Authentic eyewear lovingly crafted by passionate artisans. We highlight sun style by international independent designers, starting in REVIEWS. Germany is the boutique destination, and our Designer of the Month hails from sun-kissed California. Click on CITY GUIDES for a revealing exhibition about Luxury. A sunny month to all our readers!
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 consent and prior written authorisation of Eyestylist.com
29th May 2015 Independent designers bring original ideas and concepts to sunglasses – fine materials; shapes that range from classic to cult; and a colour palate that frequently amazes. In addition to his fashion collections, Tim Van Steenbergen also creates memorable eyewear designs for theo in Belgium. In the photo above, Tim wears one of his favourites for summer 2015 – Station Charlie in luxurious thick acetate with elegant bevelling details. www.theo.be
Titanium is a material that always inspires German designer Adrian Marwitz. Pure, uncluttered shapes are his passion, and Stranger No. 20 is crafted with excellence and fine, precise details. The shimmering bronze finish on the frame is certain to look fabulous with a suntan! www.adrianmarwitz.comPhoto by Max Gudczinski exclusively for Eyestylist.com
Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s sunglass collection is always a delightful selection of beautifully designed and superbly accomplished frames. Right on trend is Elizabeth, in fashion’s favourite pink. The silky luminous acetate silhouette flows with graceful elegant contours. www.lgrworld.com
Frames with architectural inspiration bring new dimension to designs by Mondelliani in Rome. The Edge sunglasses are literally, “Edgy” and sleek, with an intrinsic shape in polished black acetate. Note the precisely handcrafted details of the frame front, bridge and temples. www.mondelliani.it
Children’s eyes need sun protection too, and youngsters will really enjoy wearing Oliver Goldsmith’s Glyn. This frame was created for adults in 1971 – still going strong today – and artfully interpreted for little faces. Kids will feel so grown up with the vintage styling in Black and Candy Floss acetate, with a keyhole bridge. Check out www.olivergoldsmith.com for more details. JG
26th May 2015 According to nearly all the fashion editors pink is back – especially if you are brave enough to wear it head to toe. In eyewear, the brightest pink hues are also notably on the up in many collections, sitting pretty next to the more usual blacks and classic tortoise acetates. While powder or dusky are one option, on the other side are a whole bunch of bright statement pinks and fuchsias, waiting for their fashion moment.
Above: Naomi by RVS by V., a classic tortoise with the addition of a flash pink lens, a one-off bespoke design by trendsetter Vidal Erkohen. www.rvsbyv.com
Australian brand Jono Hennessy proposes a variety of pastels alongside this flamboyant fuchsia for the 8330, part of the Jono Limited Edition. www.jonohennessy.com
Jacques Durand mixes bright fuchsia with black in a sophisticated Mediterranean inspired take on the colour trend using Mazzuchelli’s 100% recyclable bioplastic. Part of the first Jacques Durand Sunglasses line, these styles are inspired by the summer light of St Tropez, a place that is close to the heart of the French designer. www.jacquesdurand.com
Patrizia Shelabarger – creator of Patty Paillette – loves this shade of pink. Find it across her collections, and here in model Alice, a divinely feminine 1950s cat eye, where two pinks become one. www.pattypaillette.itCN
22nd May 2015 “Summer Afternoon – summer afternoon, to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” (Said by Henry James to Mrs. Edith Wharton)
Summer days inspire poems, music and literature – leisure, sunshine, nature’s abundance and seaside pleasures all contribute to the splendour of the season. On the fashion scene, sunglasses are summer magic for the eyes. Award-winning Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson loves glamour, beauty and a dab of extravagance in her gorgeous sunglasses. In the photo above, the man wears Shady, flourishing in black and gold. On the right, the marvellous When Trouble Comes to Town is magnificently expressive in its exaggerated silhouette. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Susanne Klemm at Suzy Glam has created an elegant frame especially for men. The contemporary shape in Rocks this Town is superbly crafted with sleek lines in glossy, high quality black acetate with blue lenses. Refined, sophisticated luxury, handmade in Italy. www.suzyglam.comPhoto: Exclusively for Eyestylist.com by Max Gudczinski
Sunshine is a natural substance in Southern California, and l.a. Eyeworks sets the scene for sunny days everywhere with “Two By Four” – a striking design in Brown Tortoise Stripe with Gunmetal. The precise construction, handcrafted in Japan, makes for a finely built two-in-one: the frame combines an ophthalmic chassis with an integrated flip-up sun clip. www.laeyeworks.com
Acclaimed seaside locations inspired Coppe+Sid when they designed their lovely sunglass collection for 2015 – a Limited Edition in elegant acetate in exclusive colours. Mikonos in Sunrise is crafted in Italy in a timeless shape, in stunning Mediterranean Blue that reflects the glow of the island for which the frame is named. www.eyedesignclub.com
A beautiful interpretation of Midnight Blue is expressed stylishly in Zero 07 by Finest Seven. The voluminous silhouette with its graceful curves in smooth acetate is accented with three microns of gold on the temples, and chic gold mirrored lenses. A glamorous affirmation for summer and sunny pleasures! www.finestseven.comJG
19th May 2015 We love sunglasses at Eyestylist, and this season the selections are particularly enticing with beautiful materials, amazing colours and striking designs. Sunglasses afford the opportunity to take risks and try something different – an ideal way to perk up the wardrobe and spirits! Kirk & Kirk’s elegant collection of sunglasses is inspired by nature and science, and includes GRACE (above), crafted in richly coloured acrylic, with graduated mirror lenses by French lens designer Christian Dalloz. A charming animal detail in nine-caret gold highlights the upswept temples. More details at www.kirkandkirk.com
Children’s eyes need special protection from the sun’s rays, and ZOOBUG sunnies for youngsters combine fashion, fun and protection. ZOOBUG’S latest acetate collection is a treasure trove that children will love to wear. Above left, Square 03 for boys in bright New Red Wood, and right, the delightful Daisy 18 in New Buttercup Yellow. All ZOOBUG sunglasses feature polarized lenses for maximum sun protection. Check out www.zoobug.com for other fablous colours.
Variety is a style highlight at Res/Rei in Italy. Luscious acetates in exotic colour combinations and super shapes are abundant in this season’s collection. A round silhouette for Minerva (above) adds zest to the unexpected colours and superior details. All Res/Rei frames are handcrafted in Italy. www.resrei.com
After a long, cold winter, ic! berlin is celebrating summer with trendy designs featuring must-have mirrored lenses in cool new summer blues. “68 Köpenick” has a sleek flat bridge – a frame that shines brightly with casual, playtime summer fashion. www.ic-berlin.de
The Patrick Sun for men by Original Penguin is a bold shape in a colour that is increasingly popular with male wearers – a deep and sophisticated purple. It’s smart and distinctive, without being over-the-top. Glossy acetate with fine details complete the handsome design. www.kenmarkoptical.comJG
15th May 2015 A new beautifully finished, hand-carved accessories collection by Willow & Warson celebrates HMS Victory’s 250th Anniversary. Specialists in wood bow ties, the Devon-based company have produced the limited edition under license of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, using original, heritage timber from HMS Victory’s restoration projects. The Bow Ties, Cufflinks and Tie Clip are numbered and limited to 250 pieces, and available as a complete set presented in bespoke luxury packaging.
Pictured: British menswear expert and writer David Evans of the Grey Fox blog – www.greyfoxblog.com – wearing the Victory Bow Tie.
HMS Victory, Lord Nelson’s Flagship is the oldest commissioned warship in the world. She now stands in dry dock near Portsmouth Harbour. To order the Limited Edition Victory Collection directly, visit www.willowandwarson.co.uk/victoryCN
12th May 2015It’s all about spontaneity. A drawing takes shape without me thinking about it very much. I want to be able to draw without limits.” Strook
In the world of theo eyewear nothing is impossible! The Antwerp label has announced a new collection inspired by Bruges-based artist Stefaan De Crook aka Strook – with a striking presentation of metal engraving across the frame.
Strook and theo met each other about four years ago through the platform for young designers De Invasie. Soon afterwards, Strook had a show at the theo Gallery in Antwerp and created a display window for theo-Somers Optiek (above).
The ensuing collection proposes four powerful designs inspired by one of the artist’s characteristic line drawings, linked to Antwerp: models named Zoo, Diamond, Hand and Fashion, each with a little piece of the symbol of the city in the upper left-hand corner. theo designer Bracké explains: “In order to come up with the forms for the glasses, I took inspiration from Strook’s interplay of lines. The models had been roughly sketched first, but the final result was completely different!”
Available in eight colours, and a choice of matt or glossy finish, the insides of the frames have a striking, sometimes contrasting colour scheme. All four stainless steel models can be fitted with optical or sun lenses, with a spectacular look, either way. For further information visit www.theo.be. View the video featuring the artist at https://vimeo.com/122090711 /www.strook.euCN
10th May 2015Aroun Ducroux, Parisian founder of Lotho, the boutique luxury eyewear label, has created a new company, L&G Eyewear, with a new brand launch for the UK market. Glints is based in London and designed as a direct to customer brand, available exclusively to buy online. Designed by Coco Tsuji, the 16 acetate optical styles are made in Japan, have a strong style statement and a choice of colours and well crafted designs with appeal for a young, fashion-driven crowd. Pictured above: Coco Tsuji wearing Lotho spectacles (www.lotho.fr).
Coco Tsuji told Eyestylist: “Glints is a young dynamic eyewear brand, multicultural, passionate, offbeat and original. We want this new concept to appeal to a mixed audience in the UK, those who appreciate vintage shapes and a nice twist on colours and details, and the story of the making. We also look forward to getting to know the customer directly.”
Glints’ debut collection will be available in the UK by June 2015 and will be retailed online and through a showroom space in Soho, managed by an optician. For a retail price of £135, customers will receive a handmade Japanese frame complete with lenses by Hoya. The website will also offer home try-on for those who want to try out different shapes before committing. For more details pre-launch, sign up for news at www.glints.londonPhotography by Eyestylist.com CN
6th May 2015An exciting new chapter in ROLF Spectacles unfolds tomorrow – 7th May – when ROLF opens a chic little boutique in the heart of Vienna. Located in the historical Franziskanerplatz, only a few steps from The Stephansdom, ROLF’S eyewear gem features the original wooden storefront, perfect for a company that is the champion of natural materials. A cosy, friendly ambience is assured for the handcrafted speciality frames by the Austrian creators.
While at work on preparations for the boutique opening, Roland Wolf was pleasantly surprised when John Malkovich popped by (top photo) The shop is officially open for business on Friday, 8th May. Watch this space for further updates on ROLF’S latest adventure. www.rolf-spectacles.co/en/about-rolf/rolf-shopJG
5th May 2015 A new event showcasing exceptional craftsmanship takes place this week around the capital. Well-known luxury brands and lesser known labels will be featured in a journey-of-discovery programme involving specialist workshops, small-scale makers and artisans, famous shops, galleries and luxury brands. Above: Daniel Harris for London Cloth – www.londoncloth.com – who will be scarf-weaving at Daks, Old Bond Street / 7th May).
The line up includes varied events and demonstrations at London’s prestigious department stores including Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and open studios – an exciting event at Cockpit Arts features independent designers and makers in varied disciplines including wood work, textiles, millinery and jewellery (Cockpit Arts, Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London WC1N 2NP / 9-10th May).
Vacheron Constantin, the founding partner of London Craft Week will show how their luxury watches are made and engraved, with experts demonstrating their craft at the flagship store on Old Bond Street.
The innovative Kemp by Grey Ant is another gem by Grant Krajecki and codesigner Natalie Levy. Creators of the original concept of cut-off lenses, this time the duo have worked on a totally new concept that exposes the riveted hinge on the exterior of the frame as a decorative feature. It’s a simple, luxurious statement that elevates a classic look into something ingenious and very desirable. Made in Japan, and featuring Zeiss sun lenses, these elegant sunnies are now available at www.greyant.com.CN
An alluring, distinguished double bridge characterises HAPTER’S striking sunglass design GO1S from the Prime Line txt1001 Collection. Crafted in 100% cotton from the renowned Cerruti Woolen Mills 1881 in Italy, the angular shape and smaller proportions are sleek and minimal. The lenses are special too – ultra resistant Carl Zeiss nylor lenses with five layers of anti-reflection provide protection from potentially damaging sun rays. Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti at HAPTER further demonstrate their skills at artisan eyewear. www.hapter.itJG
Of all the Bond girls, Pussy Galore was the most difficult to seduce. In an effort to capture her aloof, “Golden Goddess” good looks, Orgreen’s PUSSY GALORE frames bring high glamour to a voluminous cat eye design. Featuring high-perched corners and a beautiful low bridge. Slip on the Mat Ivory and Sandblasted White Gold version with Rose Gold Chrome lenses and you’re any match for Mr. Bond. We like it! www.orgreen.comCN
The beauty of the Mediterranean is inspiration for Mondelliani in Rome. The latest collection of sunglasses features sensuous shapes in luscious acetate colours – including No. 53 in Indigo Blue and Pompeii Pink – that is reminiscent of a Mediterranean sunset. Note the chic lifted eyebrow for an additional glamorous accent. www.mondelliani.itJG
Paola Costantini at Pollipo’ is passionate about handcrafted eyewear and accessories. Her sun styles include contemporary designs in elegant forms, and graceful colours. N. 595 in Cool Baby Blue acetate in a flattering sun shape with a distinctive silver nosepiece, is a perfect accent for summer fashions. The beautifully handmade Pollipo’ case is natural leather with a brushed Fuchsia finish. www.pollipocchiali.it JG
1st May 2015 Cologne is the cultural centre of The Rhineland, with numerous and fascinating museums and art galleries. It is also home to an amazing selection of optical shops. Augenweide Optik is an elegant oasis where customers can discover international brands that fosters optical style. “Customers in Cologne love design,” says optician Michael Franzen, “but it must not be loud design; they prefer soft design with no logos. Clients are very reserved and refined, but want the best quality.”
Franzen opened the shop with his business partner Wilfred Wirtz twenty-one years ago, and they have experienced various eyewear evolutions during this time. “We have grown with our customers since we opened, and our clientele is professional men and women who are architects, lawyers, and teachers.” The shop features la crème de la crème of independent labels, including Orgreen, LGR, Lindberg, Götti, Rolf, Face à Face and WOOW, theo, l.a.Eyeworks, and the speciality German brand Wolfgang Katzer. “There are approximately over 300 optical shops in Cologne – I believe it is the most in Europe,” says Franzen, “and the reason for this is probably because there is an excellent School of Optometry here. When students graduate, they want to stay in Cologne, and open their own shop, so the majority of shops are independent.”
Augenweide is one hundred and fifty square meters, so the feeling is delightfully open, airy and welcoming. Beige and cocoa tones, with black floors, and beautiful, warm wood panelling and cabinets further enhance the ambience. Large windows offer the possibility of spacious displays, and during Eyestylist’s visit, the decoration included lavish flower paintings by a local designer, in bright spring colours, along with cheerful flowerpots, and beautiful frames. Discover more at www.augenweide.deJG
1st May 2015The term “luxury” is a fascinating subject, as it can have many different interpretations, depending on the person. The Victoria and Albert Museum explores the concept of luxury with a new exhibition What is Luxury? Exceptional examples of contemporary design and craftsmanship are featured alongside conceptual projects that interrogate fundamental ideas of luxury, its production and future.
Included in the presentation is an entirely handcrafted mechanical watch – The Second Space Travellers’ Watch – by British watch maker George Daniels. Fashion is represented with a laser-cut couture dress by innovative Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen (top photo), and more than 1000 hand-knitted nylon bubbles create the Bubble Bath necklace by Nora Fok.
The exhibition provokes thinking and debate through fictional scenarios that consider issues like privacy, resources and access that could determine present and future ideas of luxury. With over 100 remarkable objects, What is Luxury? takes visitors on a revealing journey, and prompts them to consider what luxury means and how it relates to their own lives. What is Luxury? a V&A and Crafts Council Exhibition, sponsored by Northacre, is at the V&A through 27 September 2015. www.vam.ac.uk/whatisluxuryJG
Photo Credits: Top image: Voltage Dress, Iris van Herpen, 2013 Paris M. Zoeter x Iris van Herpen; Middle photo: The Second Space Travellers Watch George Daniels, 1983 Jasper Gough, Sotheby’s; Bottom photo: Combs, Hair Highway Studio Swine 2014 Studio Swine
1st May 2015 Lens colours and special effects are all the rage. From the palest pastels to classic dark greens and blues and wild and intoxicating mirrors, making a decision on the right lens colour and coating has never been a hotter topic. Eyestylist recommends seeking guidance from an independent optical boutique, where the team will know the latest technology, as well as the fashion styles and lens fittings and how those might suit your complexion, eyes and hair colour.
Gwendoline Radley, dispensing optician and eyewear stylist at Adam Simmonds / Primrose Hill Optometrists (www.adamsimmonds.co.uk) shared some tips with us on how to choose a gorgeous lens design that protects your eyes and highlights your style.
“As last year, this year sees lots of bold mirror colours, flash coatings and, by contras, lots of the more subtle graduated and pastel tints which are mainly there to compliment the frame colour.” (Above: Vuarnet model 002).
“Bold mirrors work very well with neutral colour acetate frames or fine rims such as metal, where the lens is the one doing the talking. This year there is a trend for oversized clear / nude / peach styles, making a blank canvas for the strong lens colour, for instance a flash turquoise lens can look stunning in a fine rim gold or silver metal frame, as equally as it would look stunning in a nude acetate frame.
“The beauty of neutral frame colours means they work with many complexions and outfits and you can go to town with accessorising your lens colour with your favourite bag, lipstick or shoes. There is also an array of bold coloured frames, matching the colour of the lens or producing exciting contrasts.”
Oversized frames apart from being uber stylish also offer greater protection against the suns harmful rays. A fine soft rim with either a baby pink lens or a sky pastel blue lens, both on trend this year, can also work beautifully with either dark or fair complexions.
If a mirror coating is too much, then opt for a dark tinted lens. “Again there is a lot of colour choice,” explains Radley, “but the darkest and most versatile tints are grey, brown, blue and green. The green offers the most traditional look, a green lens in a simple tortoiseshell or nude is the ultimate in cool classic style.”
Lens tints – the checklist
Aim for: 1. 100% UV and CE marked / 2. Which category? General purpose tints range from 0 (lightest) to 3 (darkest) – look for Cat 0-3 / 3. Polarising lenses cut out glare – the reflected light off horizontal surfaces / 4. Choose between full tint (same density through the lens) or graduated tint, usually a very attractive choice for the aesthetic results / 5. Mirror coatings reduce even more of the light transmitting the lens as some light is reflected off it, making the tint appear darker. Mirrors are varying hugely in quality this season; look closely and be sure you are happy with the quality of the finish/colour effect – we love the gold and silver options in particular / 6. Understand the tech features behind the lens: buy your sunglasses from an optical boutique if you want high-quality lenses + high level fashion.
David Rose is a born and bred Californian, equally at home on a surfboard or ‘surfin’ European capitals. Indeed, it is his love of travel and sport that sparked the initiative to create SALT Eyewear. “I found my fondness for eyewear when I was twelve years old because of the ski frames that I wore. That’s how I started to get into eyewear.
“Before I started the company in 2006, I worked in an optical shop in Aspen, and I discovered I was really passionate about eyewear – the shapes, colours, sizes, and materials. Eyewear has a foot in the medical and fashion worlds.” A peripatetic traveller, Rose explored the world and indulged in lots of surfing. “Seeing the world and nature is the best place for creative ideas,” says Rose. The name SALT is an acronym for Sea, Air, Land and Time. The themes and colours are all based on the outdoors and the marvels of nature.
“When you travel you experience nature; you see great greens in the mountains and sea. There is so much inspiration in what Mother Nature gives out. At SALT, we are giving an authentic message, and we use real people in our photos. It gives a genuine feel that people can relate to what they are seeing.”
SALT frames are handcrafted in Japan with Mazzucchelli and Japanese acetate. Rose commented: “I’m in Japan several times a year to oversee everything. You don’t want to over promise and under deliver. I follow fashion from afar, but it is not the SALT driving force. I’m more about designing something that is not here today and gone tomorrow.” www.saltoptics.comJG