as interested in vintage as women, if not more so. Many men truly enjoy the history of old brands – where it was made, how many were made…..It’s the same reason we collect baseball cards as kids and later as adults, vintage cars. Men appreciate the craftsmanship employed in making objects of great quality. Not that women don’t – it’s just men are more apt to ‘geek out’ on such stuff. Men are really not daring with colour, unless you call blond tor Continue reading “Men and Their Glasses”→
13th February 2012 The designer behind the Turkish eyewear label RVS by V., pictured wearing his own sunglass design, model Ze, one of the first RVS by V. sunglasses, created in 2007. Part of the Limited Edition Gold collection launched in 2011, this version is made of a special gold acetate and fitted with custom coloured gold covered mirror (brown view) lenses.
Asked about designing for men, Vidal says: “I have never really thought of any of our frames (or any frame for that matter) as being specifically made for a man or a woman. If you have the self confidence, almost any frame can look great on you. It’s all about how you carry yourself. This is why we mostly produce all of our frames as unisex. That being said, the Ze frame is a classic oversized panto, a shape that was worn by men more then woman in history although this has changed over time. I think we need to think outside of the box, looking back in history a bit to see that almost any frame can be worn by everyone.
Our male clients mostly consist of two types of people, those who are more knowledgeable about eyewear and are looking for the same quality that was put into eyewear in the past, and those who are looking for a classic, cool design idea with a hint of something new. It is really important we showcase something that looks totally fresh without forgetting what we believe is classic. Fashion is ever changing and trends come and go, this is why I believe it is important to try to make something timeless.” Continue reading “Men and their Glasses”→
Foundation Beyeler Hosts Bonnard Retrospective, Switzerland
10th February 2012 French painter Pierre Bonnard was acclaimed for his intense use of colour, his small brush strokes, and a marvelous variety of interiors, gardens, landscapes and still life tableaux. He mixed and mingled with other painters in Paris, including Toulouse-Lautrec, until he moved permanently to the South of France. The painting above (La Table de Travail 1926/1937 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon 2006 Photo: Courtesy National Portrait Gallery Copyright 2012 ProLitteris, Zurich) depicts the cosiness and items used in everyday life, that Bonnard enjoyed committing to canvas.
The exhibition is held in the exquisite surroundings of Foundation Beyeler, just outside Basel, Switzerland, designed by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano, and continues through 13 May 2012. For further information, visit the website www.foundationbeyeler.ch. JG
10th February 2012 “The significant differences with men’s frames is that they are more into technical details and new materials than women, which gives more importance to the look of the frame. Effectively, during the last ten years, we’ve seen men emancipate themselves – accessing and affirming a strong sense of style. Of course men are as interested in vintage as women! Even more, considering that Vintage men’s looks have always kept an important and “non-time-able” place in the perfect men’s outfit. Vintage is a shelter – a safe place protecting men from any bad fashion choices, if used with the knowledge of history.
Men look for quality, colour, design and material all at the same time – men feel the frame and judge it in their hands, sensing both the lightness and look together. The frame has to be equilibrated to reach the right customer. Continue reading “Men And Their Glasses”→
8th February 2012 “Designing for men is easier for me, because I think of what I would like to wear. Usually, I tend towards designs that are strong, subtle, elegant, aggressive, classic, adventurous, and sometimes avant-garde. When I know what I am looking for, a men’s model can take me three minutes to design. Men are becoming more and more interested in fashion. I think that their interest is also very careful and selective about quality and exclusivity.
Men are as interested in vintage as women, because the joy of wearing a dream or attitude from the past is attractive to men as well. Men like to stay classic, they tend to dare less than women. However, men are very detail oriented, and play close attention to the overall finish. My personal favourite for men’s clothing is the Milan tailor Caraceni.” www.lgr-sunglasses.com JG
6th February 2012 “As a male designer, I find it easier to design an eyewear collection for men than for women. I can offset the wearer well and I can imagine in what shapes a man feels comfortable. Even if the forms now are greater for men’s glasses, the shape must never lose its masculine appearance. In women’s eyeglasses there are other laws – the shape can express more. The new large-scale forms in women’s glasses, I really like! They give the designer a lot of leeway. Men’s spectacles have definitely become a fashion accessory. And it is one of the few accessories that can really look great on a man. For each age, there are now great options for the fashion-conscious man, therefore, I am also convinced that in the future, glasses will have an important role in a man’s wardrobe. I have been designing men’s eyewear for over fifteen years. During this time, much has changed. Glasses have become much larger, and the retro style has become established. The trends change gradually, and not from one season to another.
We sell our glasses in over thirty-five countries, and I see that Italian men wear the most colourful spectacles, followed by Asians. I like subtle colour in men’s eyewear, but I think that the form and design should be the central element. Only then will the glasses be a durable and beloved companion. For men’s clothing, I like the Scandinavian designers like Filippa K, or Junk de Luxe. Simple designs with good cuts can be combined beautifully. I’m also a big fan of the French label APC.” www.gotti.chJG
Simon Palmer, Managing Director, C.W. Dixey & Son, London
3rd February 2012 Throughout the month, as part of our focus on men’s eyewear, Eyestylist speaks with men who bring creativity, knowledge and experience to the eyewear scene, as they kindly share their ideas with our readers. We start the series with Simon Palmer from C.W. Dixey & Son.
“An increased awareness of men’s eyewear has certainly taken place due to the profusion of lifestyle magazines and online sites. Whilst this has led to many seeking grand brands, it has inevitably led to discerning individuals seeking less well known companies that create high quality, discretely branded products, that are infused with heritage and provenance. Yes, men are interested in vintage, but probably not as amenable to wearing it, as society expects men to be a little more conservative with their look. However, the same principle holds that men will always be interested in timeless design.
In the global eyewear market, I think brand, design and colour are the main determinants for the majority of people. Sadly, quality, authenticity, and the ethos of the company seem to be valued less. Continue reading “Men And Their Glasses”→
Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Victoria & Albert Museum
1st February 2012 Many gala events will take place this year to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Among the most beautiful is the Cecil Beaton photo exhibition at The Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The teenage princess first sat for Beaton in 1942, and for the next three decades, he captured on film memorable moments in the Queen’s life – including wartime images, her Coronation Day, and family photographs. There are nearly 100 portraits, along with comments from Beaton’s diaries, original contact prints, and press cuttings. A perfectionist and a Renaissance man, the premier royal photographer was also an illustrator, avid diarist, and an award-winning stage and costumer designer. The exhibition opens on 8 February and continues through 22 April. Photo above: copyright V&A Images. www.vam.ac.ukJG
Superior materials – titanium and plated gold in 12K, 18K, or 24K, – highlight this beautiful frame by Shane Baum. The multi-dimensional laser etching on titanium and the rim wire, plus elegant enamel inserts, add to the luxurious look and feel of Princeton (above). Every little detail is meticulous, further expressing the beauty and craftsmanship. With its classic design, this is an heirloom frame, one that will stand the test of time and fashion. www.leisure-society.comJG
Paris based Jeremy Tarian is inspired by the vitality and vibrancy of New York City for his new collection – frames that simmer with the energy and edginess for which the city is renowned. Brown and black combine handsomely in Mainstage (above) in an acetate design that exudes strength and character. It’s also striking in black and red, or black with chrome. www.jeremytarian.comJG
The fragility of coral reefs is the inspiration for Culcita – a Limited Edition design, and a project dedicated to reef conservation. With its well-proportioned shape and stylish character, Culcita was created as a “product with a cause” – sunglasses with a name and a mission to raise awareness about the rapidly vanishing coral reefs. For more information on Whiteout & Glare designs, and their project, visit www.whiteout-glare.com JG
Yachting has all the characteristics of Gatsby days – romantic ports, sunny beaches, and dashing skippers on their yachts. Frédéric Beausoleil has included sophisticated details on this handsome, strong design that include the cut-out on the bridge, and fine ridging on the nosepiece and temples. In addition to this knockout black and chrome colouration (above), Yachting is also available in tortoise and gold. More details at www.beausoleil.fr JG
Sun Pepe was my favourite among the re-launch of the “P-Serie Sunglasses” unveiled by Götti at Opti Munich. The handsome, timeless aviator in titanium features a curved double bridge – a strong trend, particularly in men’s eyewear. The 360° swivelling temples means that the frames fold easily and are very compact. In palladium and black, Pepe is certainly a stunner. www.gotti.chJG
Founder of Paris based spectacles company Undostrial, Lucas de Staël has launched his own eponymous label, after two years of detailed research and development. The designs in the first collection, Once Upon a Time, play with organic materials such as wood and leather, placed together with cold stainless steel. As the designer explains, “As if worked by a silversmith, the frames perfectly balance flexibility and lightness, classicism and purism. Each frame is comfortable and as pretty as a jewel!” I saw these for the first time in Munich last month and found them very exciting in terms of the way in which the two types of material, organic and metal, are combined….11 shapes, 7 leather colours and 5 wood options are available. www.lucasdestael.comCN
I am always very impressed by the finishes of this acetate collection when I have the frames in my hands, and I had the pleasure of seeing these models a few weeks ago. They are the work of a small German label, Martin & Martin. Model Wim is available in six different colours, some of which are transparent with a graduated effect, and some of which combine colour with an elegant wood-look finish (such as the red and natural lining pictured above). See the full collection and visit the brand’s new website at www.martinxmartin.de/brillenfassungenCN