Springtime!

…the season for new eyewear that is beautiful, desirable and finely crafted by independent designers. Click on REVIEWS for lovely examples. A seaside optician features in BOUTIQUES, and the Designer of the Month creates exceptional accessories. See CITY GUIDES for an exhibition that pays tribute to a revolutionary fashion designer. Eyestylist…where you find exciting, innovative eyewear by creative specialists.

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A sustainable story

Monkey Glasses

27th March 2015 Sustainable fashion trends are more prevalent than ever before and that is increasingly having an influence on accessory design. For frames, recycled materials, when used creatively, can produce interesting designs that are modern, comfortable, wearable – and well-priced.

Created by husband and wife team Mai-britt and optician Morten Seaton, Monkey Glasses from Denmark make frames from a biodegradable material that consists of 90% cotton fibres and wood mass. The result is wood-look frames, with precise attention to detail – model Betty (pictured above) is one of their most accomplished sunglass shapes in 2015. Surplus materials are recycled into accessories and jewellery, and every time a set of frames leaves the shelves the company donates a percentage to the ‘Save the Orangutan’ charity – www.savetheorangutan.org.

Monkey Glasses released its first collection of sustainable glasses in 2010 and now sells worldwide to selected stores and online at www.monkeyglasses.co.uk. CN

Hall of Frames Cologne

Independent Eyewear on The River Rhine

24th March 2015 Hall of Frames has announced a new show for their independent eyewear events – on the banks of the River Rhine in Cologne. Show organisers Nath Wenger and Dirk Geissmann said: “We are very excited to organise our first show in Cologne! The city has a rich tradition in the eyewear industry, and “Die Brillenmesse” will be held on 25th and 26th April in the Dock One Hall, next to the River Rhine.

“Over fifty of the best Eyewear designers will present their spring news in a cool and relaxed setting. The expectations are high because the opticians in and around Cologne are famous for good taste and openness towards fine Eyewear. Only the best opticians can survive and “Die Brillenmesse” is the platform for some of the most beautiful brands in the market.”

Slav Nowosad will make his first appearance at a HOF event and present what he describes as his “atypical frames” (above Sun 5055/00)) Aesthetics, technology and design without limitation are Nowosad’s approach to unusual eyewear. Nowosad Designworks are designed and handmade in Poland. www.slavnowosad.com

 

Suzy Glam Breaks Rules in Nude Matt Acetate
Suzy Glam Breaks Rules in Nude Matt Acetate

Suzy Glam – Gold winner of the Hall of Frames/Eyestylist Newcomer Award in 2013 will unveil beautiful new designs in Cologne. Suzy Glam Breaks Rules features curvaceous, elegant lines in nude matt acetate. www.suzyglam.com

 

Sahara by L.G.R. with a unique brushed surface on the frame front
Sahara by L.G.R. with a unique brushed surface on the frame front

L.G.R. from Italy will attend with their latest – and fabulous – designs including Sahara, with a distinctive brushed effect on the frame front, and superbly crafted mineral glass lenses. L.G.R. frames are handmade in Italy. www.lgrworld.com

 

Daydream by KBL in Tortoise and Turquoise Acetate
Daydream by KBL in Tortoise and Turquoise Acetate

KBL Eyewear in Germany is synonymous with youth, quality, and performance, and presenting for the first time at HOF.  The initials KBL stand for Kind of Bohemian LIfestyle, and the designs reflect a “bohème” nature – expressed in Italian acetate and Japanese titanium. www.kbleyewear.com For more information on HOF Köln visit www.diebrillenmesse.de JG

 

 

Rigards+Royal Selangor

History and Tradition with RIGARDS Collaboration

20th March 2015 Innovative RIGARDS has partnered with the world’s largest and most admired pewter maker – Royal Selangor – to create frames with unique individuality and character. Two noble materials – Horn and Pewter – are used to create a design that is beautiful and unique. Royal Selangor has been crafting pewter since 1885, and remains privately owned, with fourth-generation family members safeguarding time-honoured pewter practices. “We are delighted to work with this amazing company,” said designer Ti Kwa (above), “and create a frame that combines the best of Horn and Pewter.”

 

Rigards+Royal Selangor Horn+Pewter
Rigards+Royal Selangor Horn+Pewter

The rims of the frame front are meticulously hand-polished to a velvety finish, while the rest of the horn structure is rendered, by hand, in a contrasting matte texture. The side pieces feature an artful fusion of horn and pewter, with a hammered satin finish for the arm tips. An elegant custom-crafted leather case is embossed with Royal Selangor’s classic wave motif. An unusual, expressive design with history and spirit. www.rigards.com JG

Photo of Ti Kwa exclusively for Eyestylist by Gilles Stüssi All Rights Reserved

New York Arrivals

RVS by V

18th March 2015 If anyone wins at unexpected colour combinations, it’s the Turkish brand RVS by V, who’ve just returned to the Big Apple as permanent residents, along with their new glorious eye-popping eye candy. Launching this week at the New York optical trade show, Vision Expo East, the label created by Vidal Erkohen promises a raft of new optical/sunglass shapes that are jazzy and upbeat as well as delivering on all important quality and finish. Above: Model Chet, a gently angled shape, in cobalt with gold, created as a limited edition in titanium and acetate, with RVS hallmark matt finish and distinctive visible screws.

 

RVS by V
The unique Palladium 001 created by RVS by V

Since the launch of the RVS by V. Palladium 001 first edition, back in 2011 – (http://www.eyestylist.com/2011/07/rvs-by-v-eyewear/) – this inimitable RVS design, worn by Lady Gaga in 2012, is out and about again too, classically styled in gold or black, or daring and exotic in pops of pink, turquoise or orange –  with mirrors that dazzle and stand out in a crowd.

RVS by V. is an authentic handmade collection of eyewear and sunglasses launched in 2006. The Palladium 001 is available from the online store at www.rvsbyv.com and at leading boutiques including www.gogosha.com  CN

Designer Choices

Sven Götti and Daniel Benner

16th March 2015 How do eyewear designers make their choices when deciding what frames to wear? “Pieper is my personal favourite right now,” says Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland, (top photo) “because I like the strong statement of Pieper and the three-dimensional effect. As the frame is Titanium, it’s very light weight and easy to wear.” www.gotti.ch

 

Daniel Benner wears Cosmo Duo 16
Daniel Benner wears Cosmo Duo 16

“This is my favourite of the moment,” noted Daniel Benner of Benner Eyewear in Germany, “and it’s the ‘cosmo duo 16’ in polished gold and matte aqua. It has a vintage touch with the priority on the eyebrows. It’s one of the most liked styles from our collection – a shape for both men and women.” www.benner-eyewear.com JG

Photos: Exclusively for Eyestylist by Gilles Stüssi All Rights Reserved

Sensational Stripes!

Stripes: A Spring/Summer Delight

12th March 2015 In 1846, Queen Victoria most likely did not realise that she launched an historical fashion when she dressed her four-year-old son Prince Edward Albert in stripes. Two centuries later, stripes dominate the style scene this season. And not only in fashion – stripes are high on the style radar for eyewear and accessories. Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson goes superbly nautical with her classy navy and white stripe sunglasses Rose et La Mer (above). www.annakarinkarlsson.com

 

Sunny in perky red/white stripes by Zoobug
Sunny in perky red/white stripes by Zoobug

Kids love stripes – and Zoobug’s adorable sunglasses in vibrant red and white stripes are ideal for youngsters. Sunny is equipped with polarized lenses for 100% UV protection – so important for young, vulnerable eyes. www.zoobug.com

 

Daydream Scarf by Alexia Parmigiani
Daydream Scarf by Alexia Parmigiani

Stripes also intrigue scarf designer Alexia Parmigiani, and her elegant black and white stripe design – Daydream – can be worn in many variations. Daydream is from the Spring/Summer 2015 “Dream Beyond the Lens” Alexia collection. Visit www.alexiafashion.co.uk for more luxurious scarves from the British designer.

 

Chic Black/White Stripes by Vuarnet
Chic Black/White Stripes by VuarnetxAmi

Stripy sunglasses are a highlight at Vuarnet in France, with a voluminous frame – Style VL1504 –  and stripes lining the inside of the glasses. The vibrant black/white motif exudes graphic chic. Vuarnet frames are handcrafted in France. www.vuarnet.com

 

 Subtle stripes by Pierre Eyewear
Subtle stripes by Pierre Eyewear

Pierre Eyewear creates stripes with subtlety of style in a sleek optical frame. Claudia RCO9 Matt mixes modern facets with vintage elegance. The result is a design with individuality and distinction. www.pierre-eyewear.com  With so many exciting variations available, this is definitely the time to wear stripes! JG

Christian Roth+Barton Perreira

An Optical Affair to Remember

9th March 2015 For thirty years, designers Christian Roth and Eric Domège have been creating eyewear excitement. Their latest venture is a capsule collaboration with California-based Barton Perreira – “The Affair.” “What connects Patty (Perreira), Bill (Barton) Eric and myself is a long time relationship and a mutual passion to create unique and exquisite eyewear with love. It came naturally to collaborate with Barton Perreira on a capsule collection revisiting one of our milestone designs,” said Roth.

 

The Affair - Black/Grey/Gold/Smolder CR+BP
The Affair – Black/Grey/Gold/Smolder CR+BP

The striking rimless frame is emboldened with a gold brow-bar that stretches from temple to temple. The colours are glorious – in the top photo: Rose and Rose Gold with Desert Lilac Gradient Mirrored lenses. In addition to the colours featured, elegant tones of Black, Amber and Tortoiseshell, and Champagne Gold are also available.

 

The Affair - Tortoise/Claret/Gold/Smokey Topaz CR+BP
The Affair – Tortoise/Claret/Gold/Smokey Topaz CR+BP

“The Affair” is a powerful style statement in a Limited Edition, with each frame numbered to ensure that this is an Affair to remember. www.christian-roth.com www.bartonperreira.com JG

 

 

Trend watch: rock chic

4th March 2015 Punk-inspired details are an eye-catching statement with the transition to brighter weather. From Christian Louboutin’s creations – take a look at the sumptuous ‘Pigalle Follies’ with gold spikes and crystals – http://eu.christianlouboutin.com/uk_en/shop/women/pigalle-follies-1c1s-suede.html – to DVF, studs, spikes, safety pins and chain details decorate shoes, boots, bags, glasses and sunnies this Spring, with a luxurious yet decidedly rebellious streak.

Above (clockwise): A real showpiece: Punk It Sunglasses by Face à Face, www.faceaface-paris.com; Majorelle Studded Clutch in powder blue by Emm Kuo / EKR Designs, the New York based accessories label, www.ekrdesigns.com; ring by luxury artisan jewellers Wouters & Hendrix Jewelry, www.wouters-hendrix.com

DVF
Accessories

Take your pick – max out with big and bold references to the punk rock era or take a more subtle approach with a single chunky silver cuff, ring or precious metal chain necklace to quickly rev up your attitude for the new season.

Above (clockwise): Leah (DVF 596S) Sunglasses by Diane von Furstenberg Eyewear, www.dvf.com; silver ring and necklace by Wouters & Hendrix Jewelry as above, www.wouters-hendrix.com CN

Grand Ballon, Tumbler, Tulipe

DOC Fashion Collection by Mondelliani Glasses

New entries in the DOC series by Italian artisan label Mondelliani, Grand Ballon, Tumbler and Tulipe feature in colours Pinot Grigio, Blanc de Noir and Cabernet. The wine references also extend to the elegant shapes of this fine-tuned trio, inspired by classical wine glasses, sinuous and elegant in form and silhouette. Pretty reflective Carl Zeiss lenses are flat and tinted, in line with luxury eyewear trends, for an old-fashioned aesthetic. Handmade in Italy. Find Mondelliani glasses at leading optical stores including Auerbach & Steele, London and Noble Optik, Munich. www.mondelliani.it CN

Scarlet Kitty

Theo Belgium

Tim Van Steenbergen is a multi-faceted designer – fashion, eyewear and costumes – plus he loves film. His latest frames for theo pay homage to femmes fatales – including Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner and Joan Crawford – with his “Hollywood Classics” sunglass collection. Scarlett Kitty in acetate is glamorous and voluminous with luxurious curves. A design with mystery, and an air of romance! www.theo.be JG

Rendez-vous

Lafont Paris

Colour is always a highlight in Lafont eyewear collections, and the latest designs feature geometric decorative mosaic pieces in bursts of colour on the frame front. Rendez-vous is a smart colour triptych on acetate, with a nod to vintage with extended temples. The details are subtle and refined, and Rendez-vous is certain to add dash to spring wardrobes. www.lafont.com JG

596

Pollipo

“We dream glasses full of glances” is the motto of Pollipo in Rome. They believe that the most important aspect in eyewear is the person who wears the frame. Style 596 is a design for both men and women in glossy classic blonde tortoiseshell, with a distinguished keyhole bridge and double-jointed spring hinges. Pollipo also handcrafts elegant cases in genuine Tuscan leather – the case shown is in coral red. For more details about pure Italian craftsmanship for frames and accessories by Pollipo, visit www.pollipocchiali.it / www.pollipostore.com JG

Serova

Vera Wang Eyewear

Vera Wang’s Serova is a fresh smart women’s sunglass style that will suit many faces. A classic acetate front is paired with neat studded temples. Lenses are CR-39 – the softly marbled green frame works perfectly with a rich purple tint, in tune with Spring tones and minimal colour palettes. www.kenmarkoptical.com / www.verawang.com CN

Avant-Garde Eyewear by Hapter

The Icons Collection – A Stylistic Adventure

1st March 2015 Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti love mountaineering, and for their impressive new collection txt1001 – The Icons Line – they have created contemporary reinterpretations of the sunglasses worn by Sir Edmund Hillary when he climbed Mount Everest in 1952.

Icons: contemporary interpretations by HAPTER  reflect artisan expertise
Icons: contemporary interpretations by HAPTER reflect artisan expertise

HAPTER Precursor models MO1M + MO2M are created with ultimate precision and unique structural syntax: the dominant bridge is in contrasting fabric by Italian textile masters Cerruti, creates a distinctive retro mountain look. The sunglass version is equipped with exclusive Zeiss sun lens with Bronze Pro HiPro-5 layer mirroring and Gold-ET anti-reflection.

 

Mountaineering Character and Style M03M by HAPTER
Mountaineering Character and Style M03M by HAPTER

Sunglass design MO3M celebrates HAPTER’S trademark wide bridge with newly balanced proportions and smooth curves. Advanced design, fibres and materials provide super style, and protection against the elements.

 

Alpine Purple - custom created exclusivey for HAPTER
Alpine Purple – custom created exclusively for HAPTER

MO45 is edgy, radical and audacious, and available in a gorgeous new colour – Alpine Purple, custom developed at the Cerruti factory exclusively for HAPTER. The latest HAPTER designs are powerful, iconic styles that Balzan and Forti have dedicated to demanding mountaineers – scattered about every metropolitan area. www.hapter.it JG

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Retrospective of  Visionary Fashion Designer

1st March 2015 The Victoria & Albert Museum in London is presenting an extraordinary show of one of the most innovative designers of his generation – Lee Alexander McQueen. Originated by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the V&A presentation will feature 30 additional garments, including some rare early pieces, lent by private individuals and collectors. McQueen courted controversy – his extravagant catwalk presentations, for which he was renowned, combined storytelling, music, film and theatrical performance.

 

Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers by Philip Treacy  for Alexander McQueen
Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers by Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen

The thematic presentation includes the Cabinet of Curiosities, which showcases designs produced by McQueen in collaboration with fellow creatives such as milliner Philip Treacy. In total, the exhibition will showcase more than 200 ensembles and accessories, the largest number of individual pieces designed by McQueen and collaborators ever seen together.

 

Dress of dyed ostrich feathers and hand-painted microscopic slides by Alexander McQueen
Dress of dyed ostrich feathers and hand-painted microscopic slides by Alexander McQueen

McQueen always inspired – he combined a profound grasp of tailoring and eclectic range of influences with a relentless pursuit to challenge the boundaries of art and fashion, blending the latest technology with traditional craftsmanship. He was influenced by his Scottish heritage and the colonial past, plus his fascination with the animal world inspired him throughout his career.  Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is a landmark exhibition not to be missed! Opens 14 March until 02 August 2015. www.vam.ac.uk JG

Image credits: Top photo Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers by Alexander McQueen Widows of Culloden A/W 2006 Model: Raquel Zimmermann, Viva London  Image: firstVIEW Butterfly Headress: La Dame Bleue S/S 2008 Model: Alana Zimmer copyright: Anthea Simms Dress of dyed ostrich feathers Voss S/S 2001 Model: Erin O’Connor Image:REX

Benic Opticiens – Saint-Malo, France

Brittany Boutique with Eyewear History

1st March 2015 With a history that stretches back to the First Century, Saint-Malo has been through numerous trials and triumphs – including Corsairs, pirates and bombing. Nowadays, the charming walled city on the sea is a favourite destination for global visitors. Also with an extensive history is Benic Opticiens in Saint Malo, which opened in the late 19th Century. “Benic is a very old boutique,” reflects Guillaume Jourdes, Benic’s owner and an optician, “and the shop was known for telescopes, barometers, and magnifying glasses, all items necessary for the sea.”

 

Innovative Independent Labels at Benic Opticiens
Innovative Independent Labels at Benic Opticiens

The 21st Century Benic Opticiens is a comfortable, spacious boutique located on a cobblestone street that leads to the sea. The atmosphere is very friendly, and the décor gives the feeling of being in a cared for and well loved home. Jourdes worked in Lyon and Rennes before taking over Benic in 2012. He completely transformed the shop into an oasis for independent brands including theo, Caroline Abram, Thierry Lasry, Andy Wolf, Mykita and Anne et Valentin, among others. A local artist creates eyeglass cases exclusively for Benic.

 

Superior Frame Selections
Superior Frame Selections

Being in a location that is known for summer holidays, does this affect business? “Fortunately, not any more,” says Jourdes, “because people come to Saint-Malo year ’round. Yes, July and August are our busiest months, but there are so many events – including Festivals, The Route du Rhum, and Christmas is busy – so there is always something going on. Tourism is important, and we also have a local clientele who live here full time.” Jourdes notes that people on holiday are more likely to browse and look in a relaxed manner for frames. Both the frame selection and the ambience at Benic Opticiens are so inviting, it’s easy to understand why! 25, rue de Dinan 35400 Saint-Malo www.benicopticiens.com JG

Johanna Braitbart

Accessories with Parisian Chic and Flair

1st March 2015 Tucked away on a petit “rue” in the Parisian Marais district, is a charming oasis for accessories. Johanna Braitbart designs marvellous selections of hats, headbands, jewellery, and distinctive scarves and bags. Eyestylist discovered her captivating designs in the prestigious Parisian stores Franck et Fils www.francketfils.fr, and also in chic Le Bon Marché www.lebonmarche.com

 

Accessory Selection by Johanna Braitbart
Accessory Selection by Johanna Braitbart

The fabrics in which she crafts her designs are elegant and luxurious – Braitbart has a special knack for sourcing unusual materials. “Many of my fabrics are found in France,” she says, pointing to elegant silks, satin, wools, laces, beads and feathers, “and I also find materials in Germany and leathers in Italy.” Her travels also result in gorgeous finds from New York and Marrakech.

Très Chic! Parisian hat style by Johanna Braitbart
Très Chic! Parisian hat style by Johanna Braitbart

“I’m inspired by vintage – always – geometric shapes, and gentlemen farmer style. I also like L’école de Vienne, Sarah Moon photography, and sculpture. Many of the influences from the past are new ideas for now.” Braitbart says that trends “include lots of light colours – like macaroons – pink, yellow, green, blue and green. Then there are bright tones of electric blue and red, plus florals, polka dots and stripes. We offer a bespoke accessory service, and you cannot find that easily in Paris any more. People want special accessories.”

Handcrafted in Paris in Johanna Braitbart’s Atelier

 

Le Marais is a  must-see when in Paris – and so is Johanna Braitbart’s chic boutique for  unique, handcrafted accessories. You’ll discover wearable treasures with long lasting memories. 26, rue des Blancs Manteau 75004 Paris www.johannabraitbart.com JG

8M1

Ottomila Eyewear

Leather is popping up more frequently in the artisan collections. One highlight, where the craftsmanship is sharp and attentive, is by Ottomila, designed in NYC and produced in an Italian workshop; a soft hand-stitched leather wrapped ‘windsor rim’ design, it comes in 3 classical shapes (pictured, 8M1, in army sage). The leather rim is paired with ultra-flat tempered mineral glass lenses (Zero-Base), bringing the classical styling a new definition.  Ottomila 8000 is available at leading optical boutiques including Klar, Darmstadt – www.klar-augenoptik.de – and Monocle, Rome www.monocle-store.com. More details at www.ibrandseurope.com (A. Malathounis) / www.8000eyewear.com CN