neubau in Berlin with Hien Le

neubau eyewear from Austria has teamed up again with Hien Le, as part of the designer’s S/S 2018 catwalk show in Berlin. The sunglass models, scheduled for release in Autumn, include the new Eugen, Ruben, Carla and Fabio, which seamlessly blend with the designer’s mens’ and womenswear looks on the runway.

Stylish and eco-friendly, neubau sunglasses are made from the plant based material “natural PX”,  and boast an acetate look, while being very light and resistant. The material is very pleasant to wear, and the variety of surface finishes are interesting and unique, with matt effects – which are particularly on trend – and ‘linear’ textures coming into the range for Autumn.

Hien Le’s S/S 2018 collection is a homage to dance in general and explores specific synergies between bodies and materials that compliment and support each other in seemingly fragile movements. The classic silhouettes and pleats in fabrics such as light silks, cottons and linen are reminiscent of dance costumes. Nuances of greige, rosé, sky-blue and accents of saffron yellow mirror the subtlety of the body movements. For more details: www.neubau-eyewear.comwww.hien-le.com / CN

Finest Seven

New from the British luxury label is Zero 11, a clean, minimal aviator shape with striking proportions and fashion-forward lens, designed by Jesse Stephens. Colours are in tune with the high quality aspect of the design. A grey graduated lens matches the sheen of the metal frame itself in this example, while other colour combinations include gold with a graduated brown lens and gold with a baby blue mirrored lens. Attention to form and craft, typical of Stephens’ work, is perfectly illustrated in a design that reinterprets a classic with dramatic aesthetics and a comfortable fit. www.finestseven.com CN

Jacques Marie Mage

From the Vanguard Collection by Jacques Marie Mage, Hortense is named after the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoleon 1, Queen consort of Holland. Made in Italy, with proportions and a finish that are impeccably thought out, this luxurious wide rectangular design is created in 10mm block black and clear cellulose acetate with custom double laminated and thermoformed temple construction and a superb walnut wood insert. A 6 base mineral glass lens completes the picture of quality and attention to detail. Find out more about the Los Angeles based label at  www.jacquesmariemage.com CN

Anna-Karin Karlsson with Le Snob

Collaborations have come into a new realm in the last months. Creative independent eyewear designers are uniting with terrific independent fashion partners, and raising the bar beyond the traditional eyewear collabs. One such union? Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson and Le Snob’s co-designers B. Akerlund and Robert Lussier, who have created a cool, covetable cat’s eye, with iconic elegance.

A rather gorgeous exaggerated upswept shape with round lens, the Black Swan sunglasses have flip-down front pieces, a concept that can be traced back to the lorgnettes and make-up glasses of the 1950s/60s. Pictured above: Model Guinevere by Tim Walker for Le Snob. Guinevere wears the new Black Swan shades.

Le Snob
Black Swan sunglasses by Anna-Karin Karlsson for Le Snob

Le Snob, set up by co-designers B. Akerlund, stylist, and Robert Lussier, formerly Creative Director at Vuitton and Dior, presents a street-sharp collection of haute utility, luxury leathers, canvas, eyewear and “gilded” gear, under the concept of “snobbility” – rhyming with mobility and nobility, proposing a superbly original take on innovative luxury. A relatively new entry in fashion, the brand is making a powerful debut in the fashion industry with the addition of big names such as Tim Walker shooting Guinevere Van Seenus in their latest campaign. Le Snob Black Swan sunglasses ($865) and other styles in the collection are available online at http://shop.lesnob.com/shop/le-black-swan CN

Historic Fashion Rediscovered

The Fabulous Wardrobe of Countess Greffulhe

Her wardrobe – as well as her life – was the toast and talk of Paris. Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe (1860-1952) was the epitome of elegance, with an exquisite, enviable wardrobe, the focus of a stunning exhibition at Palais Galleria in Paris.  She was an avid patron of the arts, promoting and encouraging James Whistler; Auguste Rodin and Gustave Moreau; and the ballet impresario Diaghilev and his  Ballet Russes. The Countess was also a supporter of composer Gabriel Fauré, and his Pavane was premiered at a garden party in the Bois de Boulogne that she organised. In addition, she produced and promoted operas including Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and Twilight of the Gods.

Charles FrÈderic Worth (1825-1895). Robe byzantine portÈe par la Comtesse Greffulhe pour le mariage de sa fille, 1904 - Taffetas lamÈ, soie et filÈ or, tulle de soie, application de paillettes. Galliera, musÈe de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.
Charles FrÈderic Worth (1825-1895). Robe byzantine portÈe par la Comtesse Greffulhe pour le mariage de sa fille, 1904 – Taffetas lamÈ, soie et filÈ or, tulle de soie, application de paillettes. Galliera, musÈe de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.

Proust immortalised her for posterity as the Duchess of Guermantes in Proust’s novel A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time). The Countess captivated Parisian society with her tireless activities and her glorious wardrobe. She was a fascinating, slender figure in an alluring cloud of tulle, gauze, chiffon and feathers, or in her velvet coats and kimono jackets. The Palais Gallieria displays fifty dresses worn by the Countess, designed by grand couturiers including Fortuny, Worth, Lanvin and Babani.

Charles-Frederick Worth (1825-1895). Tea gown. Velours ciselÈ bleu foncÈ sur fond de satin vert. Dentelle de Valenciennes. Doublure en taffetas changeant vert et bleu, vers 1897. Galliera, musÈe de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.
Charles-Frederick Worth (1825-1895). Tea gown. Velours ciselÈ bleu foncÈ sur fond de satin vert. Dentelle de Valenciennes. Doublure en taffetas changeant vert et bleu, vers 1897. Galliera, musÈe de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.

There are evening and day dresses, coats, accessories, portraits, photographs and films. The exhibition is a marvellous invitation to go “in search of lost fashion”, and to become acquainted with the divine Countess, whose image was inescapably linked with her luxurious wardrobe. La Mode Retrouvée (Fashion Regained) Dresses of Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe opens 7th November and continues until 20th March 2016. www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr JG 

Top image: Photographie de Otto, la comtesse Greffulhe dans une robe de bal, veers 1887 Copyright Otto/Galliera/Roger-Viollet

Mehran Baghaie – Spectacle Eyeworks

Mehran Baghaie in Vancouver Canada weaves tradition, art and history into his frame creations. Ideas and inspiration are inexorably linked with his Persian ancestry, and then beautifully balanced with trends of today’s style and technical directions. Baghaie and his wife Anisa are both opticians, and managed several shops in Vancouver, where they have lived since 1984.

Bret from the stainless steel collection by Mehran Baghaie at Spectacle Eyeworks
Bret from the stainless steel collection by Mehran Baghaie at Spectacle Eyeworks

However, as Baghaie explains, “I wanted to design something of my own, and my first SILMO was in 1999, and there were only a few independents. Now there are many more people gravitating towards micro brands, and people are looking for brands that cater to independent opticians.

Nadia from Pussy Galore by Mehran Baghaie
Nadia from Pussy Galore by Mehran Baghaie

“Materials that are personally fascinating to me include wood – which I started to use in 2004. I’m a real history buff, and I’m very fond of Native Arts, including Homa, a mystic bird from Persia, and a lion from the 17th Century. Also, I love gothic, and vintage cat-eyes have a special place in my heart, and a cat-eye is  an uplift for the face.” Baghaie has a unique collection – Pussy Galore – devoted only to sleek cat-eye shapes in ravishing colours. Another favourite Baghaie material is stainless steel. His latest collection in the German crafted material is distinctly angular, with modern, clean design that brings a chic mystique to each style. Colours are contrasted with multi-layering, which results in rich intonations. Baghaie has added a special touch with a message included inside one temple. One phrase is ‘Oneness of Mankind’, and Baghaie reveals:”I was always moved by these words, and I wanted to share them by bringing hope of peace on earth.

Soozee in stainless steel by Mehran Baghaie
Soozee in stainless steel by Mehran Baghaie

“I like to create frames that I can relate to in my collections, which means carving beautiful fashion that recycles itself. My influences change by my surroundings and by world events.” Spectacle Eyeworks is sold throughout Europe, America and Canada. For more information on the collection, visit www.spec-eyeworks.com JG

 

 

 

Specstacular Opticians, Shoreditch

A vintage destination for eyewear connoisseurs

“It’s lined with up-and-coming design stores,” says Hackney boy Keval, explaining the location of his inspirational glasses store – Specstacular – on Cheshire Street in Shoreditch, East London. “Hala and I opened the shop in May last year, but we’ve planned the business over a much longer period of around 7 years. I was driving across the country to source furniture and increase the vintage collection. I have been collecting vintage frames for around 20 years.” In the centre of the shop is a wooden cabinet featuring unusual eyewear exhibits including an “eye mask” that dates back to Roman times. Lining the walls of the shop are a selection of the frames – different types of vintage design, folding glasses, unusual safety eyewear and visors, and classics of all shapes and sizes. Pictured above: owners Keval and Hala at Specstacular, Shoreditch

 

Rigards x Royal Selangor
Rigards x Royal Selangor, coming soon

The shop was introduced to Eyestylist by Rigards’ Ti Kwa, whose unique horn designs are now available here – aptly it’s the first stockist of the Rigards collection in London, and the only store in the UK that will have the exclusive Rigards x Royal Selangor designs in horn and pewter – coming soon.

Alongside Rigards are several other carefully selected new labels such as Michel Henau and Kuboraum, – Keval says the new ones have to be really interesting – “the wackier the better” – and the selection of incredible vintage designs, which dates back to the 40s, giving the shop its historic appeal. “We have become a destination for eyewear brands and designers; we are involved in all kinds of special TV and film projects including a documentary on the Royal Family and a Hong Kong-Chinese romantic film called ‘Triumph in the Skies”.

Festival eyewear: Hala models safety frame fitted with bespoke lenses
Festival eyewear: Hala models vintage safety frame with bespoke lenses

“Customising lenses is one of our specialities and this is an area where we seem to have caught the public’s imagination. We are able to play with colours and tints that you wouldn’t normally get, and we can fit them in frames that are not easily found,” explains Keval.

Theo - 'Petillante'
‘Vintage’ Theo – ‘Petillante’

Planning for the future, the duo mention a new 15 piece collection of their own, coming in summer 2016. “I am working on it and I’d like to launch next year. We will start in acetate with a few combination styles. The aim will be to create a collection that fits with our specialism in vintage, with, of course emphasis on artisan quality and precision.” Further details at www.specstacular.london CN

40, Cheshire Street, London E2 6EH 

Rigards – Elegant and Sculpted Aesthetics

Metalloid Frames by Innovator Ti Kwa

Napoleon III used aluminium plates for state dinners – and Jules Verne – in his novel –  “Journey to the Moon” – describes an aluminium space rocket. Now Ti Kwa at RIGARDS, uses this exceptional and naturally occurring metal for sculpted frames. This traditional material is strong, yet lightweight, durable and non-toxic. The result is five marvellously crafted designs in three colours – grey, ink blue, and gold.

Sanjuro by RIGARDS from the Metalloid Collection
Sanjuro by RIGARDS from the Metalloid Collection

Creative shapes for men and women that embrace RIGARDS gutsy, yet refreshing eyewear expressions, enhance the designs. The frames feature specially created screw-less hinges, and innovatively designed nose-pads for superb fit. For more info on RIGARDS Metalloid directional frames, visit www.rigards.com JG

 

 

Model 9184

Carter Bond

Setting the tone for the season, this very fine acetate model 9184 comes in fancy graduated tones and soft matt finishes. Offering as always a great level of comfort and fit, the designs in this collection are for stepping out confidently. The understated key hole bridge is a nice touch. www.carterbond.com CN

Eye-witness VA

Theo Eyewear

A new creative design from theo eyewear that plays on the concept of perspective or “representing depth in a painting or drawing”. The stainless steel frames in this eyewitness series feature two contour lines that give the impression of volume. Combining a basic colour and a shadow colour the result is a spectacular 3d optical illusion on the face, surprising, artistic, and a little bit light-hearted too! Launched this week at Silmo Paris. www.theo.be CN

Sinistre

RockOptika

Sinistre by RockOptika is a favourite style in this swish new line designed in the UK and made in France. Designer Tom Herrington offers a quirky take on artisan styling, with precise details, and painstaking attention to fit and technical details such as pantoscopic tilt. The result? Something we’d love to wear!  www.rockoptika.com CN

 

Mazzucchelli – Six Generations of Excellence

The charming Italian medieval village of Castiglione Olona is the home location for Mazzucchelli – the internationally acclaimed producers of acetate. Product Development Manager Elena Orsi Mazzucchelli has graciously shared the amazing history of this remarkable brand with Eyestylist.

Could you please give the history of Mazzucchelli? “Born as a tiny factory, established in 1849 for the production of combs and buttons made from animal horn, bone and tortoiseshell, Mazzucchelli is now the worldwide leader in the production and distribution of the plastic material traditionally used for the production of optical frames: Cellulose Acetate. The company, still owned by the Mazzucchelli family, has been operating for the last 165 years through 6 generations. Now, the last two generations are directly involved in the company, always focused on carrying out the traditional of this exceptional example of Italian excellence. Throughout the years, Mazzucchelli 1849 has been active in several industrial fields and is now performing as the parent company of the most important industrial conglomeration worldwide, which supplies semi-finished products for the optical market (acetate sheets and granules, metal components and sunglass lenses). Massucchelli’s products are aimed at markets ranging from spectacles, sunglasses and fashion accessories, to interior decoration and design objects, where quality and aesthetical values are greatly appreciated. The products with technical qualities are valued by safety, sports and automotive industries.”

Mazzucchelli has successfully survived major upheavals including two World Wars, and economic transitions. How has this been realised or accomplished? “Over three centuries entrepreneurial spirit, intuition, vision have enabled Mazzucchelli to take a global view of the countless new challenges of the market, and to converse with the fashion world, which demands a particular sensibility to aesthetical and innovative features.

Mazzucchelli Archives
Mazzucchelli Archives

“Quality, creativity, and innovation have always been Mazzucchelli’s core values and advantages over its competitors. Over the years, Mazzucchelli has always shown a great capacity for innovation and this has enabled the company to face successfully all the major upheavals, including the two World Wars and economic transitions. After the First World War, with great insight, Mazzucchelli decided to produce on an industrial scale the first thermoplastic material, celluloid, and celluloid still remains a vivid product in collective imagination. Another reason for the success of Mazzucchelli was the elaboration of a new product: cellulose acetate, a polymer of plant origin. The research laboratories developed this product which has the same characteristics of celluloid, but it is safer because it is flame-proof. Even when the standards of beauty evolved towards a ‘modern’ concept of design (since the 60’s), Mazzucchelli, thanks to its traditional vocation to be a pioneer, readily caught these new values participating actively in the new trend, and working with major companies such as Kartell and  Campari in the production of articles which had become cult objects. Starting from the 70’s, the eyewear world has been highly influenced by design. Emerging Italian fashion designers, such as Armani, Valentino and Missoni gave a strong acceleration to the evolution of taste and distinguished themselves in the global fashion environment with the concept of Made in Italy. Mazzucchelli did not remain indifferent to such a huge phenomenon and conveyed the new standards to its product.”

What do you think is the most important development or improvement in the eyewear industry in the past fifty years? “Over the past fifty years, the biggest evolution in the eyewear industry has been the metamorphosis of the optical frame into a fashion accessory, a trendy item. Once the prosthesis function was lost, the optical frame became the answer – in the colours and designs to the specific taste of the moment. this was a real revolution, and since fashion entered the world of eyeglasses nothing has ever been the same. Mazzucchelli started to collaborate with leading fashion brands, and created a research center dedicated to the study of trends, and to all the socio-cultural factors capable of influence on the current taste. This research center, the historic ‘Centre O” is still operating and has become the undisputed benchmark in the world of eyewear.”

Creative Colourations: Acetate Block by Mazzucchelli
Creative Colourations: Acetate Block by Mazzucchelli

Mazzucchelli creates thousands of different colours every year – what general research methods do you incorporate in this massive project? “Product development has always been guaranteed by the Italian ‘Centre O’ based in Castiglione Olona. This research center works closely with brands, designers and customers from all over the world, offering a wide range of products and design consultancy. Every year this activity creates 40 collections inspired by different stylistic tendencies.The creative source for inspiration comes from fashion trends, design trends, from the suggestions collected travelling, from visits to fairs, art exhibitions, as well as from the stimulating conversations with customers, designers or artists. Besides the collections, Mazzucchelli annually develops about 6,000 new colours, unique products specifically manufactured for individual customers, developed to satisfy the need for customization, nowadays increasingly demanded by the market.”

What three colours are enduring favourites with designers? “The colour selection for optical frames includes: a tortoiseshell that, according to the prevailing fashion of the moment, could be a bleeding or a streaky tortoiseshell, or a spotted one. Black as a basic colour, and a unique colour and pattern combination which personalizes the selection.”

1849 Mazzucchelli - Italian Excellence
1849 Mazzucchelli – Italian Excellence

What are Mazzucchelli’s insights or perceptions for the future of eyewear? “Trends remain the guiding principles over the years, but as we have seen, a new requirement has become more assertive, that of personalization. We also feel that the quality and attention paid to detail will gain more significance each day, along with the need to accompany each product with its history, in order to convey its value and its DNA to the market. Eyeglasses will be more and more an object of cult used to reinforce the concept of brand identity. They will also become a new post-modern communicational tool, used to express one’s personality and to feel at ease in specific contexts.”

 

Drawing of Castiglione Olona 1954 by Fourth Generation Franco Mazzucchelli
Drawing of Castiglione Olona 1954 by Fourth Generation Franco Mazzucchelli

Creating Mazzucchelli acetate requires specialized skills. Nowadays, are young people interested in this unique and challenging career? “Every day we perceive an increasing interest in knowing more about the material used for production, because it’s only by being aware of its origin, of its history and of its components that we can be sure it is suitable to meet specific needs. Mazzucchelli manufacturers a wide range of products from classical to trendy and avant-garde. In particular, it’s the sheet produced following the Block process which represents a great attraction for stylists and designers, because the block, being made up of many and always different elements, can create inimitable effects allowing release of boundless and free creativity. This creativity can find expression thanks to the aesthetic sensibility of the workers in the laboratory, whose specialized skills are the outcome of a school, and a long cultural tradition and craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation. Yes, Mazzucchelli receives many requests from people who would like to take part in this creative process: this induces us to continue our work with great enthusiasm.” www.mazzucchelli.com JG

 

 

 

 

Les Lunettes Óptica, Barcelona

Third boutique opens in the Catalan capital

Les Lunettes Óptica, a leader in independent eyewear in Barcelona, has opened its third store, just off Paseo de Gracia and close to Gaudi’s exotic Casa Batlló. A minimal white interior with industrial vintage fittings and natural wood make a perfect backdrop for creative frames selected by Eva Mena.

Interior, Les Lunettes, new store
Interior, Les Lunettes, new store

Collections launched here in August included LGR, Res/Rei, Gentle Monster and Barcelona’s own young eyewear label, Alfred Kerbs.

 

foto tienda

RES/REI frames displayed at Les Lunettes
Res/Rei acetate frames displayed at Les Lunettes, Consell de Cent

Each of the Les Lunettes stores has a handpicked selection of frames and a different style of interior in keeping with the location of the store. Owner Eva explained: “All our stores are unique. The starting point for the new interior in Consell de Cent was a set of old industrial drawers and the iron stairway, painted neon yellow – with this we have added some 1950s touches including vintage mirrors and chairs. We will add more individual touches as we go along.”

Consell de Cent 308, 08007 Barcelona. Find out about Les Lunettes stores at  www.leslunettesbarcelona.com CN

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty

Iconic Photographer at Smithsonian Art Museum

Fashion, portrait and still life images by Irving Penn (1917-2009), are among the photography masterpieces in black-and-white and colour on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The exhibition is the first retrospective in twenty years of the photographer who captured street scenes from the American South; fine-art fashion photos; still life and celebrity portraits; and photos made for magazine editorials and commercial advertising; including previously unseen images.

Irving Penn: Ball Dress by Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci New York, 2007
Irving Penn: Ball Dress by Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci New York, 2007

Penn’s photographic career spanned nearly seventy years, and at Vogue magazine, Penn’s portraits and fashion images defined 1950’s elegance. There are approximately one hundred fifty photos, plus Super 8mm films of Penn in Morocco, made by his wife – who was a model – Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn – that add a dynamic insight into the artist at work.

 

Irving Penn: Young Boy, Pause Pause American South, 1941, printed 2001
Irving Penn: Young Boy, Pause Pause American South, 1941, printed 2001

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty opens at The Smithsonian American Art Museum on 23rd October, and continues through 20th March 2016 – it will then travel to several cities across America. The exhibition beautifully celebrates Penn’s photographic legacy as a modern master of his craft. For info on The Smithsonian click on www. americanart.si.edu. For Exhibition details – www.americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2015/irving_penn/.  JG

Photos: Top image – Irving Penn Leontyne Price New York, 1961 Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation Copyright Condé Nast Ball Dress: Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation Copyright Condé Nast Young Boy: Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation Copyright The Irving Penn Foundation

Independent Designers Celebrated…

At 2015 Hall of Frames in Zurich

The picturesque – and the largest city in Switzerland – is the setting on 4th and 5th October for the inspiring 2015 edition of Hall of Frames. An international group of innovators will present their latest collections for optical frames and sunglasses. Award winning Parisian designer Jérémy Tarian cultivates nature and art in his newest optical selection that includes Menilmontant (above) – elegant and chic with retro echoes, skillfully crafted in glossy Mazzucchelli acetate in beautiful colourations. www.jeremytarian.com

Bridget from the Kaleidoscope Collection by Kirk and Kirk
Bridget from the Kaleidoscope Collection by Kirk & Kirk

Frames in durable, yet lightweight acrylic are the hallmark material at British brand Kirk & Kirk. Handcrafted in France, and right on trend, is their Kaleidoscope Collection, in luminous acrylic – with an elegant polished glass effect. Jason and Karen Kirk’s latest launch is inspired by Kalos – the Greek god of beauty, and contemporary styling highlights Bridget (above) in stunning coral.www.kirkandkirk.com

Tanda - Urban Mood by Sven Götti - Götti Switzerland
Tanda – Urban Mood by Sven Götti – Götti Switzerland

The metropolitan and urban landscape captures the imagination of Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland, with his new collection. Tanda (above) blends retro with its voluminous proportions – and modern with its intricate material mix of matt acetate and pure titanium. The super slim silhouette features an acetate front in autumn leaf, and silver titanium temples, with sleek black acetate end tips. www.gotti.ch

Suzie Blue in Titanium by Orgreen Optics
Suzie Blue in Titanium by Orgreen Optics

Eyewear collections are enhanced by a variety of materials, and Orgreen in Denmark make their style statement in titanium. The refined, unadorned silhouette in Suzie Blue highlights the featherweight features of titanium, and its colour characteristics. Rich forest green on the front and temples, contrasts with gold and black sides, and delicate end tips in gold. www.orgreenoptics.com View these collections and others, including: Lafont Paris; Lucas de Staël; Adrian Marwitz; Face à Face Paris; Suzy Glam; Coblens; and Caroline Abram at 2015 Hall of Frames Zurich – 4/5 October. More info at www.hallofframes.ch JG

Brillen Schneider launch exhibition

Ewa Look, collage artist

Munich’s Brillen Schneider, a specialist in fine eyewear and independent brands such as LGR, Lindberg and Suzy Glam, launch a new window exhibition with artist Ewa Look. 12 handmade collages, with a nod to German dadaism and 3d futurism, are displayed alongside eye-catching frames from some of the collections on sale at the prestigious store.

 

Ewa Look's The Authenticity of Red: The Gentlewoman featuring LGR Eyewear
Ewa Look’s The Authenticity of Red: The Gentlewoman, featuring LGR frames

The colourful collage designs in different sizes metamorphosise the optician’s windows with spectacular effect. Showing until 19th October, with all original collages available to purchase. Brillen Schneider, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 Munich / www.brillen-schneider.de www.ewalook.com CN

Colin and Josie Redmond

Niloca Eyewear

Just as we’d thought we were up-to-date on all the most creative brands around the world, Niloca Eyewear came to our attention in 2013. There followed the discovery of Scoogle in Melbourne, and several chats with Colin (aka Mr Niloca) in Paris. With a background in industrial design and a fascination for all things innovative in eyewear, it quickly became apparent that this was another rule-breaking label with their own unique approach to spectacle-making.

“I married into eyewear,” explains Colin who first met his wife Josie at the optometrist’s where she was working at the time.” “We went out for dinner and found we’d both outgrown Brisbane. A few months later we were packing our life into a 3 ton truck together and drove 2,000km south to Melbourne. We wanted to open our own eyewear store and expand my 3D printing and design company.”

Despite tumultuous initial experiences, including the onset of GFC 1 in November 2008, the Scoogle store has flourished, run by both Josie, a trained optometrist and Colin, the designer. Collections found here today include Niloca, Theo and Anne & Valentin (read about Scoogle at http://www.eyestylist.com/2014/10/scoogle-melbourne/).

 

Niloca 2012, Frame within Frame
Niloca 2012, Frame within Frame

“From the outset, our point of difference wasn’t our product variety, our brand or price. It was our service, which started from the very beginning, before the frame or customer even entered the store. Exceptional service started with an equally exceptional design, created as a service to cater for the needs and wants of the customer. We didn’t need bells, whistles, bling, mirror and smoke to attract customers – all we needed was design and service. The rest took care of itself.”

Josie wears Niloca Phi
Josie wears Niloca Phi

Soon after, the creation of the Niloca collection began. “I dispensed with the traditional design process of computer designs. The $50,000 worth of advanced software and hardware I had used in 3D Printing parts for automotive, mining and science companies now gathered a patina of dust.

“Boxes of Derwent, Pantone and Rotring implements took centre stage and I drew new models by hand on actual paper and made prototypes using tin, balsa wood, foam and card board. It was a chimerical process of tactile sensory pleasure, live in 3D in front of my eyes. I’d been deprived of this for many years as 2×30” flat LCD screens desperately tried to fool me into a 3D environment of CAD models to the 4th decimal point. This new found enthusiasm for drawing was immediately rewarding and solution driven.”

By summer 2011/12, Colin had released his first sunglass model, Florna, named after the couple’s first daughter. The colours chosen were derived from classic archived Italian acetates, meticulously stored in an Australian eyewear factory 5 hours west of Sydney. Florna is a classic chic frame infused liberally by Art Deco lines, proportion and as the designer explains, “the most important ingredient – chromaticness”.

Hyperfocus 2015 / Niloca Rost
Hyperfocus 2015 / Niloca Rost

Several collections later came some Niloca “classics”, such as Hyperfocus, one of the first Niloca concepts I saw myself at Silmo 2014. Handsculpted in the Jura in France, this acetate design, in patterned and single colour versions, has a cutting-edge 3d form, that flatters the face, but in a rather unexpected way. Like an optical illusion, the 3d effect is apparent really only when viewed from the side, not from the front; it’s surprising, elegant and unconventional, all at once.

This time, our Silmo releases will hold more surprises, says Colin. “I’m taking the 3D form theme I started out with 5 years ago,” he explains, “and pushing it even further. In 2013, we released a ‘frame within a frame’ concept, something people were scared of, but now copy in droves. So in Paris, I hope to give Niloca ‘fans’ more to inspire them, pushing the idea of depth to a new level.” For more information: www.niloca.com / www.scoogle.com.au CN

Laurice

Vera Wang Capsule Collection

A luxuriously voluminous butterfly shape characterizes Laurice from the Vera Wang Capsule Collection. With fluid grace, the tortoiseshell acetate is unadorned, and also available in deliciously soft blush, and matte black. In both her clothing and eyewear creations, Vera Wang makes a stylish, memorable statement. www.kenmarkoptical.com JG

Bundi TG

Mondelliani for John Robshaw

Textile designer John Robshaw and Roman eyewear producers Mondelliani have got together to produce a series of striking patterned sunglasses, with superb results. The frames are decorated with Robshaw’s distinct exotic textile designs, inspired by the designer’s work and travels across India, Indonesia, and Africa. Mondelliani chooses simple shapes that allow the decorations to speak for themselves. Model Bundi TG is one of our favourites, a split front design with abstract animal print. All the styles are made in Italy with 100% UV protection and anti-reflection lens coating. www.johnrobshaw.comwww.mondelliani.it  CN

Facellia 92

ROLF Spectacles

ROLF’S beautifully crafted evolved wood collection includes Facellia 92 – a soft, feminine and elegant shape. Different wood combinations are available: authentic smoked eucalyptus; bog oak-maple-bog oak; bog oak walnut; and steamed robinie – a wood native to America but now grown in Europe and South Africa. The graceful shape is accented with two-tone colouration. ROLF will be presenting their complete collections in wood and stone at SILMO in Paris starting on 25th September. www.rolf-spectacles.com JG

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

National Portrait Gallery Celebrates Audrey Hepburn

1st September 2015 Actress, humanitarian, and icon – Audrey Hepburn is one of the most fascinating and memorable women of the 20th Century. Born in Holland, she began her career as a dancer and chorus girl in London’s West End. She evolved into an inspiring and glamorous international movie star, and teamed for years with Hubert de Givenchy in a famous style marriage. Her later life culminated in remarkable philanthropic work, including Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy by Norman Parkinson 1955
Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy by Norman Parkinson 1955

The National Portrait Gallery pays homage to this extraordinary woman with photos that span her life from a nine-year-old – through to her last major photo shoot in 1991. These are beautiful and reflective photos from leading photographers including Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Terry O’Neill, and Norman Parkinson.

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's by Howell Conant
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Howell Conant

The exhibition has been organised with support from the Audrey Hepburn Estate and her sons, Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer. Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is a memorable show that highlights a truly exceptional, iconic woman. Until 18th October. www.npg.org.uk JG 

Photos: Top image: Audrey Hepburn dressed in Givenchy with sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith by Douglas Kirkland 1966 Copyright Iconic Images/Douglas Kirkland Audrey Hepburn in pink Givenchy Copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive  Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly by Howell Conant, published on the cover of Jours de France, 27 January 1962

Titan Contour Fullrim (5438)

Silhouette

A brand new titanium design from Austrian luxury eyewear company, Silhouette. The state-of-the-art features include the screw-less lens and snap hinges, and the weight of the frame is just 4.4 grams. Clean minimal aesthetics offer a superb choice for workwear, with classic colours that include silver black, gold and black, grey tobacco and jeans blue. Silhouette’s metal frames are created in a patented high-tech titanium that is super light, flexible and easy-to-wear.  www.silhouette.com CN

Eyewear Canine Companions

Lapin – The Bilingual Pooch

27th August 2015 Eyestylist’s continuing series on Eyewear Canine Companions visits with Lapin – who is bilingual, but reportedly all paws when it comes to computer keyboards. So Lapin had a little assistance from her owners Jason and Karen Kirk, of Kirk & Kirk Eyewear.

Have you had Lapin since she was a puppy? “Lapin joined the Kirk family when she was eight weeks old. She is now twelve. Her parents were working dogs, and we met her at a farm in the Pyrenees, France. She is a Pyreneen Shepherd. As a puppy, she would herd Eden and Ezra (her parents) as if they were sheep, and nip their ankles.”

Is Lapin an “office dog?” “Lapin spends her day in our design studio making sure we are not barking up the wrong tree.”

Lapin The Pyreneen Shepherd
Lapin The Pyreneen Shepherd

What are some of her special characteristics? “Lapin has a fear of flies. She has lived in Brighton for three years now, so she is completely bilingual. Her favourite artist is Celine Dion, which really annoys the rest of the family, as nobody else in the house enjoys listening.”

Has walking with Lapin ever triggered a design idea? “Taking Lapin for a walk offers a brief moment of calm…often the moment when ideas are formed.”

Does Lapin travel with you? “Lapin rarely travels with us although she did make the move from Bordeaux to Brighton. When we go on holiday she often prefers to stay with friends rather than come with us. As a mature lady, we allow her to make her own decisions. Lapin was nine when she moved to England, the perfect age for learning a new language. She took the cultural change in her stride, but developed a nervous twitch. And now whenever she meets a French person she whistles “She” by Charles Aznavour. It was alright the first few times…” www.kirkandkirk.com JG

 

Greek Culinary Experience – NYC!

City Dining with Greek Island Ambience

25th August 2015 Opened nearly thirty years ago in New York City, Periyali restaurant continues to gather rave reviews. Proprietor Nicola Kotsoni, originally from the Greek island of Zakynthos, conveyed her love of the island’s cuisine…to the island of Manhattan. All the entrees are individually prepared, and diners can savour classic dishes that include: Spanakopita, Moussaka, and grilled Calamari – along with other Greek specialities. The wine list is extensive – with a wonderful collection of champagnes – including Dom Perignon- and superior Greek wines, plus American and international selections.

Classic Greek Cuisine at Periyali
Classic Greek Cuisine at Periyali

The ambience at Periyali (which means “seashore”) welcomes diners to the tranquility and beauty of the Greek Islands, with its fresh décor, and inviting sky lit garden. Nicola loves to entertain – and she personally oversees every detail – including selecting the most beautiful flowers for her famous and original designs. For traditional Greek cuisine, Periyali represents the best of culinary delights from the Hellenic Islands. www.periyali.com JG

Suzy Glam -Tarian

Netherlands Boutique Features Parisian Designer

21st August 2015 Suzy Glam’s chic, sophisticated boutique in the Museum District of Amsterdam opened last November, featuring the complete selection of handcrafted eyewear created by Susanne Klemm. The boutique also showcases distinctive eyewear designers with a creative spirit – including Jérémy Tarian who visited and presented his collection at a recent Vernissage.

“After appearances of Paulino, Willems Wonderglasses, 8000 Eyewear and now Tarian, the concept of an Eyewear Gallery is Established,” says Etienne Frederiks of Suzy Glam, “and it was great that Jérémy came to Amsterdam. The nice weather and great people made for a relaxed atmosphere.” Photo above: Etienne Frederiks, Susanne Klemm, and Jérémy Tarian at Suzy Glam Boutique

Suzy Glam Boutique Interior
Suzy Glam Boutique Interior

The Tarian collection is unique in its originality, style, beauty and colourations. Jérémy brings art into the eyewear environment with his handmade designs in acetate, and acetate and metal. www.suzyglam.com www.jeremytarian.com JG

Chris Mascré and Yolande de Clerq

Vue dc, France

Vue dc Founder Chris Mascré is one of the most modest designers we have come across in the eyewear profession but his handmade French designs speak volumes about his love for traditional spectacle making and creative artisan design. Chris and Yolande de Clerq talked to Eyestylist ahead of the Autumn eyewear fashion fairs.

“Since I was a teenager I have been attracted by eyewear as an accessory,” explains Mascré, “that expresses individual personality.” Mascré studied optometry at the famous optical institute ISO in Paris, trained at ESSEL (later Essilor) and opened his first optical boutique in Montparnasse in Paris in 1975. The shop was known for its different approach to eyewear, at a time when independent designers were almost unheard of.

“In the 80s I worked with Paulette Guinet and Alain Mikli, and that was when I began to have my own specific style and identity as a designer.”

It was in 2007, at Silmo, the Paris eyewear fair, that Mascré made his debut as a designer in his own right. “By March 2008 we were exhibiting our acetate retro style designs for the first time in NYC,” says Mascré. We were immediately noticed by the most innovative optical shops of the time. That show was the start of everything.”

Today, Vue dc designs are the work of Chris Mascré with consistent input from Yolande de Clercq (aka Yoma). “Yoma has always been involved in Vue dc – she is behind the choice of materials and colours; her approval in the designs is decisive!”

Vue DC
Vue dc: a flair for natural colours

Asked to explain the stand-out qualities of his collection, made in the Jura, in France, Chris says: “Our selection of acetates with specific thicknesses allows us to explore 3-d volumes. This gives both the Vue dc and Chris M collections their particular identity and style. We are dedicated to uncompromising quality and the very best artisan production. The Vue dc Swarovski collection – for example – is quite apart in its quality and aesthetics, and is typical of our dedication to making things with real skill and precise craftsmanship. Over time, we have created several Vue dc timeless designs…Kis, Rok, Tao, Art and Eva.”

Vue dc
Vue dc: made in France

With so many changes in the eyewear industry itself, Chris firmly upholds his dedication to tradition and authentic handmade frames.

“We have chosen the creative route in eyewear, which means we are all about traditional quality. In the years ahead, we plan to continue to enhance our French “savoir-faire”; it is fabulous to be working with people who express the same creative spirit. I would say that our love for producing frames with a real passion and dedication to the product as an art form or design object continues to be the main driving force for both our labels.”

Vue dc
Vue dc: creative 3-d acetate designs

Vue dc will present five new designs in the eyewear fairs ahead including Silmo in September, and shows in Las Vegas and and New York (Capsule). The new Chris M sunglasses collection will also be launched with five Chris M optical designs. Find more information at www.vuedc.fr CN

Dior, The New Look Revolution

Exhibition at Dior’s Childhood Home

1st August 2015 Christian Dior revolutionized fashion history in 1947, when he presented his first haute couture collection. In a post-war era, where many countries were still on rations and rebuilding, Dior marked the start of a dramatic era and the triumph of femininity with his “New Look” and legendary silhouette. The Bar suit, with its black full skirt, and wasp waist ecru jacket, became both the manifesto and the icon. Marion Cotillard (above) wearing the Bar suit 2012 features in the museum poster.

 

Dior, The New Look Revolution published by Rizzoli featuring Dior's The Bar Suit, by Mats Gustafson
Dior, The New Look Revolution published by Rizzoli featuring Dior’s The Bar Suit, by Mats Gustafson

Dior’s childhood home – Villa les Rhumbs, in Granville, Normandy – with its beautiful garden and seaside location was an inspiration for him. The villa is now a museum and hosts the exhibition Dior, The New Look Revolution, which include photographs and archives, and reveals the complexity of the silhouette’s architecture. To celebrate the occasion, Laurence Benaïm has written a book Dior, The New Look Revolution, published by Rizzoli. It’s nearly seventy years since Dior introduced his “New Look” – however, his amazingly engineered silhouette, with its timeless feminine shape, is spot on trend in the latest Dior collection – a 21st Century interpretation of a legacy. The exhibition continues through 1st November 2015. www.musee-dior-granville.com JG

Photo of Marion Cotillard by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

S42 Wedding

ic! berlin

ic! berlin’s S42 Wedding is one of the new feather-light optical frames in the German company’s Hybrid Collection – a panto “round” shape with real elegance. Precision-cut acetate is combined here with ic! berlin’s spring stainless steel. Pictured in rosé-gold-caramel, a beautiful soft combination that is on trend for a perfect transition from summer to autumn. If you are updating specs this month, this natural colour palette is the way to go. http://www.ic-berlin.de CN