Themes and Variations…

Invigorating eyewear by creative independent designers brings excitement and variety to frames. At Eyestylist we are champions of independent creators – so watch and keep current throughout the month – for sunglasses and optical designs that are outstanding and unique. Click on all our sections – Reviews, Boutiques, Designer of the Month and City Guides – and discover an innovative world of eyewear and style!

This site is legally privileged, controlled and operated by Eyestylist.com. Material on this website may not be communicated in any way whatsoever, without the prior written authorisation of Eyestylist.com

Hall of Frames/Eyestylist Newcomer Awards

Ingenuity and Originality Highlight Designs

29th July 2014 Entries are arriving daily for the 2014 edition of The Hall of Frames/Eyestylist Newcomer Awards, and Eyestylist is delighted to partner again with HOF for this event. Independent designers who have started their collections within the past five years are eligible for entry. The range of designs is imaginative, and it’s gratifying to see the enthusiasm, energy and individuality that goes into the collections. Here we present three of the eyewear creators who have entered the 2014 Newcomer Awards. The winners will be announced at Hall of Frames in Stuttgart in October.

Paris-based Jérémy Tarian has worn glasses from a very young age, and eyewear is one of his passions. Each line, curve and detail of the frames is hand drawn by Jérémy. He is open and vibrantly aware of his surroundings, and finds inspiration on the streets of his beloved Paris, his many travels to stimulating lands, people’s expressions, museums, and nature – and these experiences are reflected in his beautiful creations, handmade in France. Above: Madeleine in acetate and metal. www.jeremytarian.com

Urban Stranger No.6 by Adrian Marwitz
Urban Stranger No.6 by Adrian Marwitz

 

Adrian Marwitz upholds a name that has been synonymous with German eyewear since 1918, when his grandfather created Marwitz. Now Adrian is at the helm, creating handcrafted Titanium designs, with the entire manufacturing process made in Germany. The contrasting stripes on the hinges and inner temples of the frames is a defining Marwitz look. Adrian’s inspiration is daily living, meeting people, and keeping an “eye” on what they are wearing, plus the fashion world, and another favourite accessory –  shoes. www.adrianmarwitz.com

 

Gill in Buffalo Horn by Laura Nicholson Larke Optics
Gill in Buffalo Horn by Laura Nicholson Larke Optics

Like Jérémy Tarian, wearing glasses since childhood was the foundation for Laura Nicholson to have a natural obsession with eyewear. She created her own collection in 2013, which is entirely handmade in England in the last remaining acetate spectacle production workshop. Each frame is intricately carved from the finest blocks of Italian acetate. Laura frequently draws on rare and obsolete materials to ensure a degree of individuality for the wearer. www.larkeoptics.com  www.hallofframes.ch JG

Pattern at Paulino

25th July 2014 Lisbon’s independent heritage label, Paulino Spectacles has launched elegant old-fashioned patterned finishes on some of its iconic shapes such as Filipa, an Eyestylist favourite, and Catarina. The fabric effect brings a new air of Mediterranean nostalgia to the collection, which is produced in Portugal with the highest quality standards and traditional spectacle making techniques, revisited and revitalised by founder, Ramiro Pereira Paulino.

Filipa by Paulino Spectacles
Filipa by Paulino Spectacles

Paulino Spectacles are now available at leading eyewear boutiques including The House of Eyewear (Paris), Sjaou (Reykjavik) and Hall of Frame, Utrecht. The fabric effect designs belong to a limited edition by Paulino Spectacles: more information online at www.paulinospectacles.com CN

Casting His Line…

22nd July 2014 Fly fishing and design? It’s not as unconnected as one might imagine. Shane Baum at Leisure Society reflects on his love of fly fishing for Eyestylist.

“I grew up fishing with my pops, grandpa, aunts and uncles. Some of my fondest memories are being a child with a fishing rod in hand, casting and reeling. At some point, I grew a little bored with it all and sat idle for a decade or two, other than open ocean fishing on surf trips. Fast forward to my introduction to fly fishing. The movement of it all seemed so elegant and refined. Something you could only acquire through years of experience. My first cast was pathetically awkward. The entire prospect of it seemed impossible, but over time the technique revealed itself.  Then I went to my first fly shop. I asked the gentleman at the counter how many flys they stocked. He said “about thirteen hundred…”

 

Shane Baum casts his line admist the natural beauty of Wyoming.
Shane Baum casts his line admist the natural beauty of Wyoming.

“I thought about that for a second and asked, ‘how do you know which ones to use’? He replied: “Well, it depends on the hatch. Which bugs are hatching and at what state. It depends on the water temperature, the air temperature, the water depth, the water clarity, the flow rate, the time of day, the barometric pressure, whether the fish are spawning or not. It depends on whether it’s sunny or cloudy or windy, raining……” he went on. I thought about it and said ‘this is for me.’ It’s the opposite of tic tac toe. A game you can pursue for the rest of your life and never master. It’s not unlike design  – you never really master design. You just learn as you go and keep trying, come what may…”

www.leisure-society.com JG

Top photo: Shane wears Trotter sunglasses in black from The Leisure Society Collection

 

 

Mirror Mirror….On Your Eyes…..

Who is the Shiniest of All?

18th July 2014 Let your light shine this summer with mega-shiny mirrored lenses by ic! berlin. Electrified colours include gold, silver and crimson, available in super-cool shapes and unexpected textures for men and women. Above: Fahrlehrer Klaus with camouflage temples.

 

Mirror Cool by ic! berlin
Mirror Cool by ic! berlin

Summer shimmer for men in Namless 2012 – check out the superb temple detailing.

 

Electrified! Raf S by ic! berlin
Electrified! Raf S by ic! berlin

Raf S gets electrified in green with splendid crimson and silver mirrored lenses. This is definitely the summer to glow!

 

On the scene - Ralph Anderl celebrates the German victory at Santo André Beach in Brazil
On the scene – Ralph Anderl celebrates the German victory at Santo André Beach in Brazil

Bravo to Germany from Eyestylist on their World Cup success! Ralph Anderl popped on a plane to Brazil to track down Team Germany and give each player their own personalized ic! berlin sunglasses. Ralph is wearing die wetterfahne in chrome with glistening silver mirrored lenses. www.ic-berlin.de JG

 

Slim & Stylish Sunnies

15th July 2014 Ultra thin, super light frames are among the marvels of modern eyewear. Wizardry techniques allow designers to create frames with featherweight statistics and mega-style. Spin & Stow innovation by Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland enables 360° rotation of the temple. The outer edge of the temple rotates inwards to fit within the inner front of the glasses. Travel+Leisure Magazine awarded the Spin & Stow sunglass collection the Best Travel Fashion and Accessories category for 2013. Above: Kosima – elegant and chic.

 

Xandro by Götti Switzerland with Spin & Stow innovation
Xandro by Götti Switzerland with Spin & Stow innovation

A glamorous, voluminous shape characterizes Xandro, also by Götti Switzerland, and features the easy to fold-and-tuck-in-your-pocket Spin & Stow temples. www.gotti.ch In the UK, Götti is available at Alderley Eyecare in Alderly Edge – www.alderleyeyecare.co.uk – and in Northampton at TK&S Optometrist – www.tks-optometrists.co.uk

 

Streamlined Centre Court by Silhouette
Streamlined Centre Court by Silhouette

Silhouette’s main message for eyewear has always been to create frames that are extremely lightweight, beautifully crafted and streamlined. That philosophy continues today for the Austrian-based company, that is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. Silhouette frames have even been in outer space with astronauts! Centre Court will gather admiring glances with its slick, sophisticated styling in luxurious sand. www.silhouette.com JG

Personal Eyewear Choices

Eyewear Guru Julia Gogosha Selects Her Favourites

11th July 2014 “It’s pretty impossible to choose, but here goes – these are a few of my favourite frames. I’ve worn the RVS Palladium (above) for years. I feel like I’m in “Spy vs Spy”  hheeee hheee!”

 

"A favourite" - Thierry Lasry x Miroslava Duma Limited Edition
“A favourite” – Thierry Lasry x Miroslava Duma Limited Edition

Thierry Lasry x Miroslava Duma Limited Edition has been a favourite from the moment it came out. Two hundred forty-seven pieces were made from this vintage mosaic acetate. It manages to be neutral and special at the same time.”

 

Julia Gogosha in Mykita
Julia Gogosha in Mykita

“I find it very difficult to wear metal frames. They either don’t make enough of a statement or too much for my features. I found the newly released Mykita Sigur strikes the perfect chord of unique and subtle.” www.gogosha.com JG

 

VAVA Eyewear, Berlin

‘Post-industrial’ eyewear newcomer

8th July 2014 The independent eyewear segment is literally bursting with new names – and we are seeing these on a daily basis; at Eyestylist.com, we continue to search out and report on the ones showing a special direction in design, unique aesthetic or authentic artisan approach.

Launched this year in May, Vava Eyewear is a Berlin based label with Portuguese roots, founded by Pedro da Silva. “I’ve been in the Fashion Industry since graduating as a Textile Engineer,” said Silva in an interview with Eyestylist following the brand’s first successful launch at Tranoi last week. “I have worked as a senior manager in companies such as Mephisto, Inditex (Zara), Hugo Boss and more recently VF Corporation. Last year I was living between Lugano and Milan when I decided to move to Berlin to launch my own company.”

VAVA Eyewear
VAVA Eyewear

“My goal was to create a label in which I try to express my vision of the world and the future. The concept is closely linked to the “post-industrial” society in which we live, and the growing belief of belonging to a “post-human” age.”

A music and art lover and vintage eyewear enthusiast, da Silva is also hooked on the 80s.”80s design always fascinated me. The square, simple aesthetics of computers, the first drum machines and design in general. My idea was to start from there and still create something new.”

Vava Eyewear
VAVA Eyewear

I’m also interested in Bauhaus and minimalism. I always liked basic shapes, and admire artists like Sol Lewitt, Kazimir Malevich or Josef Albers.  VAVA designs have the same minimalistic and architectural approach. I like to see eyewear as an architectural piece.”

While the intense use of colour is what first drew our attention to this collection, Silva is also very specific on detail such as quality and production. “The brand is driven by attention to detail and outstanding quality,” he explains emphatically. ” We work with very professional and experienced eyewear technicians and designers, who share the same philosophy, what gives great consistency to the project.  The collection is handmade at a small family-owned Italian factory, and we pride ourselves in avoiding mass production.” www.vavaeyewear.com CN

Stylish Sunnies for Youngsters

4th July 2014 Fun in the sun begins with sunglasses that provide protection for young, vulnerable eyes, and great style too! The lads above are enjoying a day at the beach wearing Zoobug sunnies. Left – AV Yellow – a smart aviator in lightweight, nickel-free stainless steel. Right – Sunny Black, voluminous vintage shaping in acetate – also available in a range of glorious colours. www.zoobug.com

Stylish Mini-Icons by Oliver Goldsmith
Stylish Mini-Icons by Oliver Goldsmith

 

Bold, bright and trendy colours highlight acetate favourites for budding fashionistas in the Kids Mini Icons Collection by Oliver Goldsmith. Memorable Vintage OG designs are replicated in Mini (above) Mini Sophia in Snozberry; Mini Lord in tangy Orange Squash; Mini Gyln Sherbert Dip; and Mini Manhattan in delicious Very Cherry.  Super sunnies that will capture the fancy of the young set!  www.olivergoldsmith.com JG

Nassau

Theo Belgium

Theo is among the masters in creating bold, exciting frames. The Antwerp based company loves their hometown, and honour it with designs that pay tribute to the distinctive bridges in this major world port. The Nassau Bridge is the oldest, built in 1867 and is a protected monument. To immortalize this bridge, Theo has created Nassau – a robust, rectangular frame with a stainless steel core enveloped in acetate. Strong and dynamic! www.theo.be  JG

Vanni Colours

NICO Design

The Colours line from Vanni Occhiali, Turin’s independent eyewear label, presents beautiful, vibrant candy-inspired colour. The marbling effect and white flecks in each of the bright tones recall the depth of colour and pattern in moire silk. The slight lift on this pretty oval shape gives a very desirable vintage edge. A frame that is both confident and flattering. Red is beautiful on blondes. www.vanniocchiali.com CN

Agitaty

Harry Lary’s

Agitaty is a super example of the intense coloured vintage acetate in the Harry Lary’s collection, designed in France by Thierry Lasry. A typically bold retro-futuristic shape, with interesting volumes, it’s a classic in this collection of acetate eye gems for luxury connoisseurs. The Harry Lary’s eyewear label was first created by Thierry Lasry’s father, Harry, and has been under Thierry’s artistic direction since 2002. www.harrylarys.com CN

 

03 Royal Blue

Finest Seven

Voluminous graphic lines shape this statement frame by Finest Seven. Designer Jesse Stevens captures retro authenticity with precise modernity in this distinctive creation. Beautiful Royal Blue superior quality acetate is accented with gold trim across the brow line that extends to the temple sides. www.finestseven.com JG

Grant Krajecki

Grey Ant for “off the grid” design

1st July 2014 Grey Ant’s designer Grant Krajecki talks to Eyestylist.com as six new Grey Ant sunglasses hit the stores. Based in NYC, Grey Ant is a trendsetting label that manufactures its sunglass designs in limited quantities. Grey Ant started out as a clothing label to which eyewear was added and eventually took over as a result of their resounding success.

What is your background? I have a background in fashion and costume. In 2006 I thought eyewear would be a good addition to our collection but had no idea things would end up this way. I designed two frames at the time – one being the ‘Status’ frame. It was a mash up of 1950’s and 1970’s Elton John’esque elements which still remains our most sought after model.

When did you launch Grey Ant? We launched in 1998. Natalie Levy became by business partner in 2004.

Like us you are obsessed with quality and individuality. Please comment and explain about the processes you use to make your frames.
Sometimes colors can inspire my designs and sometimes they are chosen afterwards. Once I send the factories the initial specs there are usually a few revisions before we nail it. We work with top class factories in Japan, Italy and China. We use Carl Zeiss lenses from Germany.

Grey Ant
Model Embassy by Grey Ant / Photo by Josh Wool
Bowtie by Grey Ant
Model Bowtie by Grey Ant / Photo by Josh Wool

We see you as young innovators in the world of eyewear, setting creative standards. Please expand on your direction and hopes/desires for the next years? I feel the men’s fashion market in particular has made some great leaps forward in what is acceptable in shapes and colors. We’re in a very eccentric state right now that hasn’t been seen since the early 80’s. As much as there’s a growing market for the turn of the century “vintage” aesthetic the avante garde has fueled itself into the unwearable. I love both of these views and choose to subtly unite these two worlds in my designs.  We plan on expanding our optical frames in the near future.

Is expansion the aim or does off the grid mean “hard to find”, unique and very small scale.
Since the market trickles down and not up we like to remain a very exclusive brand for now. I feel our brand speaks to a customer that understands and appreciates a delicate balance of classic and experimental. Kind of like Coltrane meets Joy Division.

Grey Ant
Public Light by Grey Ant
Incidental Habit by Grey Ant
Incidental Habit by Grey Ant

Are you an NYC label through and through or does your philosophy go beyond that? I think there’s a strong New York ingredient in Grey Ant which combines the uptown, downtown and underground elements.

Explain your collaborative work and video projects. We have just joined forces with Jeaneen Lund on a new video short which will be finished very soon. She has captured a very New York street scenario involving real life and fantasy with the backdrop of original music from Terminal Twilight. We are also very excited about working exclusively with Helmut Lang as their sole eyewear brand for their retail stores.
I’ve always admired the Helmut Lang brand since the early 90’s and would never have foreseen this opportunity to work with them. I have also been working with our Japanese factory for almost a year originating an exclusive component for our new collection. They will premier this September in our Paris showroom Paper Mache Tiger and Silmo. www.greyant.com

Claudia

Res/Rei

Italian elements of history, art, literature and centuries of artisan craftsmanship merge creatively in Res/Rei frames. Claudia is a powerful eyewear interpretation in acetate and metal. The upper part of the frame is sculpted with smooth flow in tortoiseshell acetate, and contrasted with fine metal in soft turquoise. Designer Oliviero Zanon creates eyewear with distinctive poignancy. www.resrei.com JG

Independent Innovators

L.G.R. Sunglasses Rome, Italy

1st July 2014 Beautiful shapes, superior craftsmanship, and exquisite details keynote the L.G.R. collection. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s instinct for original eyewear is inherited from his beloved grandfather, and his fascination with Africa. The Rome based designer expresses flair, individuality and style in his creative collections. This summer, mirrored lenses are making a big splash in sunglasses, as the models in the top photo show as they enjoy outdoor adventures.  Left, Keren –  with green mirrored polarized lenses, and right – Aswan –  with stunning red mirrored polarized lenses.

 

Tripoli by LGR
Tripoli by L.G.R. Sunglasses

L.G.R. sunglasses for men feature strong, bold shapes  that include Tripoli with polarized vermillion lenses.

LGR - Sun Specialists
L.G.R. – Sun Specialists

Song (above) is a dramatic design in Havana 02 with Zeiss Organic lenses. Unique metal detailing on the brow line and nose piece accents the elegant acetate. www.lgr-sunglasses.com JG

Photo: Top photo by vera Colombo  Centre image by Fay Baldwin Bottom photo by Daniele Ratti, taken in Asmara, Eritrea

 

 

 

Welcome Aboard!

History of Travel Bags in Amsterdam

1st July 2014 How times change! An original exhibition at the charming canal-side Tassen Museum in Amsterdam shows the history of travel and development of suitcases from 1850 to the present. Excursions in the early days relied on gigantic trunks that were the norm for travel by coach and ship, as well as luxurious luggage sets, and extravagant dressing cases containing silver brushes and crystal vials. Travel during the 19th Century was uncomfortable and dangerous; for that reason trunks had to be weather proof and sturdy, so that they could be tied to the top or back of a coach.

 

Wool and Beaded Travel Bag Berlin, Germany  Mid-19th Century
Wool and Beaded Travel Bag Berlin, Germany Mid-19th Century

The invention of the steam engine changed not only how people lived, but how they travelled. It was then possible to cover much longer distances by steam train or ship. The carpet bag, which could also serve as a rug in unheated train compartments, was popular for train travel during the 19th Century. Later came the use of woolen railway bags, decorated with depictions of flowers or animals. For luxurious cruises, cabin trunks (top photo: Wardrobe Trunk Belber Trunk & Bag Co. Philadephia c. 1930)  were designed for extensive wardrobes with drawers for shoes and clothing hooks for coats, dresses or suits.

Samsonite Luggage Trio 1950's
Samsonite Luggage Trio 1950’s

 

How people travelled and the types of bags used changed dramatically during the 1970’s when air travel became more affordable. Mass tourism put different demands on suitcases and travel bags; luggage became smaller, lighter and was equipped with wheels. And now creating luggage that accommodates one’s belongings that fit into an airplane’s overhead locker is the latest challenge.

Welcome Aboard is a delightful exhibition that traces the history of suitcases and travel bags, reflecting the mobility and speed of the changing times. The exhibition continues through 31 August 2014. www.tassenmuseum.nl JG

Boudoir Venice

Enchanting Venetian Eyewear Boutique

1st July 2014 Venice is a fascinating oasis of beauty, history, art, music and eyewear delights! On a recent visit, I had the great pleasure to discover Boudoir – an amazingly chic little boutique with stunning eyewear, plus accesrsories and exquisite perfumes. Proprietor Alessandro De Lorenzo enthuses an ingrained ardour for eyewear, and has assembled a collection of inventive eyewear creators. His handpicked selections include Hapter, Lindberg and Lindberg Precious, Oliver Goldsmith and Claire Goldsmith, and Flippan’Look, among others. There are also capsule eyewear collections by Cesare Cunaccia and Oscar Mamooi. Perfumes by Cristopher Brosious and Meo Fusciuni, and home scents by Villa Buti filter throughout the boutique and create a wonderful ambience. De Lorenzo and his partner devised the original interior, which is an eclectic and charming mix of unusual furniture; beautiful mirrors, flowers and trees. All very natural with a subtle magic – just like Venice!

Alessandro De Lorenzo Boudoir Venice
Alessandro De Lorenzo, Boudoir Venice

De Lorenzo observes differences with an optical boutique located in La Serenissimia – Venice’s formal name. “Venice, with less that 6000 residents, isn’t a real city,” he says, “So I deal mostly with tourists, especially from America and other English speaking countries. People from abroad have a more contemporary approach when they choose accessories like glasses. Venice used to be a city and a kind of “Mecca” for special shopping. My goal is to give my contribution to go back to this. I want people to say ‘in Venice, you can really find cool glasses.’ Having the chance to do my work in such a beautiful place pays back every effort. Plus having clients from so many different countries is a bit like travelling myself…”

Boudoir Interior - Stylish and Charming
Boudoir Interior – Stylish and Charming

The boutique is easily reached from San Marco by bobbing along on a Vaporetto and alighting at Ca’Rezzonico, then it’s a short walk to Calle Lunga S. Barnabas, where the eyewear and accessories are incredibly tempting. Eyewear from Boudoir will retain long lasting Venetian memories. www.boudoir.venice.it JG

Photo of Alessandro De Lorenzo exclusively for Eyestylist by Travelonics, LLC