Welcome Spring!

We are updating regularly throughout the month – eyewear is blossoming with a continuation of our Statement Sunglasses for Spring. Click on Boutiques for a one-of-a-kind Parisian optical shop, and in City Guides for news about an unusual hat exhibition. Eyestylist- keeping you well-informed a click at a time…..  In Reviews, you’ll find frame inspiration, and the Designer of the Month profiles a Parisian family firm. A chic shop in Milan features in Boutiques, and City Guides highlights a stunning Tiffany glass exhibition in America… JG

Trend Series:Spring’s Statement Sunglasses

Bocca by Face à Face

30th March 2012 Designer Pascal Jaulent at Face à Face enjoys designing frames that are beautiful and elegantly crafted, plus adding a bit of daring, drama and humour. Bocca – a Limited Edition of only 200 frames – has a hint of Mae West’s aura – a bold, glamorous, feminine design with volume, sensual curves and an enticing cat eye form. The feel of the acetate is sensuous as well – masterfully combining technology, luxury and beauty. A true collector’s item! www.faceaface-paris.com JG

Marni collection of 100 chairs, Milan

27th March 2012 Marni is to present, during Salone del Mobile 2012 (the Furniture Fair held in Milan), a collection of 100 chairs. Made in Colombia by ex-prisoners, the chairs consist of metal structures and multi-colored PVC threads featured on the backs and arm rests. They are linked to the “L’Arte del Ritratto” project through a photo exhibition created in collaboration with the photographer and filmmaker Francesco Iodice. The chairs are used as a background for a series of portraits of Marni teams from different departments. The chairs will be shown at the Marni Boutique and its courtyard, in Milan during the Furniture Fair (17 to 22 April 2012). www.marni.com CN

Trend series: Spring’s Statement Sunglasses

Phillips by A-morir

25th March 2012 I’ve already run one of the A-morir flower styles on our Facebook and everyone loves it. So whilst we are looking at an incredible selection of statement sunglasses this month (one sunglass style is simply not enough this season, you’re going to need a few different statement looks!) here is my other favourite at the minute from Kerin Rose of A-morir, who we look forward to meeting in Europe soon. This style is called Phillips; it’s in some top boutiques including Liberty’s in London where I first spied it in February. The work is beautiful and delicate and it’s THE piece for Spring as statement accessories go…these and other unique designs are available to order at A-Morir’s online shop, feast your eyes at www.a-morir.com. CN

 

Trend alert: Flat-top sunglasses for girls

23rd March 2012 It’s more commonly worn by boys but in the last few days we’ve noticed how great this oversize shape can look on girls…it’s a shape that adds to the high fashion luxe styling of the season. This example by L.G.R. (www.lgr-sunglasses.com) is called Tripoli, and is featured in matt black with Polarized Neophan Vermillion lenses, the state-of-the-art UV protective lenses which were specifically developed for L.G.R . Other great choices for this look include Celine’s larger-than-life visor-like sunglasses (available at Cruz Oculista www.cruzoculista.com and featured on our Facebook today worn by the blogger from www.afterdrk.com) and Alexander Wang’s square frame acetates (just in at MUSE Concept Store in Geneva. www.museconcept-store.com). CN

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones

Millinery History and Hat Artistry in New York

21st March 2012 Hats ranging from a twelfth-century Egyptian fez to a 1950’s Balenciaga chapeau, plus couture creations from Stephen Jones, the world’s foremost hat designer, are on display in a captivating exhibition at the Bard Graduate Centre (BGC) in New York City. Jones’s masterful hat creations have graced the heads of many celebrated clients – including Diana, Princess of Wales – and he creates hats for films, which include Coco Avant Chanel, W.E. and Atonement. Jones spearheaded new interest in hats in the 1980’s with his use of unusual materials, extraordinary craftsmanship and daring designs. He is also associated with leading fashion designers – including Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs.

The intriguing exhibition – a collaboration between The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Stephen Jones – includes a wide range of Jones’s eclectic styles, plus motorcycle helmets, berets and unique items – including the top hat worn by President Franklin Roosevelt to his fourth inauguration; Babe Ruth’s baseball cap, and Estee Lauder’s turban. The exhibition is a fascinating anthology of  hats from the last century to the present day. Through 15 April at the Bard Graduate Center, New York City. www.bgc.board.edu JG

Photos courtesy of The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Bard Graduate Centre

Les Artisans Lunetiers Paris, France

Libraries and Books are Inspiration for Boutique

21st March 2012 Literary Paris glows with memorable writers – Marcel Proust, Alexandre Dumas, Honore Balzac, Alfred Musset and Jean-Paul Sartre – to mention a few. Women shine too – Colette, Françoise Sagan, Simone de Beauvoir, and in the 18th century, the often criticised, but highly intelligent and entertaining Madame de Staël. Their works still grace bookshelves – and Kindles – to this day.

So it was this aspect of history – writers, books and libraries – that launched Les Artisans Lunetiers, a charming “bijou” eyewear boutique on The Left Bank – the spiritual home for writers. The shop is the concept of opticians Christian Mathurier and his sister Laure, and features a tantalizing mix of retro and modern frames, including Waiting for the Sun, Lafont, and Beausoleil, among others. The atmosphere is that of a cosy library. If prose – as well as glasses – is your passion, a favourite quote, a little word or line of poetry can be engraved onto the frame temples. The engraving is done on site, in the first floor atelier. Customers are invited to choose their own quote, or avail themselves of noted author’s quotes.  A memorable gift idea! www.lesartisanslunetiers.fr JG

Trend Series: Spring’s Statement Sunglasses

7717 – Bevel

Luscious, aquatic blue and green tones create a symphony in acetate in these stunning sunglasses from Bevel. The gentle cat’s eye shape is beautifully enhanced with gradations of colour that shimmer on polished acetate. The sides also radiate harmoniously in softer shades of sea tones. A must-have for summer! www.bevelspecs.com JG

Author and Eyewear Enthusiast

Mark Tungate launches latest book at Le Bon Marche, Paris

20th March 2012 Mark Tungate, author and acknowledged eyewear fan, was busy signing copies of his newest book Le Monde de la Beauté at the launch party held in the elegant book department of Le Bon Marché in Paris. The French edition, published by éditions Dunod, has been translated into French after the success of his original book in English – Branded Beauty – published by Kogan Page. The book is a fascinating study of the history and evolution of the beauty business – a compelling read coupled with excellent research. Tungate also researches his glasses – he is as particular about his frames as with his prose. “My glasses  are from jlc, my favourite optician on The Left Bank. (There is also a branch in Le Bon Marché). They have a fine collection of Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith and vintage frames, all of which suit my slightly retro tastes. The spectacles I’m wearing in the photo are jlc’s own brand. I was attracted to them because they’re made of genuine horn; they have a slightly matt look, and an intriguing pattern that’s even more subtle than tortoiseshell, like traces of grey smoke amid tobacco brown. The shape is softer and a little rounder than some of the more angular frames I own, without being owlish. I may need a new pair of specs soon because I  think my prescription has changed a little – must be all the late night proof reading! But my wife says: ‘No, keep those, they are perfect!’ So it looks like the horn rims won’t be relegated to the spare specs drawer for a while yet.” www.jlcopticien.com www.tungateinparis.com JG

Trend series: Spring’s statement sunglasses

Theo by Tim Van Steenbergen

19th March 2012 The creative collaboration between Theo and Tim Van Steenbergen has launched this dazzling frame in a gorgeous new colour – brandy. Model Oak is from the beautiful Trees collection, named after trees that are found in Belgium and around the world. The distinctive metal sidepiece on the frame relates to the structure of a tree trunk. The warm, rich tones of brandy are the perfect accompaniment for spring and summer fashions. www.theo.be JG

Trend alert: Five-a-side

Statement sunglasses from Miu Miu

17th March 2012 Following the Milan eyewear show, I have begun to select some trend ideas we see developing for 2012/13. From Miu Miu comes this five-sided sunglass shape, which fits nicely with the theme we introduced on Eyestylist about multisided eye shapes and our series for March, Statement Sunglasses. I think it’s a look that will gain lots of interest through the year. This provocative Miu Miu example features in the short film The Woman Dress by Giada Colagrande, the third film in a series looking at women and “the feminine love affair with Miu Miu.” www.miumiu.com  CN

Miu Miu Culte Sunglasses

 

MIDO Expressions

Creative Colourings, Original Shapes

15th March 2012 We returned from Milan enthused about the collections we saw – it’s all about superb colour and really great shapes.  There is no such thing as too much colour this spring and summer (above, Dali from Framers) and hues are varied with different tone groupings. Combination frames are the next big trend, and the bold characteristics of frame shapes merge retro tendencies with thoroughly modern aspects.

Capone in Lila Cola from The Gangster Collection by Theo

Metal interpretations are a new choice in addition to retro acetates. Click and stay with Eyestylist  for more updates. www.framers.de  www.theo.be  JG/CN

Trend series: Spring’s statement sunglasses

Tangerine dream – Nicole Farhi Sunglasses

10th March 2012 I first caught sight of these cat’s eye sunnies in lemon yellow…this tangerine shade is also perfect for the season approaching which is so strong on colour.  The catseye is again one of the big statement shapes for women. They come in many, many different shapes and sizes but we recommend the slightly oversized modified cat-like designs (the lift at the sides can be really feminine, and after all this is a women’s only shape, well more or less anyway!) – the casteye concept, both the exaggerated and curvy and the squarer more paired down varieties, really has the edge if you want 50s glamour and a quirky elegance. These are £110 at www.nicolefarhi.com CN

Alex 4

Anchors Aweigh for Spring/Summer by Lotho

9th March 2012 I spotted this chic navy blue frame, coupled with red and white, at Tranoï and loved its nautical theme – embracing the wonderful blue mood that is in fashion now, and moving into autumn. A perky red and white stripe emphasises the flattering classic shape in velvety acetate. As the lyrics say: (Anchors Aweigh is the fight song of the U.S. Naval Academy, and featured in the film by the same name staring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly) “Let these our colours be…full speed ahead…” so spring into summer with red, white and blue! www.lotho.fr JG

Anthropologie presents Moss Lipow’s Eyewear

8th March 2012 I caught sight of Moss Lipow’s Eyewear: A Visual History in the Regent Street branch of the fashion boutique Anthropologie today. A lovely display of books is on offer in the store this season, adding to an already very tempting shop floor full of fabulously quirky dresses, separates, accessories (soft suede and leather bags and purses in stunning brights) and an eclectic selection of fun homewares downstairs. If you haven’t got your copy of this classic eyewear monograph, here’s an opportunity. www.anthropologie.eu/page/home&setlang=en.  For further information on Moss Lipow’s Eyewear: A Visual History, visit www.taschen.com and read our interview with the author posted on Eyestylist in January.  CN

Trend series: Spring’s Statement sunglasses

Portofino by RockOptika

8th March 2012 With the bounty of statement styles around I’ve been looking for what’s on offer beyond the very popular catseyes and aviators. For men, this striking men’s sunglass model from the young British designer Tom Herrington caught my eye, given it breaks with obvious trends. Herrington has an optical boutique in Hastings on the South Coast of England, not far from me, and I have been lucky enough to see his new RockOptika Collection in this incredible seaside setting. The retro notes from the 1960s and 1980s combined in this particular design are sharp and bold (and have made it a bestseller for the label), and a close inspection shows a passion for quality as well as overall stylishness. The frames are designed in the UK and crafted in France. The latest stockist in London is the amazing fashion emporium Wolf & Badger in Notting Hill, London. Also available at Covent Garden’s McClintock (www.mcclintock-eyewear.co.uk) and Frames in the Lanes, Brighton (www.framesinthelanes.com). For more stockists and information visit www.rockoptika.co.uk CN

 

Trend series: Spring’s statement sunglasses

Eyestylist meets Thierry Lasry at Premiere Classe in Paris

5th March 2012 Lasry makes beautiful statement eyewear…and these models are perfect examples. Speaking to Lasry today in Paris, he explained the use of 1980s vintage materials for some of his styles, such as Agony 385 (above) which has an incredible mosaic or marble material layered onto the front. These sunglasses are custom-made and limited to under 1000 pieces, given the limited availability of the decorative materials used in each one. Lasry’s gold templed sunglasses – he noted that black and gold in particular – are highly sought after in the fashion world (models like Lively and Sexxxy) but we have to say it’s the workmanship of his most decorative pieces that stand out for Eyestylist. The next big thing from Lasry is superb crystal frames – watch this space! www.thierrylasry.com CN/JG

Anorexxxy 072 by Thierry Lasry

 

Trend watch: Spring’s statement sunglasses

Octagonal sunglasses – Pollini with Cutler and Gross

4th March 2012 The quirky octagonal and hexagonal shapes are having a revival – these sunglass designs date back to the 1960s and a number of our friends who collect or sell vintage frames have some stunning examples from both the 60s and 70s by Dior and other big fashion names. This style from Pollini is produced in a new collaborative capsule collection with Cutler & Gross and is available exclusively through Pollini stores (including their new boutique on Via della Spiga, Milan) and Pollini stockists worldwide. www.pollini.com CN

 

 

Sneak preview

Anne et Valentin’s Octet, coming soon…

2nd March 2012 I have already featured a few of the photos in this series by Anne et Valentin…here is another special one featuring the new model Octet, which we hear is launching at Mido, the Milan eyewear show, in just over a week! I can’t wait to try it on; it’s an acetate frame which has a slightly catty look about it, yet it looks a little deeper than the catseyes we have seen last year. A very pretty example, and we think it’s beautifully accessorized with red bag and matching nails. The photo was taken outside the Anne et Valentin store in Paris. www.anneetvalentin.com CN

A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls

 

Renowned Works of Tiffany Studios at Flagler Museum,

Palm Beach, Florida

1st March 2012 Palm Beach holds cherished memories for me – the incredible expanse of sea and silky white beaches, the Mediterranean-style homes, shopping on Worth Avenue, and the stunning Flagler Museum. When American industrialist Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach was finished in 1902, the New York Herald hailed it as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe….”. Now the former private dwelling is a beautiful museum, currently showcasing “A New Light on Tiffany:Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls”. Behind the famed glass designs of Louis C. Tiffany was a small brigade of women, headed by Miss Driscoll, who was responsible for many of the masterpieces now inextricably linked to the Tiffany name. The Daffodil Shade (above) was probably designed by Clara Driscoll, circa 1900-06. The Crutch Oval base, circa 1900-06. (Courtesy of New York Historical Society, Gift of Dr. Egon Neustadt)

 

Wisteria Lamp designed by Clara Driscoll circa 1901

Clara Driscoll was a prodigious writer who wrote voluminous letters to her mother and sister – providing a first-hand account of the inner workings of Tiffany Studios. There are more than fifty lamps on display, plus historic design drawings, sheets of Tiffany glass, and the tools used to make the intricate shades. What is also pleasant to discover, is that Mr. Tiffany demonstrated steadfast support for his women workers- not very common in the 20th century. If your travels take you to America’s East Coast, this is an exhibition that will impress and delight. The Flagler Museum at any time is a joy. Through 22 April www.flaglermuseum.us JG

(Wisteria Lamp photo courtesy of New York Historical Society, Gift of Dr. Egon Neustadt)

Strada del Sole Limited Edition

This is one of my favourite aviators right now. It’s a Limited Edition of just 100 models, by the Swiss based Strada del Sole. Each of the frames is numbered, and they come in three colours, red, white and blue. There is an aviator version for men (pictured) and a panto style for women. Find this Swiss company’s newly launched website at www.stradadelsole.ch Keep an eye on it! CN

Pau Hana

Maui Jim

I was impressed by this style when I saw it in January in Munich. Pau Hana is one of Maui Jim’s trendier shapes for 2012 with its cool colour choices and design with uber fashion key hole nose, yet it comes with all the tech features you might expect from this label. A unisex shape, the style is offered in black with dark brown and neutral grey lenses; Tokyo tortoise with Maui Rose lenses and honey with HCL Bronze lenses. The Maui Gradient lenses are dark at the top, and gradually lighter moving down the lens. This means that an appropriate amount of light is allowed to filter through certain areas, while less light comes through where protection is paramount. CN

www.mauijim.com

Uma

JPlus Vision

As you know, we make it our business to seek out all the most exceptional up-and-coming labels. Here is one from Italy, JPlus, which features model Uma in its latest collection which I look forward to seeing in Milan soon. The frames are designed in a very cool work space in Padova and are made in Italy, so the aim is to ensure quality materials and manufacture. Each pair of glasses by JPlus belong to the worlds of Art, Music, Movies, or Design. Named after Uma Thurman, this model is part of their Movie Collection. The signature colour insert on the front is a fun, fresh detail featured on all the frames, using a wide palette of bright contrasting tones. A strong vintage direction runs through the range, with bold shapes and distinguished colour proposals seen throughout. A young team of Italians run the show, headed up by Alessandro Martire. Definitely on my Spring/Summer wishlist. CN

www.jplusvision.com

 

Silverstone

Mileage by Alain Mikli

We haven’t yet reviewed many Mikli styles here, so we were pleased to get news on this new aviator collection, Mileage, which reworks and revamps the classic shape. Mikli’s idea is to work on a concept like that of denim jeans, which come in all shapes and styles to suit absolutely everyone….Mileage has therefore been created as a collection based on the classic aviator shape, but offering all sorts of interpretations with 8 styles in 50 colours, and both sun and optical versions. The style pictured – Silverstone – has a circular opening at the bridge which gives its unique appearance. This is the style that particularly stood out for me; it also comes in a version with 24 karat gold plated lenses (model Sakhir). www.mikli.com CN

 

SGV770

Givenchy

A sunglass style I’ve tried on a few times, and I love the mirrored lenses. They are gold in the picture but the ones I’ve tried and love have more of a silvery tint. This is a pretty 50s model, and the metallic theme of the mirrored lens very trendy; it’s a style that would pair nicely with many Spring/Summer trends…from pastels to modern prints and patterns. Delightfully feminine. www.givenchy.com  CN

Vincent 167

Orgreen

Colour is a dominant theme throughout opththalmic collections this season, and this unusual combination from Danish company Orgreen is so effective. The artisanal spirit of the frame features a graduated colour scheme of black, taupe, and turquoise, in a stylish flat top design – another prominent trend. The contemporary design assures this is a great choice for a variety of face shapes. www.orgreen.dk JG

Alice

Anne et Valentin

When I saw these frames, the song ‘Alice Blue Gown’ from the famed Broadway musical Irene came to mind. The above frame could be ‘Alice Blue Frame’, sure to capture the approving eye of the wearer and admirers. Anne et Valentin’s choice of stunning blue and black acetate with an unusual frame shape, and extended temple details, adds to the uniqueness of the design. www.anneetvalentin.com JG

3808

Blue Magic Eye

Unusual colour combinations are a feature in Spring collections, and one of my personal choices is this tri-colour design from Blue Magic Eye. Deep aubergine is the key colour, enhanced with lovely soft lilac, and turquoise temple tips. The frame shape in smooth acetate fuses a touch of retro with modern concepts. In a short period of time, design duo Guya Montermini and Ciro Tugnoli have established themselves as a dynamic force in creative eyewear style. www.bluemagiceye.com JG