During the month of June, Eyestylist showcases the ultimate in Luxury Eyewear, objects of grandeur, and extravagant experiences! In REVIEWS, you’ll find frames to treasure; and you’ll meet our DESIGNER of the MONTH who compliments traditional Danish design with fashion and technology. Innovative BOUTIQUES are blooming everywhere, and for summer entertainment, there are splendid exhibitions to discover in CITY GUIDES. Eyestylist:keeping you stylishly informed one click at a time. JG
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Chic styling, Creativity and Craftmanship from Chrome Hearts
28th June 2012 A ravishing butterfly eye shape, volume and glamour all combine in this graceful acetate silhouette from Chrome Hearts. Sterling silver accents on the titanium temples add to the luxury and distinctiveness of the design. Luxury lenses too – from Zeiss – the three-layer premier anti-reflective coating is guaranteed to provide protection and beauty. www.chromehearts.comJG
26th June 2012 I have been following the Belgian Michel Henau brand for a while now, but this is the first time we have had pictures of the frames to be able to talk about them. Headed today by optician Marc Delagrange, the Collection has an interesting modern design style. The frames are described as being “full of contemporary purity and refinement, made from materials and colours which re-enforce the simplicity of the shapes.” There are classic acetates (picture above) and a variety of more creative and unexpected shapes which have always drawn our attention when we have seen them at the trade shows….they include the long, quite narrow M4 and the M7 with open arm design. Emphasis is on traditional handmade production and timeless design with its own clear identity. To see the full line of around 80 spectacles and sunglasses from this European label, visit www.michelhenau.com CN
25th June 2012 Frame designs by Tumi are recognised for their performance, function, fit and fashion – it’s a great collection. I’ve also developed a yearning for Tumi luggage – the collection is at Le Bon Marché in Paris, and it’s really super. Like the frame designs, the luggage is created with craftsmanship and durability, and superior technology. This couple is ready for boarding and then take off with Tumi – she wears Newport, featuring leather temples, and he sports Brooklyn in stainless steel. Bon voyage! www.tumi.comJG
22nd June 2012 Author, conference speaker and journalist, Tungate is the author of the acclaimed Luxury World: The Past, Present and Future of Luxury Brands (Kogan Page) and shares his Luxury concepts with Eyestylist.
What does luxury mean to you? “The word “luxury” is used so often to market overpriced goods that it has almost lost its meaning. But in terms of goods and services, luxury is usually a product that exists in a basic form – whether it’s a watch, a car or a bar of chocolate – raised to the highest extremes of quality and refinement. We’ve all experienced the standard version, but we can appreciate and admire the ultimate expression of the same idea: the Romanée Conti or the Rolls Royce. Having said that, luxury could also mean a day at the beach or an afternoon at the movies when you should be at work. Luxury is an escape from the daily grind of reality”.
What does luxury mean in the current economic climate? “Luxury weathers recessions quite well – mainly because the super-rich always stay comparatively super-rich. The luxury industry has also proved skilled at going where the money is, switching its marketing focus to the emerging economies of Asia while Europe suffers. You may have noticed that luxury brands have changed the message of their advertising from glamour – a surfeit of celebrities with handbags – to one of authenticity and craftsmanship. Having been forced to turn themselves into fashion brands to boost their profits, they’re now trying to convince us that they’re about quality and longevity after all.”
What luxury items do you own? “Well, my JLC spectacles are genuine buffalo horn, so I suppose that counts. I’m also a great believer in buying good shoes: I have three pairs from J.M. Weston, a couple from Church and one pair from Edward Green, which appear to be indestructible. And right now I’ve got my eye on a Pierre Paulin desk from Ligne Roset. I think I deserve a nice desk.”
What luxuries can’t you do without? “I hate ironing and find it too time consuming, so I love getting my shirts pressed. I’ll also pay over the odds for a haircut. Not just for the cut, but for the cup of coffee and the good-looking staff. I go to a place called Edge near Place Madeleine here in Paris.” www.tungateinparis.comJG
20th June 2012 Our friends at Silver Lining Pictures, a boutique production company shooting in South Africa and Malta, are located in Cape Town close to the well-known optical store, The Oculus. Executive producer Renier Ridgeway – above, wearing Italian label L.G.R.’s Cape Town sunglasses (aptly named!) – arranged a shoot there, exclusively for Eyestylist, and here are the fabulous results.
Renier Ridgeway, Executive Producer: “This is a great find. As a producer I am often out on location and I wear sunglasses religiously. The collections here are well beyond the norm, and I like that they have names that I have not heard of. Our work is in advertising, both tv and stills. We represent a roster of international directors covering the spectrum from comedy to high-end beauty and more, as well as some incredible photographers – Marguerite Oelofse, Christoph Musiol, Jesse Leigh Elford, Max Mogale and Richard Keppel Smith, shooting all around the world.
Optometrist Pieter Steyn, The Oculus: “I have been wearing specs since I was 7 and I’ve always found it quite daunting that you have to compromise on your own personal aesthetic when choosing frames in a traditional eyewear store. The concept for The Oculus was born out of that need to provide a funky, relaxing, stylish, non-clinical environment to make the choice easier. I believe that your eyewear contributes more towards your personal style than any other item you own.
I love handcrafted eyewear. We stock Rolf wooden spectacles, Anne et Valentin, l.a. Eyeworks, L.G.R., Thierry Lasry, Mykita, Isson and RVS by V., one of my favourites. I am always on the look out for fresh, high-quality eyewear labels. For bespoke and couture eyewear, we have TD Tom Davies.” www.theoculus.co.zaCN
The Oculus, Showroom 4, The Hudson, Cnr of Strand & Hudson Str, De Waterkant, Cape Town, South Africa
How do you define Luxury? “Luxury is the act of feeling good about something, and whether it’s an object, a time – there can be a variety of luxuries in life – and they are all based upon really feeling good about something”.
What elements are most important when designing Luxury eyewear? “With eyewear, there’s always states of economy involved with whether you can create something or not. When building luxury eyewear, you have an open palette to paint with more colours, more exotic materials, more intricate designs, more labour and everything else. So eyewear becomes luxuruious when your palette of ingredients to design with becomes greater.”
Where do you find inspiration? “At the end of the day, eyewear is simply a product, and products are influenced by a variety of capacities. Whether it’s an heirloom piece from a chalice at a castle in Scotland, or a beautiful chair with beautiful lines, there’s a certain aesthetic. There is wrong or right to it because the public will vote and look at something and say: ‘are these lines in the right place?’ The relation of those eyes to the human eye defines the most beautiful pieces of any luxury product. For me it’s all product design and architecture, so that can be as simple as beautiful heirloom pieces from Europe that are vases, candelabras, door handles, anything that is made from a pliable object and molded, is inspiration from my viewpoint.”
Do you have any special ‘luxuries’ you cannot live without? “Well, you could live without any of them, but life without luxuries isn’t really worth living, is it? (he says with a chuckle). You know, my children are a real luxury, and I could not live without them. Everything else I feel thankful to have. I think in general luxury comes down to both quality ingredients, but also a lot of hard work. When you look at the great artists and what it took for them to make paintings, sculptures, or masterpieces of their eras, these are not things that were done in fifteen minutes or copied from anyone else. This was true artisanal craftsmanship and a dedication to an art form and a craft – with a lot of heart, time, effort and talent. When you think about eyewear design, it’s people with the extra inspiration that push all of us forward, and take this from a medical device that you wear on your face, to an art form that can be cherished from generation to generation.” www.leisure-society.com JG
15th June 2012 Metal sunglass styles are on the up and I’ve found these super ones that show how the trend just keeps on accelerating. Above, from German label ic! berlin, a style called ‘sauvage’ from their cool tres chic! collection, worn by picture editor, Maira Becke. This style is typical of this lightweight, graceful line for women designed with the collaboration of French designer Olivia Delorme. The fronts are engraved skilfully creating a special texture when you see them close-up. Every model comes with a silver neck chain in the same shape as the glasses, a touch I love!
Aviators are classic in luxury metals, but as demonstrated by this design from Finest Seven, there is scope to play on the traditional look of the frame. Here we see the fine lines of a triple bridge and triple arm in 14K gold. Part of the new collection by Finest Seven, these very luxurious sunglasses also feature UV protective Zeiss lenses. Available at www.net-a-porter.com and www.finestseven.com.
Meanwhile, some eyewear designers continue to develop clever techniques for metal work, creating mini works of art. Secret by Boz is a spectacular women’s spectacle design in stainless steel, inspired by a spider’s web and studded with Swarovski stones. Made in France by Jean-Francois Rey and his wife Joelle, BOZ frames are recognised for their creative elegance and are always intriguing. For more details go to www.boz-eyewear.fr. The BOZ label is available in the UK at Roger Pope and Partners www.rogerpope.co.ukCN
13th June 2012 A fascination for and a collector of superb couture, Daphne Guinness has assembled an amazing array of designer clothes and accessories. Some of her iconic pieces were a feature at The Museum at FIT in New York City (reviewed on Eyestylist 1st October 2011). Now in honour of her dear friend Isabella Blow, Guinness is auctioning her wardrobe to benefit the Isabella Blow Foundation. Blow was a great champion of British designers, and both women were close to the late Alexander McQueen. More than one hundred items, including designs by Chanel, Balenciaga, Prada, Dior, Alaïa, and McQueen will be auctioned on 27th June at Christie’s South Kensington in London. The sale is a rare opportunity to capture a moment of style history, and benefit Blow’s Foundation, which supports new and emerging fashion talent. www.christies.comJG
13th June 2012 The Berlin eyewear company has launched a stunning new collection featuring beautiful frame interpretations in Titanium. The frames are named after important locations that inspire the Framers craftsmen. Paris, above, is expressed in a curvaceous gold frame that combines fashion, love, femininity and a touch of the extrovert – all the qualities of the French City! Highly purified Titanium is very lightweight and allergy free. Handmade in Germany, the new collection is a welcome addition to Framers’ sleek, avant-garde acetate creations. Available in Berlin at Brillenmode am Lausitzer Platz. www.brillenmode-berlin.de More information at www.framers.deJG
11th June 2012 An exciting new collaboration teams award winning men’s wear designer Michael Bastian and legendary Randolph Engineering. Randolph is the Massachusetts based company that lists the American Military Services amongst its clientele for eyewear, and Bastian has garnered numerous citations for his innovative men’s wear.
Bastian’s eyewear collection for Randolph combines superior quality with creative aesthetics. The result: glasses with distinction and uniqueness, plus unexpected details – including beautiful mineral lenses – that ensure their statement status. Top photo: Style JD in Clear with bright chrome clip on grey lenses. www.randolphusa.comwww.michaelbastiannyc.comJG
8th June 2012 Eyewear designer Sheila Vance at SAMA Eyewear in California shares with Eyestylist her views on Luxury.
How do you define Luxury? Luxury is a state of mind, a way of seeing, understanding and interacting with the world around us. Though it may seem counterintuitive, luxury – like faith – is an incredibly egalitarian concept. As a result, we can all enjoy the luxury lifestyle! In the material realm, luxury can be distilled into equal parts quality, style and exclusivity. If a product lacks any of these elements or their presence is out of balance, then it lacks authenticity and can’t be classified as luxury. Though there are numerous designer brands masquerading as luxury brands; the sad truth is that there are fewer and fewer true luxury brands in the world with every passing year.
What elements are most important when designing Luxury eyewear? Eyewear is unique amongst fashion accessories in that it must combine the style of haute couture with the precision of a medical appliance. Merging fashion with such a high degree of functionality presents unique challenges that can only be met by a master eyewear designer.
What inspires you to create eyewear? I find inspiration everywhere: nature, art, fashion, history. I also travel frequently and find seeing new places and meeting new people incredibly inspiring. Once after returning home from a particularly breathtaking trip to Egypt, I was so inspired that I designed my ultra-luxurious Sahara collection based on the experience! I love listening to music and find that it helps put me in a creative place. My taste is eclectic and includes everything from classical and opera to contemporary electronica. I’m also inspired by fine art and love visiting museums. I’m awed by Monet’s use of colour, Picasso’s use of form and shape, and Rembrandt’s use of light. Architecture is another of my many passions.
6th June 2012 Subtly luxurious and crafted with meticulous workmanship, Tom Ford’s new, exclusive collection merges gentle retro 1950’s influences with contemporary design and technology. Finest quality gold-plated metal meets precious water buffalo horn in a frame of lasting elegance and refinement. Each frame and its leather case is presented in a beautiful Bakelite box ( a chic 1950’s touch) with a soft brown lining. With every frame is included a certificate of authenticity, and a special cleansing cream and chamois cloth to provide the correct care for the water buffalo horn. A true Renaissance man, Tom Ford knows that the highest level of design is all in the details. www.tomford.com JG
5th June 2012 Sun lenses vary in quality and it is absolutely essential to check what you are buying if you want to be sure that your eyes are getting proper UV protection. For a really exceptional lens with a good-looking, hand-finished luxury frame, these new designs from L.G.R. would take a lot of beating.
The mirrored lenses are part of L.G.R.’s Polarized Neophan series and they come in soothing shades of green, red and blue. Made of tempered mineral glass by the renowned Italian lens specialist Barberini, these photochromic lenses offer IR (infrared) and 100% UV protection, are anti-scratch and impact resistant, and have an oleo and hydrophobic protective coating (extra built-in water and oil protection). From the fashion viewpoint, the mirrored effect is very, very desirable at the moment; this interpretation is one that I like particularly as they are chic as opposed to flashy. Super, super collection for summer 2012. www.lgr-sunglasses.comCN
2nd June 2012 We continue to seek out the most elegant on-trend vintage pieces at Eyestylist.com, and with this in mind we are pleased to show this Bauhaus inspired sunglass design (below), available through Roger Pope and Partners in London, who have been involved in sourcing a selection of vintage eyewear styles for their shop in New Cavendish Street. Priced from £195, the vintage Bauhaus styles come in black, havana or miel, with a choice of lens tints, and can be fitted with personal prescriptions.
Some of the styles sourced in Paris are also now exclusively available at the Barbican shop while the Bauhaus: Art is Life exhibition is underway there. This exhibition is one of the biggest celebrations of Bauhaus in the UK for over 40 years and explores the diverse artistic production that made up its 14 year history in the aftermath of the First World War, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, theatre and other disciplines.
1st June 2012 Henrik Ørgreen is one of the most enthusiastic designers I have come across in the world of eyewear. When I first met him in 2001 – the company was just 4 years old – he was as committed as anyone could be to create something different and fresh – and definitely provocative – in eyewear design. Today, celebrating 15 years, Ørgreen Optics has become one of the leading innovators in creative spectacle and sunglass design.
“Since we started, the company has gradually grown up, matured if you like. Today, we pride ourselves on our design and the finish and quality….but we still retain our original hunger for new designs, innovation, colour concepts and colour and material combinations. We have become more professional, but we still have the edge and attitude from when we started.”
The design team today includes Henrik, Tobias Wandrup the chief designer, as well as Gregers Fastrup, sales director and joint owner, Olivia, assistant designer, and Sahra Lysell, a specialist in colour.
Asked to describe some of the traits of the S/S 12 collections Henrik explains: “This year we have focused on many details in the collections. We have new features like different hinges, and new colour, and we always like to keep ahead of the market in this area, it is definitely one of our unique characteristics. A lot of the designs are fashion focused…we are always looking at interesting ways to interpret fashion trends in titanium, which is our favourite material. Ørgreen is very good at making eyewear that is visible, and that is a strong message in the collections in this, our 15th year. Then, coming up we have a few new lines to celebrate our Anniversary, you will see we have played with new materials…and, very exciting, we have a remake of our first original sunglass.”
Is Ørgreen for all personalities? “I believe people who wear Ørgreen are well educated, they like design and colours in fashion, they will be very appreciative of the quality of the finish too. I still also believe that it depends on what the optician recommends, though; there are plenty of people who will appreciate our frames without having a great awareness of what it actually is, and the work that has gone in to it.”
Is comfort important? “I do not believe in designing a frame that does not feel comfortable and I suppose when I first started designing I was concentrating more on the frame looking good. Today comfort is an area we are always working on.
Are your Danish roots significant? “Yes of course. The Danish design tradition advocates simplicity and where we are working with technical elements our instinct is to hide it or make it invisible. This is different in other design disciplines in other countries where technical features are visible. We are very proud to be part of the Danish design tradition, and there has been a great deal of focus on Copenhagen in the last years which is fantastic. But we are also accustomed to look outside our own country and heritage, and I think this is important for the recognition of our brand beyond home. I am very influenced by industrial design trends in other countries like Italy and Japan.”
What are your favourite things about working with eyewear? “Seeing the creation of a design…this is what I live and breathe for. I am always anticipating what people will like about it. We’re doing this, at the end of the day, to make people happy.
A suggestion for buying spectacles? “Always find a frame that fits your face. So often I see people wearing frames that do not fit. So look at the frames, try them on, make sure they are not too wide or too high, and not too angled…and make sure you try different materials. Never be afraid to change and try a new direction, which is often easy, if you make sure you are with someone in the shop who can offer some good guidance and ideas of what works for you.” CN
Lighting is always the mantra for painters – as Rembrandt and Vermeer exhibited so magnificently in their tableau. Lighting is also the essence of this glamorous Limited Edition frame by Shelia Vance at Sama Eyewear in California. Created in palladium, with 14k white gold temples that are gracefully feminine, gems of Peridot and Amethyst are handset on the sides. The Magic Hour is a luxurious and sophisticated frame statement for today’s modern women. www.samaeyewear.netJG
Montblanc pens have always been my favourite writing instrument – the design, the feel, the quality. All these precious elements are found in the eyewear collection too – built on a foundation of linkage with the strong characteristics found in all Montblanc luxury products. A highlight of the eyewear collection includes this stunning metal and leather frame with flat top double detail in strips of metal and leather. The shape is a timeless silhouette, and like Montblanc pens – the frame is a treasure. www.montblanc.frwww.marcolin.comJG
Since I first saw The Leisure Society Collection, I have been a fan of Shane Baum, his elegant creations, and his dedication to excellence. The latest eyewear collection is simply gorgeous – Swanbourne in Burgundy Tortoise is meticulously crafted with an acetate front, and magnificently etched buffalo horn insets. Intricate laser etching is a feature on top of the frame. Shane Baum has one again created a frame of superior design and heirloom quality. www.leisure-society.comJG
Glam, chic and style all convene in this sleek design from Boucheron, the renowned French jewellers fabled for their amazing creations since 1858. The sunglass collection combines the artistry of old-world craftsmanship with modern techniques. Ma Jolie is feminine and elegant, with its graceful shape in luxurious black acetate, defined with delicate crystals on the temples. Definitely jewellery for the eyes!
I recently viewed the Tumi collection, and found its luxe, sporty designs very appealing. Brooklyn (above) with a dashing aviator shape is a fine example of Tumi craftsmanship. The same exacting principles that apply to the stylish luggage collection, are enacted in the eyewear. Made of stainless steel, the frame is laser engraved with the signature ‘Tumi nylon luggage pattern’. Tumi is available at leading opticians, and the shop in Paris, located at 245 rue St. Honoré. www.tumi.comwww.remeyewear.comJG
Buffalo horn is one of the traditional natural materials used in eyewear, considered luxurious, as it is both comfortable on the skin, and unique in its colorations and patterns. This example comes from the experts in horn, Hoffman Natural Eyewear, and is typical of this label’s elegant, understated luxury designs.
Created in Germany using specialised craft techniques, the collection unites three attributes which are essential for a luxury product – a high-quality, natural material; modern, clean design; and attentive finishing.
The design of frames by Hoffmann Natural Eyewear has little in common with the concept of classic horn spectacles. Although created using traditional handcrafting techniques, it reflects both the shapes and colours of modern design. Whether delicate or striking, these natural horn frames are unique. The pleasantly warm surface of natural horn frames provides the owner with a sensual frame-wearing experience. Around 40 individual steps are needed to produce these buffalo horn spectacles.
No two horns are identical, no colour or colour combination exactly the same, so each frame created is an individual, one-off piece. CN
Alluring couture styling featuring pure oval forms. Fascination by Henry Jullien, the French luxury spectacles producers, combines timeless colours and materials: gold, palladium and copper, beautifully coordinated with a palette of pearlised materials.
The luxurious Jewellery Edition is proposed in different versions, personalized according to the wishes of the customer, with any number of diamonds (from 2 right up to 28 diamonds in one frame). Frames can also be ordered featuring other precious stones. This is a true investment piece for spectacle connoisseurs and fits superbly into the current season of jewellery that is all about statement and sparkle. www.henry-jullien.comCN
This collection from the Danish eyewear company Lindberg has always been a very desirable line, merging two materials, acetate and titanium, with beautiful precision. A favourite of the Danish super model Helena Christensen (she wears Lindberg Acetanium 1139), this is a collection for those who value quality, longevity and technically precise contemporary design. Recently, the Lindberg 1000 Acetanium line is featuring new colour proposals including a choice of pretty, soft semi-transparents. Also featured are new matt finishes, a completely new addition for Lindberg that we would like to see more of; they are literally amazing! www.lindberg.comCN
I have looked at a few hundred luxury frames to get up to speed on what’s available in terms of very high level craftsmanship and quality. I was also looking out for some of the more unique proposals here. This one from Lunor jumped out at me. I love the 4Rivet detail which is functional and aesthetically interesting, and the matt black acetate, which brings this cool classic shape into the 21st century…balanced perfectly with titanium arms. This frame comes with an elegant leather case. Very distinguished and perfect as an everyday luxe style. www.lunor.deCN
Form meets function with the cutting-edge Kata M1™ technology. A magnet’s natural polarizing properties facilitate a new temple concept with patents pending worldwide. A work of technical beauty, the magnet functions as the unifying force of the frame, effortlessly working as a screwless hinge.
Kata has a long history of pushing the boundaries of technology in eyewear. Building upon its heritage of design and innovation, the M1 technology is fully functional and graceful and illustrates Kata’s guiding ideals of simplicity, innovation, responsibility and authenticity. M1.6, a classic rectangle optical shape, is crafted from handmade acetate and offered in a pleasing range of colours. www.kataeyewear.comCN
1st June 2012 Quite a few friends have been receiving this new luxe sunglasses collection in the last days, and they say it’s fabulous! Shane Baum of Leisure Society and designer Rebecca Minkoff have come up with a collaborative collection of stylish, intricately designed sunglasses. This is a top-notch, well finished line including quality UV protective lenses by Sola (CR-39), and lots of gorgeous trims. One of the styles that pops out is the feisty blue Harrison, a rectangular shape with rivet accents. For more information check www.rebeccaminkoff.comwww.baumvision.comCN
1st June 2012 A lovely friend visiting from Switzerland introduced me to this delightful Parisian boutique – it’s always fun to discover something wonderful virtually on your own doorstep! L’Artisan du Regard is located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, on a totally charming street, with the atmosphere and tempting shops of a little village. “I adore the 9th arrondissement, and la rue des Martyrs has the true spirit of the artisan,” explains optician and boutique owner Grègory Vissac, “and there are very few franchises in the street – which is more and more rare”. L’Artisan du Regard opened in 2008, and the architecture was created by Fréderi Tabary from Nantes, on the West coast of France. The environment is stylish and very personal with a warm ambience – uplifting orange, green plants – and most of all, gorgeous frames. To feel really at home, Socrate, Grègory’s four-footed friend, waits at the front door to welcome visitors.
Vissac’s philosophy is that glasses are something you carry with you and usually wear all day long, so it is important that frames permit the wearer to express their individual style. “We offer a large selection of frames with a variety of materials that are ‘avant-gardiste’. We feature Anne et Valentin, Thierry Lasry, Caroline Abram, Thierry Lasry, Masunaga, Design Natural, Paul Frank, Mikli and Starck, Pierre Eyewear, and Michel Klein. We truly want frames to be a pleasure, and for the client to really fall in love with something.”. L’Artisan du Regard, 35 rue Martyrs, 75009 Paris. www.artisanduregard.comJG