Begin here at Eyestylist, with an international optical tour throughout the month of innovative and imaginative frames to be presented at the Paris shows. Glasses and sunglass designs radiate superb styling, amazing colours and fabulous shapes. Click on all our sections – Reviews, Boutiques, Designer of the Month, and City Guides – for eyewear, fashion and cultural discoveries.
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
25th September 2014 What is going to be in optical boutiques in the coming months? Some of the most original, beautiful and innovative eyewear that we have the pleasure to see in Paris starting today. International eyewear designers bring their personal inner “vision” and creativity to frames, and the results are stunning. Netherlands based Susanne Klemm at Suzy Glam has created “Goes Bananas” – Limited Edition sunglasses with slick edginess and flat lenses. Handcrafted in Italy, Suzy Glam frames express chic individuality, with amazing attention to detail. www.suzyglam.com
Theo in Belgium loves red – it’s a favourite colour featured in the collections. Mille+13 is a great example in thick acetate with sharp, defined edges, and lots of beautiful hand polishing. The frame front has two different finishes – the upper part is shiny, and the bottom has a wooden look. Bigger and bolder is the message at Theo! www.theo.be
The ghostly beauty of the sea and its myriad of morphological characteristics influenced the new RIGARDS signature finish: Plastron. Designer Ti Kwa and his team improved traditional horn equipment and developed their own prototype hand tools, which enabled the creation of a crude, alien texture on the horn. The result is a unique design that symbolizes protecting the eyes from elements of the outside world. www.rigards.com
Leisure Society’s new campaign – The Deep Serene – continues designer Shane Baum’s dedication to escapism as the ultimate form of leisure. To celebrate there are elegant new designs including Tilman Sun, named after the English Mountaineer Bill Tilman, who is known as the greatest explorer of the 20th century. The ultra-light design is made of pure gold-plated titanium on the front and temples. www.leisure-society.comwww.silmoparis.comJG
23rd September 2014 Paris is buzzing with anticipation as the city hosts numerous fashion events this week. Eyestylist has “eyes” on frame shapes that are bold and voluminous, colours both classic and vivid, and materials with a mix of classic and the unexpected. Luxury and opulence highlight Anna-Karin Karlsson’s collection. The Swedish designer’s philosophy is “more is definitely always more” at The House of Karlsson. When Trouble Came To Town (above) is ultra sophisticated in cut-out acetate. Indulge yourself! www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Gracefully feminine and elegant, Clara by Sven Götti is masterfully crafted in acetate and Titanium, and the top bar features a smooth matt epoxy finish. The Swiss-designed frame is a symphony in combining traditional design aspects with modern technology. www.gotti.ch
LGR goes Hollywood! The chic frame Alexandria, designed by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, is the main accessory worn by Kirsten Dunst in the forthcoming Hollywood film “The Two Faces of January.” A vintage spirit highlights the honey acetate frame, with slightly upturned temples and delicate green lenses. “The Two Faces of January” opens in America on 26th September, and in Italy at the end of October. www.lgr-sunglasses.com
Intuition, imagination and cheerful colours characterise eyewear designs by Alyson Magee. The latest collection demonstrates the DNA signature details that are uniquely Alyson Magee. Volume is keynote in Nicoll with a larger, more daring shape, and a beautifully sculpted temple tip finished in smooth acetate. Luscious coral/red acetate brightens the day! www.alysonmagee.comwww.silmoparis.comJG
Safilo Celebrates Anniversary and Peggy Guggenheim
20th September 2014 The launch of a new limited edition of the legendary glasses worn by Peggy Guggenheim celebrates the 80th anniversary of Safilo. Edward Melcarth, an American artist and friend, originally designed the sunglasses for Guggenheim. She traversed Venice’s Grand Canal in her private gondola, wearing the eccentric sunglasses surrounded by her beloved dogs. Peggy Guggenheim was the last private gondola owner in Venice, and onlookers were astonished as they watched the charismatic mistress of modernism float along the canal that she loved.
Guggenheim was a renowned collector of 20th century art and gave enormous support to artists that included Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock. Her early childhood was marred by the death of her father on the Titanic, in which he perished. She grew up to live an unconventional, bohemian life filled with artists and travel. In the late 1940’s she bought the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on The Grand Canal, and made Venice her home for the rest of her life. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is located in her former residence. Safilo had already drawn inspiration from Guggenheim’s sunglasses in 1994, when it first produced and distributed its Peggy Guggenheim model. Like the pervious version, the sunglasses are on sale exclusively at the museum.
Behind the project is the bond that links the Safilo Group to Venice, where the first eyeglasses were born, and capital of the Veneto, the Region where Safilo was established in 1934. Safilo is further celebrating its 80th anniversary by joining the Intrapresae Collezione Guggenheim, a group of leading Italian and international companies that support the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, promoting the education potential of art, with the conviction that art can inspire business to embrace change and to face global challenges. A gala event to celebrate Safilo’s 80th anniversary was held in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection museum’s delightful gardens. www.safilo.comwww.guggenheim.org/venice
Top photo: Peggy Guggenheim with her Lhasa Apsos terriers on the terrace of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice 1960’s Photo credits: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, photo Archivio CameraphotoEpoche, gift Cassa de Risparmio di Venezia, 2005
19th September 2014Ahead of the Paris eyewear fashion fair, Eyestylist has an eye on some of the independent labels attending. Danish label Kilsgaard Eyewear launches a cool campaign and several new frame shapes, in a brilliant warm palette with maximum impact. Jacob Kilsgaard told Eyestylist: “Our SILMO launch this year contains three petite female shapes -very small specs with a feminine, elegant and classy design. We are also adding three larger males shapes to this launch along with one unisex style. We are keeping it slim and conservative with our unique urban touch of coolness. Three new temple colours will ensure a new sensation when you see them!” www.kilsgaard-eyewear.com
For women, at Vera Wang, colours are soft and translucent with pretty layering. Zlata (below) has the quintessential soft cat eye shape: an interpretation that underlines the femininity of this classic in eyewear. Zlata is created in fresh leaf green – billed a key colour next season – and tortoise on a pearly lapis. www.kenmarkoptical.com
And for an inspired interpretation of the classic shapes, we also take a look at RES/REI. Just in late last night is this delightful trio with double bridge – Luciana, Giulio II and Lupo (below)!
In finest Mazzucchelli acetate, inspired by traditional tortoise patterning of vintage spectacles, these handmade Italian frames revisit the beautiful things in classic eyewear design with a new, seductive elegance. See you in Paris! www.resrei.comwww.silmoparis.comCN
18th September 2014German artistry and handcrafting harmonize with precision in Benner Eyewear. All frames are handmade in Stuttgart, in limited quantities to ensure the highest quality.
Daniel and Daniela Benner design the collection with a unique mix of subtlety and the unexpected. Distinctive shapes in metal, and metal and acetate combinations with beautiful colours are the Benner forte.
16th September 2014 Two powerful, luxury brands in the eyewear world have forged a partnership that heralds a visionary alliance. Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses & Claire Goldsmith Eyewear in England, and Ørgreen Optics from Denmark have joined forces; however, each company will retain its own brand name and identity. Oliver Goldsmith has an enviable legacy of eighty-eight years of innovative and influential eyewear design. Ørgreen Optics was founded seventeen years ago, with a cult following inspired by film noir, vintage cars, cultural icons and street savvy.
The charismatic collections of both brands, and the innovative concepts and ideas that Claire Goldsmith and Henrik Ørgreen share, bring fresh vitality and design ethos to these revered eyewear companies. Claire Goldsmith stated: “I decided last year that I wanted to bring in some additional support into the business to help OG and CG reach their full potential. I have been calling Henrik Ørgreen a friend for many years. Not only do I love him as a person, but also I have a huge amount of respect for him and his team, and what they have achieved with Ørgreen. So you can only imagine my joy when, over a friendly beer in New York last year, Henrik asked if I would consider him to be my business partner. My response? Of course, it was a big fat YES!”
Henrik Ørgreen added: “I believe that Claire Goldsmith and Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses represent unique possibilities. OG Sunglasses is such an iconic brand that has been around since 1926. We have the greatest respect for the history and understanding of eyewear design behind the OG name. Therefore, we are proud that Claire has decided to trust us in terms of helping her develop OG Sunglasses and her own line, CG, into the next phase, with the utmost respect for the identity of the brand.”
12th September 2014 Anna Piaggi was an Italian journalist, fashion consultant, and iconic style setter with great artistic flair. She loved clothes, and during her lifetime collected over two thousand dresses, and hundreds of pairs of shoes. Her eclectic dress was a mix of vintage design that she collected during her travels, and her own irreverent concepts. She died in 2012. In hommage to this fashion icon, Alessandro De Lorenzo, owner of the ûber chic boutique Boudoir in Venice, collaborated with designer Oscar Mamooi to create fabulous frames in equally fabulous colours. Top photo: Green Grid with mirror pattern lens
“I met Oscar last year,” says De Lorenzo, “and he brought me a folder of amazing sketches. Anna Piaggi has always inspired him, so he designed these glasses thinking of her.” The dramatic Italian acetate shape is creatively printed, and sealed with a thin layer of crystal clear acetate. A metal ring holds the lens, and the open side has a nylon string. The Piaggi frames are a true celebration and stylish remembrance of a genuine fashion original. Anna would have approved, and worn them with her inimitable presence. www.boudoir.venice.itJG
9th September 2014 An innovative chapter in eyewear history began exactly thirty-five years ago today. On 9 September 1979, Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi opened their optical shop on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Their concept was to challenge the then prevailing norms of eyewear with proposals for new and provocative frames. More than three decades later, l.a.Eyeworks remains a privately owned business, now with two retail stores, and influential designs that reach a global network of independent opticians and boutiques. Top photo: The legendary Bodhi frame with sun clip 1994, and the l.a. Eyeworks signature “frog toe” temple tips.
McReynolds and Gherardi were high school friends who trained as opticians, and believed it was time to open a new kind of conversation about glasses. They launched l.a.Eyeworks with a mission to encourage people to stop looking and to start seeing. Bold shapes, imaginative handling of materials, and vivid, expressive use of colour became their hallmark, and the frames are a harmonious combination of technology and handcrafting.
Art and artists are an abiding love for McReynolds and Gherardi, and since 1981, the brand’s signature portrait ad campaign has been photographed by Greg Gorman. The ads have featured an eclectic mix of more than 200 high-profile celebrities and cultural provocateurs, in an ever-evolving series of stunning black and white images, anchored by the legendary tagline – “A face is like a work of art. It deserves a great frame.”
The original, invigorating sunglass and optical designs by McReynolds and Gherardi are the result of their inner intuition and the ability to take risks. “We design eyewear to celebrate the diversity of faces and the uniqueness of individuals. The glasses we make are sparks of our imagination. You complete these thoughts and bring the dreams of l.a.Eyeworks into being.” The latest influential and original designs will be shown at SILMO at the end of this month. Warm and joyous anniversary greetings to l.a.Eyeworks from Eyestylist! www.laeyeworks.comwww.silmoparis.comJG
5th September 2014Mountains are majestic and echo centuries of mystery. The Italian design house launched eighteen months ago by Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti – Hapter – has created their first video that is a tribute to the region and the frames they found within the Dolomites that inspired their business. The visually compelling scenes illustrate the relationship between man and nature, with sequences that express the symbolic universe of an explorer, and the practical work of creating by hand.
Two magnificent locations are featured – 5 Torri, Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Location, and the Valle Imperina Mining Centre, which dates back to the 15th century. The video is stunning and captures the spirit of adventure whether mountain climbing or creating handmade eyewear. Take your own tour by clicking on the link on the left hand side of the Eyestylist Homepage. www.hapter.itJG
Top photo: Actor on Cortina mountain landscape and concept model MG-Miltary Goggle, replica of the inspirational glasses
1st September 2014 A celebration of 1950s Paris fashion is the theme for an outstanding exhibition at the elegant Palais Galliera Museum. The world was post-war, and Christian Dior led the way with his cinched waist silhouettes and full skirts that contrasted with previous austerity. The 1950s were a decisive period for French haute couture, which suffered badly in the wake of the 1929 stock marked crash and the war.
The decade after the war, names synonymous with luxury, originality and beauty elevated French fashion to new heights. In addition to Dior, Coco Chanel, Jacques Heim, Schiaparelli, Carven, Balenciaga, Jacques Fath, Pierre Balmain, Lanvin-Castillo, and Hubert de Givenchy found dazzling success with prestige stores and eager customers. Petticoats, pointed shoes, bright-coloured floral and striped prints, wasp-waist suits and straight skirts, strapless sheath dresses, cocktail dresses: such was the couture of the 50s.
These remarkable designs illustrate the attention to detail; the passion for sumptuous fabrics that the designers loved; and emphasis on an ultra-feminine form. Echoes of this decade now infiltrate the fashion themes of today. Les Années 50 continues until 02 November 2014. Further information at www.palaisgalliera.paris.frJG
Photos: Top image: Chanel 1955 photo by Henry Clarke/Galliera/Roger-Viollet Centre image: Collection Palais Galliera Bottom image: Eric Emo/Galliera/Roger-Viollet
The eagerly awaited launch of Kirk & Kirk eyewear, designed by Jason and Karen Kirk, debuts at SILMO at the end of this month. The Vivarium Collection is elegant and luxurious in lustrous acrylic designs inspired by the Victorian obsession with science and nature. Each handcrafted frame, made in France, is named after a celebrated scientist of the era. A powerful shape in metallic golden bronze highlights Fleming, and the fine details include temple decorations designed by Karen Kirk in sterling silver and 9 carat gold. There is also a stunning sunglass collection – Solarium – with beautiful mirror lenses. Discover more at www.kirkandkirk.comwww.silmoparis.comJG
ic! berlin / Collection: “Something I want… to tell you”
A classic panto in a beautiful gold metal: Awesome by ic! berlin is one of eight new metal frames for women (some are unisex), launching this month in Paris (www.silmo.fr). Compared to jewellery, the glasses are chic, classic, with timeless style. Four subtle colourways are inspired by the glamour of the 50s and 60s with a gentle futuristic touch. A new luxurious direction from the German company with a reputation for excellence in design and state-of-the-art technology. www.ic-berlin.deCN
Bog oak and maple formed into a timeless shape is an excellent example of the Tyrol handcrafting found in Rolf Spectacles. The Austrian company won yet another award when Marlin received the Gold IDEA Award for 2014. Innovation, sleek, lightweight wood silhouettes, and beautiful finishes characterize all Rolf designs. www.rolf-spectacles.comJG
Jofey is one of the quirky optical styles that caught our eye in the vibrant Scratched Core Collection from Niloca in Australia. Designed for “serious eyewear people”, the deep cut acetate of Jofey is for those who crave a bold eyewear statement; the effect of the asymmetric design on the face can be dramatic, confident and reassured and works for different ages and face shapes. A range of colour combinations includes the black on turquoise and black on emerald (pictured). Niloca frames are designed by husband and wife team Colin and Josie Redmond. Colin is a former industrial designer with an automotive and science background; Josie is an optician. Niloca frames are produced in traditional workshops in Australia, France and Japan, depending on the materials featured. We look forward to the latest releases by Niloca Eyewear, showing at Silmo this year. www.niloca.comCN
Eighteen carat rolled gold and luminous acetate are among the highlights in the latest Savile Row Collection to be presented at the Paris fashion eyewear fair Silmo. The new designs have an intriguing history. Max is a tribute to the forefather of Savile Row – Max Wiseman. Shapes are inspired by National Health Service frames for the 1940’s and 50’s. The designs are made exclusively at Algha Works factory in London, and compiled entirely from tooling that lay hidden in factory archives. Details that single out Max as a distinctive design include the nose bridge that extends to the temples, and the perfectly round shape. www.algha.com JG
1st September 2014 Belgian designer Tim Van Steenbergen discusses with Eyestylist his collaboration with avant-garde eyewear brand theo and his fashion inspiration.
How did the collaboration develop between your label and theo eyewear? “I met Mik, the son of theo’s big boss Wim Somers in 2008 at a fashion show, in a well-known concept store in Moscow called Cara & Co, where both theo glasses and my clothes are sold. Once back in Antwerp, the first appointment was quickly arranged.”
What do you find the most interesting about creating eyewear – and the most frustrating – if anything! “I find it very interesting how you can reach a wider audience with eyewear, and that audience is willing to step out of its comfort zone. It’s apparently easier to choose a more extreme pair of glasses than it is to wear an eye-catching outfit. For me, eyewear is also a way to complete a silhouette. I can create a total look. The most frustrating yet fascinating – is how a garment never has a fixed form, while with designer eyewear, the form of the frame never changes. The disadvantage is that afterwards you can’t change it any more to make it fit. You see, it works in both ways.”
What is your favourite material in which to design clothing – and eyewear? “I tend to use classic materials like horn or tortoise, but it becomes interesting when combining these materials. Then you create something exciting. In my clothing line, I do the same. I use different kinds of classic textiles to create interesting forms.”
You have created other accessories in addition to eyewear – bags, shoes, and jewellery. Are there other items you would like to design? “I don’t like to tie myself down to one discipline. After all, you can translate ideas into so many things. It’s just a matter of interpretation. The message is most important!”
Do you have any favourite inspirations? “To live, to love, to travel…I find inspiration in a mix of things. I’m like a sponge. I absorb everything I see. And then I let it seep through in my designs.”
You have designed for the Opera – is there a particular opera for which you would like to design the costumes? “Madame Butterfly! I would love to create the costumes for this romantic opera that makes everybody cry! Pure emotion! For the moment, my next sunglass collection together with theo eyewear is ready to be launched later this month at SILMO. So keep an eye out for them!” www.timvansteenbergen.comwww.theo.beJG
1st September 2014 Designers revisit the beautiful effects of animal prints across the accessories segment, and in eyewear, the story is seductive. Print is nothing new of course but it’s resurgence is elegant and imaginative; no two prints are the same, adding to the appeal. Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson is consistently creative with luxurious print effects, and proposes an exotic hallmark tiger print combined with fantastic colour on what has become one of her bestselling sunglass styles, ‘Alice Goes to Cannes’. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Available next month, Annabella is one of the new women’s opticals from American fashion designer, Zac Posen: a classic silhouette meets the mood of the moment in a subtle natural print inspired acetate. www.zacposen.com / www.kenmarkoptical.com
And from Spain, Etnia Barcelona draws on inspiration from Africa and a number of species from its exotic animal kingdom: a soft natural palette in the “Wild Love in Africa” collection features interpretations of cheetah, havana giraffe, horn and zebra.
“Wild Love in Africa” frames are produced in 100% eco-friendly acetate, made using natural organic compounds that are 100% recyclable and biodegradable. www.etniabarcelona.comCN
1st September 2014 Artsee Miami is eyewear paradise. One of the specialists in unique frames in this part of the world, expect to find the spectacular, the unusual and an exciting taste for creative accessories by innovators and iconic designers – oh, and beautiful art too. Eyestylist spoke to owner Carlos Venegas about his unique concept and views on eyewear trends.
“The Miami store is many ways the representation of 10 years of operation in NYC and the evolution of our concept,” explains Venegas. “There are two art walls on each side of the door, we use them for the different art shows we curate though out the year…art is a main part of what we are; we sell art and the glasses to see it.” Asked about the choice of eyewear collections, Venegas explains his dedication to independent labels, including theo and Claire Goldsmith, and a detailed knowledge of eyewear materials and vintage frames. “We carry few collections at the store, all of them handmade; we curate our eyewear the same way as we do with our art shows. This place is almost a museum; we have great relationships with the different designers, we all share the couture passion. You can always find something different, whether its the material – wood, horn, recycled vinyl records – or the colours or a vintage design; every frame has a special touch, making them unique.”
Alongside emerging labels, Carlos has a close relationship with the Christian Roth label, whose founders, Christian and Eric, are based in Miami for a part of the year. “Often times we partner with companies to intervene in our store space, to do something different that represents their inspirations and concepts behind their eyewear – it can be anything from music to video screenings. The perfect example is the Christian Roth Collection; as one of the icons in eyewear design, we are very proud to represent their new magnificent line, which was launched at our store. Christian and Eric are always interested in hearing feedback from our customers to improve and inspire new creations, which is amazing! We can give people the chance to meet them personally at our frequent events. As a matter of fact, within the next couple of weeks, they will be launching their newest design exclusively at our store, with a little surprise…!”
And alongside icons are the new emerging talents from other parts of the world. “It is very interesting to see a lot of new designers emerging; there is definitely a big boom for wood and natural materials. Unfortunately, most of them do not have the quality we search for. Often times, creators are looking for the `cool´ factor over functionality, many of those new frames won´t handle a new set of lenses. Glasses should be able to handle multiple prescriptions and fit different needs. There are of course great new brands, such as Rolf Spectacles, with their stunning craftsmanship and innovation using wood, horn and stone. I have also noticed a lot of people are into vintage eyewear; this is a great opportunity for us to revisit earlier designs and learn a little history.”
Carlos says that the Artsee experience is all about recommending specific frames for individuals, and bringing something exceptional out of a hidden cabinet when the time is right, and the customer presents themselves. “From the moment a client comes in we are already thinking what would be the best options to fit their style. We ask a few questions to know what they use their glasses for and what type of prescription they have so we can fit their needs. But our followers come expecting to find something new and exciting! Our dearest customers come in, take a seat and say, “Give me whatever you think is going to look good on me!” …they trust us. We are always up for funky stuff and cool colours!”