April in Bloom….

and blossoming with innovative sunglasses and spectacles – see REVIEWS for stylish eyewear to enhance spring fashions. Designer of the Month features an Italian design duo, and there is a must-see BOUTIQUE in Madrid. Italian fashion heritage highlights a beautiful exhibition in London – click on CITY GUIDES. Remember to sign up for Eyestylist Exclusives – our newsletter with special frame and accessory trends to keep you aware of international style setters. It’s all on Eyestylist – www.eyestylist.com

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Adrian Marwitz

German Heritage with New Vision

29th April 2014 Adrian Marwitz continues a family history that has been synonymous with German eyewear since 1918. The brand was created by Marwitz’s grandfather, and Adrian is delighted and excited to guide the brand into the new millennium, with his passionate belief that eyewear is the ultimate fashion accessory. Marwitz frames are streamlined and sleek, uncluttered and pure, and feature first-class manufacturing processes – everything is handcrafted in Germany.

Urban Strange No. 3 in dark blue by Adrian Marwitz
Urban Stranger No. 3 in dark blue by Adrian Marwitz

Urban Strangers is the latest collection – titanium frames in contemporary shapes with modern, high-tech features. Beautiful colourations are contrasted with ultra-thin stripes on the hinges and inner frame of the designs. Understated elegance with graceful distinction.Top photo: Urban Stranger No. 6 in Bronze www.adrianmarwitz.com JG

#Celebration – one of a kind eyewear

Cesare Cunaccia Eyewear at Boudoir, Venice

25th April 2014 Cesare Cunaccia is a true 21st century Renaissance Man. He is editor-at-large for Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue, plus an expert in fashion, costume, art and design. Cunaccia’s latest achievement is a collaboration with Boudoir, the elegant eyewear gallery in Venice owned by Alessandro De Lorenzo (above) for whom Cesare has created exclusive designs, handcrafted in luxurious Water Buffalo horn. The eco-friendly horn is recommended for people with metal allergies, as it is totally natural. The contemporary shape of the frames re-enforces the distinctive beauty of genuine Buffalo horn. The designs are little masterpieces of Italian craftsmanship.

 

Elegance and Excellence in Buffalo Horn by Cesare Cunaccia
Elegance and Excellence in Buffalo Horn by Cesare Cunaccia

Each frame is packaged in its own case made of precious wood, personally selected by Cunaccia, with a cream made from beeswax and coconut oil, to polish and nourish the frame. Cunaccia suggests heating a small amount of the cream, apply it to the frame, rub gently into the frame (but not the lenses) and then wipe dry with a special cloth that is also included. Excellence, beauty and originality! Available at Boudoir in Venice.www.celebration.me.it www.boudoir.venice.it JG

Photo of Alessandro de Lorenzo exclusively for Eyestylist by Luca Santocono. All rights reserved.

Nature’s Best

Naturally Beautiful

22nd April 2014  Natural materials are a favourite with eyewear designers — all eco-friendly of course! Rolf Spectacles in the Austrian Alps – always working respectfully with nature – has garnered another prestigious award for an outstanding frame design. The Red Dot Design Award was presented to Rolf for elegant Arabella 71, from the Rolf Advanced Collection, which is handcrafted in luxurious horn and wood. A classic shape and superb details further highlight the intense character of the design. www.rolf-spectacles.com

Tripoli - Special Edition in Snakeskin by LGR
Tripoli – Special Edition in Snakeskin by LGR

Italian designer Luca Gnecchi Ruscone has launched a Special Edition frame in snakeskin, adapted to LGR’s handsome Tripoli sunglasses. The bold, voluminous contours of Tripoli are assuredly smart in black snakeskin (above), and the frame is also available in grey and brown snakeskin. Very distinguished! www.lgr-sunglasses.com JG

Keep it personal

Bushakan, San Francisco

18th April 2014 As well as the ongoing trend in personalising eyewear – we have spotted some beautiful personalised accessories including these by Bushakan – makers of sustainable storage for eyewear, phones and iPads. The label, which is based in San Francisco, produces solid walnut or maple three and five piece eyewear stands, iPhone and iPad docks which can be engraved with a logo, name or initials. Each design starts as a solid piece of wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests, and in the final stages, finished by hand. (Above: Bushakan 5 pocket storage, below, 3 pocket design).

Bushakan's 3 pocket storage in maple
Bushakan 3 pocket storage in maple
Bushakan dock
Bushakan dock in walnut for phone and glasses

This unique US label sells online and directly to optical shops; since we spoke to them last, the owners say they are stocking stores from Australia to Iceland. www.bushakan.com. For our introduction to the label: http://www.eyestylist.com/2013/06/one-to-watch/ CN

Multicolour Magic

Burst into Colour!

15th April 2014 Colour and more colour is the fashion password this season. Australian designer Jono Hennessy has launched a frame collection of festive colourations in silk fabrics sourced from Down Under. The result is style 6320 (above) that is available in a wide range of lively, diverse tones. A chic little cat-eye shape highlights the beautifully vibrant colours. www.jonohennessy.com

Vibrant Colours by Benedetta Bruzziches
Colour Magic by Benedetta Bruzziches

 

Accessory designer Benedetta Bruzziches says: “I believe in energy and colours.” She also loves to experiment, and the gorgeous Carmen Harlequin bag in a riot of quilted coloured leather is a testimony to her beliefs. The bags are all handcrafted in Italy. www.benedettabruzziches.com JG

OP LA / Open Pop collection

Anne & Valentin

11th April 2014 Anne & Valentin has us marvelling again at the delectable details of Open Pop, a new collection with a gorgeous colour concept that plays with transparency and retro colour ‘pops’. Inspired by Lichtenstein, William Klein’s visions of pop culture and the geometries of the 60s, the Open Pop concept is light, airy and excitingly sassy.

Model ‘Op La’ is one of several shapes in the line – oversize and boldly geometric, with graphic lines and a striped resin inlay that gives a couture definition to this statement eyewear. The temples have been cut to go from bold and thick to delicate and thin, creating a floating effect when on the face.

OPLA 1424

Choose the Op La in spectacular colours – a classic darker tone such as tortoise and black (top) for Audrey Hepburn glamour or an explosive pastel combo with chic green almond (above) for 60s divas. www.anneetvalentin.com CN

Blue Beauties

Vibrant Colour in Statement Eyewear

7th April 2014 Brilliant shades of blue are a highlight in many collections this season – stunning, rich tones in exciting variations. The intensity of the colour is a nod to the famous deep blue hue created in 1961 by French artist Yves Klein, with input from a chemist – a colour that Klein often used in his paintings. International designers offer delightful interpretations – here are Four Beautiful Blues!

Theo in Belgium (above) sculpts an asymmetrical shape with their eye-witness UC titanium frame in blue teamed with black. The laser-cut titanium pieces are welded together though a different laser process – and the result  is precision craftsmanship! www.theo.be

Glamorous Blue by Mondellaini
Glamorous Blue by Mondelliani

Italian brand Mondelliani’s lustrous two-tone acetate – Salina – features superb volume styling, and hints of retro with the exaggerated brow shaping. Very glamorous! www.mondelliani.it

8321 JH
Translucent Blue by Jono Hennessy

 

Down Under in Australia, Jono Hennessy admits “we love blue” and created an optical frame in bright blue acetate, with a lovely slim line cat eye shape. With its glossy translucence, style 8321, has soft shine and luminosity. www.jonohennessy.com

fafbluealiumair2
Bold Blue by Face à Face Paris

Bright, bold and beautiful! Light and airy aluminium – Aliumair 2 – by Face à Face Paris – features a dash of sunny yellow on the inner temples. www.faceaface-paris.com JG

Futura – Trendsetting Sunglasses by Silhouette

Third Generation Frame with Timeless Style

4th April 2014 Certain designs are timeless – indeed, they improve with age. Silhouette’s FUTURA is an iconic frame that transcends the years. Futura was introduced in 1974 (above); then there was a retake on the cult frame in 2004. The latest reinterpretation is the Futura 2014 to coincide with Silhouette’s 50th Anniversary.

 

Futura - Lightweight marvels to celebrate Silhouette's 50th Anniversary
Futura – Lightweight marvels to celebrate Silhouette’s 50th Anniversary

“Thanks to Silhouette’s special material technology, the new Futura moulds itself completely to the head, appearing to almost hover on the face,” said designer Gerhard Fuchs. The exceptionally stunning frame is available in three energizing colours: a black temple and silver mirrored lenses; a white temple with bonze-colour mirrored lenses; and sunny yellow with black lenses.

Last evening in London, Matches – the ultra chic fashion and accessory store – celebrated Silhouette’s landmark occasion and the Futura Anniversary Collection with a private preview. The gala event was held in a beautiful townhouse – 23 Welbeck Street –  owned by the founders of Matches. Tali Lennox, who appears in Silhouette’s Futura campaign, was at the event, and chatted with guests and press. For minimalistic and trendsetter coolness, Futura is the ultimate accessory for summer fashion. www.silhouette.com Futura can be ordered online at www.matchesfashion.com JG

Kitty

Götti Switzerland

Translucent sea-inspired turquoise acetate is fashioned into stunning sunglasses by Götti Switzerland. The oversized glamorous shape is ultra light, and features Götti’s inventive 360° Spin&Stow temples. Kitty is also available in other delicious colourations for spring and summer  – sunny orange, ripe plum and coffee cream. To view more trendsetting Götti sunglasses click on www.gotti.ch JG

9701

Lindberg Strip Range

Lindberg elements of comfort, lightness, and ease of adjustment, now include yet another beautiful visual dimension. 9701 (above) and each frame in the Strip Range series, features lenses that are surrounded by a special acetate inner rim, mounted within the titanium plate of the frame. This provides a subtle interplay between the colours and textures of the inner rim and the outer frame. The lenses seem almost to float within the frame. There are lovely colour choices, that include the soft blush above, and vibrant tones are also available. For more news on modern mainstream eyewear by Lindberg, visit www.lindberg.com. JG

Audrey

Fan Optics

Fan Optics is an inspirational British brand specialising in beautiful eyewear – creations of style and craftsmanship. “Self Portrait” is their new collection that combines French flare and vibrant colours. Audrey – which means “Noble Strength” –  is a dashing design with a vintage inspired  shape. The silky radiant red Italian acetate will add a luminous glow to spring and summer fashions. All Fan Optics frames are elegantly handcrafted in England. www.fanoptics.co.uk JG

Bocca Sexy

Face à Face Paris

The Bocca series designed by Pascal Jaulent at Face à Face is a favourite with Eyestylist – we love the style, the humour and the creativity. Bocca Sexy is the latest adaptation of this super shape, crafted in hounds tooth acetate. The sculptured slinky temples are lithe, and yes, sexy! In addition to the duo-tone textured design, Bocca Sexy is available in ravishing red, and black and blush. www.faceaface-paris.com JG

 

06 Plum

Finest Seven

Luscious plum tones abound in collections this season – they are rich, luminous and flattering to wear. London brand Finest Seven features stunning sunglasses – style 06 Plum – with voluminous, slightly angled shaping, and a slick keyhole bridge. High quality acetate glistens beautifully and coordinates stylishly with spring and summer clothing colourations. www.finestseven.com JG

L’Atelier Óptica

A new destination for unique eyewear, in Madrid

1st April 2014 Francisco Avilés and Thomas Denizot’s boutique-style shop L’Atelier Óptica is the kind of place that Madrid excels at: a stylish retail space inside a charming old building in one of the city “barrios” or quarters – Barrio de las Letras – well-known for its art galleries and antique shops.

Natural brick walls, cement flooring and neutral colours are complimented by plants, mirrors and bright hanging lights in a fashionable, serene arrangement that the Spanish do so effortlessly. Perfectly coordinated design features include accessories, lighting and furniture by Vitra, Flos, String, Habitat and Norman Copenhagen. Also featured are works by Eames, Konstantin Gcic and Egon Eiermann.

Opened just 4 months ago, the shop highlights fine independent labels including Mykita, Massada, Vue DC and some Eyestylist favourites: British labels, Fan Optics and Claire Goldsmith and from Portugal, Paulino Spectacles.

“Our concept is to combine the experience of choosing a pair of glasses with being in an art space,” explains Avilés, an optometrist and teacher of Contact Lenses and Optometry at the European University of Madrid. “We are really happy with the way it is going here we love that we have been able to bring a new optical concept to the artistic neighbourhood of the city.”

1w
Sala 1

L’Atelier Óptica, C/Moratin 18, Barrio de las Letras, 28014 Madrid. www.latelieroptica.com

 

 

Hapter

1st April 2014 Hapter was created in the Italian Dolomite Mountains in January 2013 by founders Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti, when they launched the txt1001 collection, featuring a trademark tactile expressiveness obtained by a special fusion of surgical steel to high-end textiles. Balzan and Forti share with  Eyestylist how they created and are developing their business.

Before the discovery of the amazing goggles, in what profession were you working? “Mirko brings on board several years of solid experience designing for some of the big players in the eyewear business. Trained as an Industrial Designer, he is in charge of product development, and is the technical side of Hapter,” says Eric.

The goggles that inspired  international award-winning eyewear - HAPTER
The goggles that inspired international award-winning eyewear – HAPTER

“I am more a hybrid profile matching creativity and business experience, with solid brand and product management experience gathered in a variety of fashion companies, primarily in the eyewear business, but also in apparel and more recently in the watches and jewellery segment. Hapter represents the overlapping zone of different experiences, cultures and personalities of Mirko and I. And the ambition is really to lay the foundations of an eyewear project based on creativity and debate between opposite elements, like Mirko and I. In 2009 the discovery of the heirloom glasses, and the three years that followed have been chaotic, with an uncertain period of dreams, hopes, tries, failures, excitement, and we invested all our savings to create our own independent enterprise.”

M01M  by HAPTER txt1001
M01M by HAPTER txt1001

Please tell us about your background and love of mountain climbing?

“Mirko and I met at college, but it was about ten years ago that we started to develop a friendship based on important common interests, mainly in design, eyewear and the mountains. We are expert all-rounders – from ski mountaineering to snowboard to rock and mountain climbing. We assiduously spend our free time wandering on Dolomite Mountains that surround us. We initially treated them as a playground; through maturity we evolved to see the mountains as a mystic place, and a source of experience and inspiration which deserves respect. The mountains are an important element of our culture; therefore, of our project. Besides the lucky retrieval of the military goggles, out minds are soaked with cultural and visual inspiration that comes from the mountains, and this is what we transfer into our project….and in fact….the elements in our project are:

Brand: We chose the name Hapter by the concept of ‘Haptic Perception’ which is the process of recognizing objects through touch: hands are still the most important body-part to survive in the mountains, and observing the strong hands of mountain people is an experience in itself. Design: The Dolomite region, in the far north of Italy, is an historic military battle front, but this for us also represents a land of integration between varied and symbiotic cultures. In Hapter, we combine the rigorous structural concept derived from a Nordic engineering background, and the artisanal know-how and flair of Mediterranean expressiveness.

Tradition: Hapter offers the exclusivity of a multi-prized object, nevertheless it carries the tradition of a luxury product, thanks to a contemporary reinterpretation of unique local materials with history. Style: Mountain people are no-frills and straight to the point – ‘repulsion for excess’ guides all our design, creative and stylistic choices; the fabrics used in collection txt1001, though artisanal and precious, were developed by an Italian expert in artisan fabrics. They have a light weave and sober, natural shades. Visual Inspirations: We transfer a specific mood, that is typical of the mountain environment: wind, cold, solitude, sufferance, effort, survival are our topics that we transfer to the collection.”

MG01 Replica of the heirloom Military Goggles
MG01 Replica of the heirloom Military Goggles

What is the profile of the Hapter customer?

“People that take things a bit more seriously than they should…this is how we are, and how we think our customers could be. People that, no matter what their social environment is, look for solitude and intimate realization in their fast lives. People sensitive to beauty with a consolidated experience of critical consumption, looking for an intimate experience in what they buy. Most of the numerous spontaneous contacts and requests for information in the market comes from artists, fashion and product designers, architects or similar professions. And we think a good number of them fall under the above description.” www.hapter.it JG

Photos: Top photo of Mirko Forti and Eric Balzan, and image of the heirloom goggles by Luca Santocono exclusively for Eyestylist.

Trend watch: Shades of the sea

1st April 2014 Accessories across the spectrum from shoes, to bags to sunglasses reflect fashion’s love affair with ocean hues, from pastel acquas to bright teal or deep turquoise, in blocked colour or intricately patterned or textured with delicate detail. Eyestylist.com has picked some personal highlights….

1. Adriana from the Lace Collection by Sama Eyewear, www.samaeyewear.net 2. Ankle boots by Eva Turner, www.premiata.it  3. Luxury scarf design ‘Mystical Eye’ by Age Of Reason, from £210, online at www.age-of-reason-studios.com 4. Acqua 2 by Face à Face , www.faceaface-paris.com 5. Shoes by United Nude, £180, www.unitednude.com 6. Vittoria Bag by Si-V / Sivan Shraga www.si-v.com 7. Handmade Veda sunglasses by Larke Optics in London, £295, online from www.larkeoptics.com. CN

 

 

Italian Glamour and Style

Fashion Retrospective at V&A

1st April 2014  Fashion from the post-war 1940’s period to the current day are highlighted in The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Sponsored by Bulgari, fabulous heritage jewels once owned by Elizabeth Taylor are also on display. Creations from designers synonymous with Italian artisanal tradition include Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Missoni, Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, Mila Schön, Simonetta, Prada, Pucci, and Dolce & Gabbana among others.

Fashion Show in Sala Bianca 1955
Fashion Show in Sala Bianca 1955

The exhibition traces Italy’s rich and influential contribution to fashion – a contribution that extended around the world, and particularly influenced film stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, who became style ambassadors for luxurious Italian clothing. The Glamour of Italian Fashion focuses on the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise for which Italy has become renowned. The country’s status as manufacturer and exporter of stylish and well-made fashion and textiles is linked to the strength of its traditional industries including spinning, dyeing, weaving, cutting and stitching; some of these traditions have been practised in regions around Italy for hundreds of years.

Gianfranco Ferre advert, Model Aly Dunne Fall/Winter 1991
Gianfranco Ferre advert, Model Aly Dunne Fall Winter/1991

The show is beautifully curated by Sonnet Stanfill, who researched Italian archives, and worked closely with Bulgari to select the unique and extraordinary jewels on display. The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 is a delightful celebration of Italian fashion and style. Victoria & Albert Museum – 5 April until 27 July 2014. www.vam.ac.uk JG

Photos: Top image: Valentino posing with models nearby Trevi Fountain Rome July 1967 Courtesy of the Art Archive/Mondadori Portfolio/Marisa Rastellini  Ballroom image: Fashion Show in Sala Bianca 1955 Photo by G.M.Fadigati Giorgini Archive Florence Gianfranco Ferre photo by Gian Paolo Barbieri copyright:GIANPAOLOBARBIERI