This month in Reviews, Eyestylist showcases the ultimate in Fashionista style, with ten stunning sunglass styles from independent fashion labels and leading trend-setting designers. Throughout May, we’ll be featuring superb sunglasses to enjoy wearing this summer. Discover Italian craftsmanship and innovative frames in Designer of the Month. Then see City Guides for stunning exhibition news. Summer is on the horizon, so click and stay with Eyestylist for unique eyewear and fashion trends.
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31st May 2013 Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s fabulous Safari Limited Edition awakens one’s sense of adventure! The Italian designer is inspired by the continent’s wild beauty and romantic surroundings, and the collection includes two sophisticated silhouettes in four colour combinations (above). Each frame has its own special lens adapted to light conditions that prevail throughout African voyages. Ocean (top row) highlights the glorious blues of the Indian Ocean, and the gradient lenses are made for the extreme weather conditions in the tropics. Forest is a tribute to the lush forests in central Africa, and the beautiful gradient and photochromic lenses provide maximum protection from direct sunlight.
The magical colours of Africa are further captured by LGR in Savanna, as it recalls sunsets and red shadows. The polarized neophan layer on the gradient lenses is made from rare earth elements. The fourth colour celebrates the sandy dunes of the Sahara, where light frequencies are amongst the highest on earth. These lenses are double mirrored and darken around the upper and lower area to give protection from the sun’s glaring rays.
If you love adventure – whether in Africa or other ports of call – these LGR sunglasses are dynamic and so elegant. www.lgr-sunglasses.comJG
28th May 2013Today Eyestylist launches a new series on eyewear designers and their partnership with architecture. Historical buildings, as well as new structures, frequently inspire eyewear creators. Ralph Anderl tells Eyestylist about his favourite building in Berlin.
“This is an outstanding building, (above) designed by Roger Bundschuh and Cosima von Bonin. It’s a very strong, massive, dark grey concrete structure, and was built only a few years ago, but is already a landmark building. It really inspires me when I design. Outside there may be noise, but inside, there is silence, and I can look out the windows and watch the world – it’s like an aquarium. I’m a true Berliner and I live in the building too.”
The Bundschuh and Bonin wedge-shaped building, the L40, is located in the historic Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz in Berlin. The structure is a big departure from the usual restrictive Berlin urban planning codes. The sculptural approach appeals to Anderl and is often reflected in his frames. “I love the building because it is authentic, like our frames,” says Anderl, “and we do what is real. People want what is real and we focus on handcraft. There is no artifical stuff – we deliver authenticity.” www.ic-berlin.deJG
La Maison du Chou – handmade cream puffs in St. Germain
24th May 2013 Paris is well-known for its beautiful patisseries and I have had some new experiences this week trying and viewing some particularly elegant examples at Rose Bakery, Carette and Les Deux Magots…but this new little pastry “maison” is worth a special detour. The freshly made chou puffs are filled in front of the customer with chocolate, coffee or natural cream. Owned by Emma Gilkeson, the little interior is so elegant that it has become a destination for fashionistas and pastry connoisseurs alike. 6 choux cost 10 euros; I brought mine home in their little box on the Eurostar but they disappeared on arrival!
La Maison du Chou, 7 rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris.
24th May 2013 We continue our celebration of sunglasses this month with two Lindberg designs. The company has well-deserved international recognition for their classically beautiful and distinguished creations, expertly crafted. Style 8570 (above) in translucent crystal acetate is highlighted with titanium sides. The delightful round shape, and attention to the temple detail is perfect.
Chic smoky grey acetate paired with titanium is a winning combination for this smart men’s design – style 8575 above. The streamlined rectangular shape is easy to wear, and the gorgeous smokey grey colour has a mysterious air! The styles featured here are part of Lindberg’s Luxury Sun Collection. For more details, visit www.lindberg.comJG
21st May 2013 Looking for something different this summer? Eyestylist has noticed some stunning transparent acetate designs with very special inlays inside the frame structure. From Linda Farrow and shoe and accessory designer, Charlotte Olympia in a collaborative collection, this showy piece (above) displays a tantalising coloured ostrich feather inside the clear acetate frame. It captures the mood of Olympia’s other pieces, such as her wicker bag featuring traditional wicker work mounted in transparent perspex. The sunglasses come in four delicate colours, including the peach/champagne version pictured above. www.lindafarrow.com
At Heidi London, real petals are the pretty choice of decorative inlay, adding a super feminine yet playful signature detail in a line that includes classic cat eyes and oversized circular shapes. Heidi Chan’s Sunglasses are available at some of the very finest fashion and online stores including Wolf & Badger (London) Henri Bendel (NYC), www.shopbop.com and, from this month, www.saksfifthavenue.com. www.heidilondon.com CN
17th May 2013 The very pale pinks have to be one of the most tempting choices for summer. We saw two of these three alluring styles at the last eyewear exhibition in Milan, as well as a variety of other soft pastel tones; as part of an outfit, these pretty shades will mix just as well with muted neutrals or a splash of bold colour. Bocca 2 from Face à Face (above) combines delicate rose pink with white arms designed as ‘legs’ wearing matching pink heels…decadent and chic, it’s a cat eye of the highest order that will provide lasting enjoyment. www.faceaface-paris.com
From Sydney’s Sunday Somewhere, a label that will be just two years old in August, comes the Chely, a generously proportioned design that has made it from Oz to my desk this week. It’s a headturner with its clean, sturdy design and very shiny translucent finish. I like the attention to detail – pretty resin-coated Italian gradient lenses, engraved with the Sunday Somewhere “SS” offer safe UV protection, even under the Australian rays. www.sundaysomewhere.com
Another Day by Austria’s Andy Wolf is a super, round handmade shape that has bright flashy mirrored lenses coordinating with the pastel colour of the frame. It’s another example of the label’s dedication to high-spirited fashion and it’s one for those with a series of chic summer parties and music festivals booked into their diaries. www.andy-wolf.atCN
15th May 2013 For a taste of the Mediterranean and in readiness for Summer, head to the prestigious jewellery store Kirsten Goss London on Holland Street. The shop is hosting a special, one-month-long pop-up for the Rome-based independent sunglasses label Mondelliani, who produce elegant sunglasses in exceptional Italian acetate. Bright, bold and beautifully crafted exclusively in Italy, the collection is inspired by the unique and joyful colours and moods of the Mediterranean and the Aeolian Islands near Sicily. Each model is fitted with quality Zeiss lenses with elegant tints that match or contast with the colours of each design.
14th May 2013Sunglass variations abound this season – and here we feature two designs that you can shop for immediately online via Eyestylist…click onBOUTIQUES to place your order!
British brand Fan Optics launched last year, and their frames take inspiration from old English regional names. Ailen, meaning made of oak, is luxuriously fabricated in amber toned acetate (above, Ailen in tortoiseshell). Handmade crafting ensures fine detailing and superb quality. www.fanoptics.co.uk
Christian Roth captures the spirit of summer, the luxurious mood of The Hamptons, and the feel of “The Great Gatsby” with Peace and Love (above). The pearl acetate frame is highlighted with a sunny yellow trim on the lenses – both front and inside – and a whimsical touch of green and yellow on the end tips. Cool and refreshing! www.christian-roth.com
13th May 2013French eyewear creator Anne Valentin’s two boutiques resemble stunning art galleries. The frames are displayed as works of art, which they are! The Toulouse based designer discusses with Eyestylist her shops in Paris and New York.
When did the Paris shop open? and New York City? “We opened the boutique in Paris…I think about 2001. In New York, we finished the shop just before the last MIDO. It is very beautiful and we are delighted with the result.” (above)
Both Paris and New York are frequent travel destinations for visitors and professionals worldwide. Did this influence your choice of location? “Why New York? Because everybody comes to this city. It is very interesting to come and confront the diversity that makes up the population. You know, for the entire world, this city in the US is a reference. It is full of contradictions and full of possibilities.Like all the French, I love to wander in Soho in New York; it’s not very original I concede, but good! And the area always provides many surprises; with its organisation, but a neighbourhood where you can still find surprises. Also, it is charming, and then there are trees, flowers and birds – life is very bohéme.Our commercial proposition is a true proposition; it has a root identity, value and commitment. We are, in this way, a beautiful surprise for everyone, tourists or not. Our clientele is educated, curious, cultivated and sensible, whatever country they come from.”
Does Anne et Valentin have any plans to open additional stores in different countries? “Maybe……one day…..”
Any additional comments you would like to add? “I want to thank you for this interview, and I hope that our efforts for creating refined, fresh and thoughtful designs for life, permit our dear clients and opticians to have has much pleasure as we have in making them.” Anne et Valentin 4, rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie 75004 Paris and 2 Prince Street New York, 10012 www.anneetvalentin.comJG
10th May 2013 This label knows how to do things differently. Proof comes in this one-of-a-kind sunglass style, ‘Inbox’, designed in tortoise – and a gorgeous ivory – with smart silver (or gold) flash lenses -four to be precise. The illusion of a 1950s frame built into a much larger pair of lenses is unusual, quirky and, in our minds, an admirable achievement. The styles are designed in New York and made in Italy in small quantities; they are available worldwide from the Grey Ant online store. Overall, the collection offers a new take on tradition, with the additional promise of quality in the design and making; take a closer look at www.greyant.com and see their celebrity favourite, The Foundry, featured here: http://www.eyestylist.com/2012/05/my-favourite-sunglasses-5/ Now available in London at Liberty’s. CN
7th May 2013Harmony, beauty and style are the foundation of the superbly elegant fashion and eyewear designs from Vera Wang. She has an innate feeling for movement in beautiful fabrics, and in the fine crafting of eyewear materials. Two designs are particularly luxurious – Meila (above) in Italian acetate and stainless steel. The voluminous shape is highlighted with a metal clip above the nose bridge.
Another of our favourites is Aldora – a refined, sleek design in crystal acetate. Crystal against the dark lenses has an aura of mystery and surprise – a definitive diva design! www.kenmarkoptical.comJG
1st May 2013 If you appreciate emerging independent labels and new designers, Wolf & Badger is a world you should walk into. I have known the Notting Hill store for some time, but I recently visited the new location in Dover Street, on recommendation from our friends at Heidi London, the British based sunglasses label. Opened in 2012, the store showcases some remarkable jewellery labels, fashion collections, and a few select homeware pieces, in a refined setting that is chic but not formal. “We have the best of each designer that we profile, with up to 20 pieces per label. We are always on the look out for the next big thing; our selection of men’s labels is growing following our successes in unique womenswear,” explained Constanza Di Gennaro when she showed me around.
Heidi Chan’s sunglasses have been available in Wolf & Badger since she first launched in 2011, and the Dover Street store is currently showcasing her floral line where delicate petals are embedded in transparent acetate. “I fell in love with Wolf & Badger when I first visited the Notting Hill store. It’s like a gallery full of wonderful treasures..modern, unique, fun, and the people there are very friendly, they love what they do too. I can spend hours there with the beautiful designs on the shopfloor.”
A focus on Fashionista Eye Candy for this May edition? My first thought was of Anna-Karin Karlsson and the delightful styles such as ‘Coco and the Row’ or ‘Black Horse’ which express a whole new inimitable language in creative sunglass design. And then we found another nine designs that sum up the mood this Summer for those who want creative design and beautifully made shades…from cateyes to aviators, pastels to neons, this is eye candy that we take our Eyestylist hats off to!
Eyestylist has always been a big fan of ‘Alice Goes to Cannes’ by Anna-Karin Karlsson, (see the first of these here: http://www.eyestylist.com/2011/05/introducing-anna-karin-karlsson/) and this, the latest version, (above) has to be a winner for the summer ahead. Produced in pink with gold glitter, this little bombshell fits perfectly with the sweet pastel trend whilst having a bold blocked shocking pink on the inside for that extra little something. Ms Karlsson’s powerful collection for this year continues to thrill the fashion world around the globe. It’s an exciting story that is still unfolding. www.annakarinkarlsson.comCN
This acetate design by Finest Seven for the label Felder Felder comes in four very covetable fashion shades for S/S. The Felder Felder label is headed by identical twin sisters Annette and Daniela Felder, and they have an established cult following. The UK’s Finest Seven label, headed by designer Jesse Steven’s has collaborated with the sisters to create a unique, edgy shape featuring a single 14ct gold stud on each temple, that is closely linked to the designers’ S/S collection; each style is made to order, in keeping with Finest Seven’s mission for very high-level quality and precise hand finishing. Offered in a choice of bright blue, pastel pink, pale green, navy and a limited edition broken butterfly wing print. Prices from £850.00. CN
From designer Moo Piyasombatkul in Thailand, a style from the fashion collection for Spring/Summer, Candy Baroque. The design uses a vintage frame with the addition of Moo’s custom-made baroque porcelain detailing. The gradient brown lenses have been chosen to match the vintage frame for a tone-on-tone effect. Piyasombatkul is a well known face at London and Paris fashion weeks and her frames are adored by some very select fashion circles. Find a wide choice of Moo’s styles at the savvy online store www.sunglasscurator.com, which specialises in fashion collections and leading creative designers, including Linda Farrow, Moo Eyewear and a-morir. For more on ‘Candy Eyes’ click on our link: http://www.eyestylist.com/2013/03/candy-baroque/
Cat eyes are still a leading shape in sunwear and this slim and very pretty one catches my imagination, with its special silver-coloured stud work on a thick curved scalloped ridge. This is a piece by Linda Farrow for Agent Provocateur, London’s luxury lingerie emporium.
The frame comes in 6 colours of which three are brights, such as the matt pink pictured here and two are pastels (dark blush or champagne with gold); there is also a more restrained black for a different style of event or a nice trans-seasonal choice. Available online at www.lindafarrow.comCN
Kerin Rose has become one very busy New York designer and her online store is a world of excitement and beauty! I like the neat eye shape and catty elegance of Mitchell, with its joyful orange neon pearls and Swarovski crystal cup chain embellishment. This, like the others by a-morir is a made-to-order piece….from around $350. The chic styling is also available in two other shapes, Redding and Hendrix, with yellow or pink neon trims. All three are investment pieces to delight the eyes and particularly those of the beholder – wild but totally wearable. More please Ms. Rose!
First released in 1972, Colt is a reedition of an Oliver Goldsmith aviator style in metal – it is one of just two metal designs being relaunched by the OG team, and it has all the ingredients of one of those design classics, including the original OG buttons on the temple tips. This is no ordinary aviator. It is a prestigious design with all the quality traits of the acetates by Oliver Goldsmith that designer Claire Goldsmith so beautifully reinterprets and brings into a new era. A fashion crowd pleaser, for sure! www.olivergoldsmith.comCN
True Parisian chic! This is a new line that really does offer some exciting colour and unusual shapes and details. As well as classic monochromes, I love the acidic brights in this 60s inspired collection in which designer Alain Mikli has played a role. This style combines a lovely retro canary yellow, paired with bright white, with a super curvaceous shape. The Courrèges revival is not just in eyewear; on this website you will find a variety of luxe items including perfumes and a wonderful metal-covered limited edition monograph by Erik Orsenna. www.courreges.comCN
Our choice of fashionista styles would not be complete without a bold Lasry statement design such as Milfy in tortoise. I saw some of Lasry’s styles recently in Dover Street Market and was reminded of the silky finish of the acetate used and the fact that the designer loves bold statement colour, but also makes some very classy more understated colour combinations that have lasting appeal. A label that’s adored by the glitterati and that sticks by the tradition and quality in designer eyewear. www.thierrylasry.comCN
Classic shaping with the decorative touch of lace inlayed in the arms, model Safira from the Vera Wang collection is one sunglass style that is now on my wish list. The on-trend design has a subtle affinity with the bridalwear designer’s design aesthetic and expertise in working with luxury fabrics. The black version is perfect and a good investment if you want something for all seasons, while the Safira in Umber has a very flattering pairing of cream lace and tortoise and would make a lovely choice for a special occasion such as a summer wedding. To see the complete Vera Wang Salon collection, visit www.kenmarkoptical.comwww.verawang.comCN
From Swedish Lapland and E&E glasses comes this super hot oversized cateye that is described as a unisex piece. The chunky flat front ensures full coverage of the eyes and a nice edginess that defines the sunglass styles in this collection. Headed by Emilia Lindmark and a young energetic design team, this label names its styles after landmarks in its native Swedish homeland and is inspired by the natural colours of the local terrain and spectacular icy landscapes. There’s a new website where the frames can now be purchased directly: www.eoe-glasses.comCN
1st May 2013 On several occasions, I’ve been fortunate to have long chats with Italian designer Oliviero Zanon, who is an engaging conversationalist. He’s well versed on many subjects, and of course, one of his favourite topics is Res/Rei, the specialist eyewear design company he co-founded in 2011. Zanon shares with Eyestylist the background that led to the creation of Res/Rei.
“I went to university in London at Central Saint Martin College of Art and Design. I did a Foundation degree in Art and Design, and then a Products Design degree, graduating with first class honours. Central Saint Martin, in many ways, is different from any other University out there. Its uniqueness is in the “hands on” approach with things. The students are asked to do the whole design process, from research/idea to prototyping/manufacturing implementation. Getting your hands dirty building things in the workshop is an inspiring experience. After university, I started working as an industrial designer in London where I lived until 2010. I worked for IDEO London and Munich, an American consultancy that focus on Human Centered Design. This was a meaningful experience.”
“My encounter with the optic business was definitely by chance. The reason that led to the creation of Res/Rei is the will to work at close contact with artisans and producers. At one point in my design career, I was consulting mainly with blue chip clients, huge companies with thousands of employees. I couldn’t relate any more to the design process; it was too impersonal. I wanted a more human experience, and making frames was the answer. In this business you can control the whole process and interact with all the people involved – from manufacturers to final clients. It’s work but it feels like family…we are making so many new friends during our journey, and it is quite amazing.”
Res/Rei started in 2011 – in the midst of economic uncertainty. Did the economy ever make you “think twice” before starting the company? “Of course, the current economic crisis makes things more difficult, but it also creates opportunities, especially for new companies like ourselves. I know, this sounds like a cliché, but it is actually quite true. We are building our brand around firm ethical principles – like the sustainability of the manufacturing. Hopefully, most of our customers share the same vision with us. This gives us the opportunity to build a long lasting relationship with them.”
What inspires your designs? “Part of the inspiration comes from talking to other people that have meaningful experiences to share, mostly outside the optics business. Speaking of which, I’ve just spent a very inspiring day at the Milan Furniture Fair.”
Do you have a “profile” of a particular customer when you design? “Not really. We are not interested in following the stream. We are slowly building our unique identity. Of course, it takes time and you need to do lots of design interaction to become proficient as a brand, but eventually we will get there. It’s a different story with colours and shapes. On this matter,there is a clear distinction between men and women.”
Res/Rei is creating frames in acetate, metal/acetate and titanium – are there any other materials you would like to use? “Right now, we are experimenting with a new material nobody has used so far. But I can’t tell more about this – it’s top secret!” Photo of Oliviero Zanon exclusively forEyestylist.com by Gilles Stüssi www.resrei.comJG
1st May 2013 These delightful girls are fashion savvy – and protecting their young eyes wearing Zoobug sunglasses. Created by eye surgeon Dr. Julie Le, the Zoobug sun range features beautiful eyewear for youngsters with fine crafting and marvellous colours. Above, on the left, style ZB in Fluo-Pink is lively and bright for summer days. On the right, this young miss wears the enchanting Daisy – in Pink-Pearl.
The Zoobug Daisy has an exciting history – this original flower-shape frame was created in 2006, and won a Silmo d’Or accolade in 2008. The design is a Zoobug classic in their trend-setting collections, and is now available in lovely pastel tones…so get ready, get set and get summer! www.zoobug.comJG
1st May 2013The interest in what royalty wears is not a new phenomenon. In the 16th and 17th centuries, monarchs and their court were admired for their fashion sense and innovative style. For the Tudor and Stuart elite, luxurious clothing was an essential component of court life. Now this intriguing world can be explored in a stunningly curated exhibition – In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion – at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London. Garments and accessories – and the way in which they were worn – conveyed important messages about wealth, gender, age, social position, marital status and religion. The exhibition traces changing tastes in fashionable attire and the spread of fashion through the royal courts of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Exquisite portraits, drawings and prints from the Royal Collection are on display, along with rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories, that illustrates the style of the rich and famous of the Tudor and Stuart periods. In the portraits, high maintenance and impractical clothing provided a clear message to the viewer that the subject of the portrait enjoyed a privileged lifestyle, and had plenty of spare time to devote to the pursuit of fashion and the lengthy process of dressing. The portrait above – by William Scrots of Elizabeth First when a princess (c1548) shows her wearing one of the most striking, yet invisible elements of Tudor fashionable dress – a hooped underskirt known as the ‘farthingale’, which created a distinctive conical shape.
Male fashions are on display too, and matched those of women in the luxuriousness of materials and complexity of design, and elements of masculine dress were adopted by women as well. Fashion accessories of the Tudor and Stuart period ranged from the quirky – a purse in the shape of a frog – to the ostentatious. Among the most important jewels were pearls, and the amazing ‘La Peregrina’ (The Wanderer) pearl, weighing 58.5 carats, the largest pearl in existence at the time of its discovery, was presented to Mary 1 by Philip 11 of Spain as a betrothal gift. In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion is an enchanting voyage of both history and fashion. Opening on 10 May 2013 until 6 October 2013 at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Tickets and visitor information: www.royalcollection.org.ukJG