‘Cognac expresses avant-garde and boldness’ says Julien Couture, co-founder and creative director of the emerging label Lunetterie Générale from Canada. The frame, pictured above in Tortoise with a gold clip and mustard lenses, is an example of the quality focus in the collection which is produced in Fukui, Japan, well-known as a centre of traditional expertise and precision in eyewear production. Each frame undergoes 48 stages of manufacture from start to finish, coordinated by several specialist craftsmen.
Versatility with materials is creatively expressed in Scott by Face à Face Paris. Advanced technical developments enable eyewear designers to experiment in innovative ways. Metal and aluminium combine in Scott with a voluminous shape and distinctive details – a bright splash of sunny yellow on the nose bar and temples, juxtaposed with black. Face à Face will present their collection of optical frames and sunglasses at SILMO Paris in October. www.faceaface-paris.comJG
Jono Hennessy’s latest creations include a graceful, contemporary style in pretty floral hues of crystal. The shimmering see-through design – Model 8414 – is accented with a distinctive bamboo acetate temple with a matt finish. Pale pink, tender green, soft lavender and clear crystal tones are beautiful additions to the Jono Hennessy collection. See all the newest Jono Hennessy releases at SILMO! www.jonohennessy.comJG
Explorers and their adventurous spirit inspire Orgreen’s expressive frames that celebrate great navigators. Among those honoured is Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India by sea. The Vasco frame combines modern and vintage elements with square lenses and a low nose bridge. The colours are luxurious – deep blue matte (above), pale green and warm tortoise – all echoing textures and colours of foreign forests and seas – plus exotic spices like pepper and cinnamon. Explore more visual horizons by Orgreen at www.orgreenoptics.comJG
Striking new designs in the Volte Face Collection by the designer Jean-François Rey will be launched at SILMO Paris in October. Joy is a delicate, streamlined silhouette in Emerald Green acetate and marbled tortoiseshell, further distinguished with colour play on both sides of the top. The feminine, sophisticated frame enhances autumn chic in women’s fashions. Discover more F/W frame news at www.volteface.comJG
Culture and cuisine combine in FLEYE’s newest eyewear collection that will launch at SILMO in October. The tempting ingredients of the famed Smorrebrod – the textures, colours and layers that make the open-faced sandwich so much a part of the Danish heritage – inspired the Scandinavian brand. The layered construction of the Smorrebrod is applied to the frames (as seen above in Cole) – in a variety of components in many colours, with textures placed on top of each other. FLEYE plays with the layers, mixing solid and transparent acetate, with neutral colour combinations and sleek shapes that are contemporary and sophisticated. A Nordic delight! www.fleye.dkJG
We were looking for a sunglass style for a 13 year old who loves fashion, who knows about brands, and who is starting to value the comfort and feel of a well-built design frame v. a mass produced one. One or two obvious brands had caught his attention. The choice, however, seemed limited – most of the frames were too large for his face in the adult lines – and focused on the branding more than the frame itself.
The High Pockets – from Original Penguin – is an adult frame, but in size 53 19-140, fits a growing teenager. The lightweight design and clean details – without embellishment, offer the right balance of style, comfort and design, with a retro feel that appeals to a youngster who notices the design. The frame is available in several colours including black (pictured), cargo and gunmetal and is fitted with Polarized Tri-Acetate sunlenses with 100% UV protection.
Original Penguin produces a men’s sunglasses collection – featuring the Highpockets, and a special selection of “youth” frames – ideal for boys with a developing sense of fashion. Find more details at www.kenmarkeyewear.comCN
Our love for eyewear design always leads us to the small yet creatively minded enterprises in the frame business: Sol Sol Ito is an independent label from Zurich, Switzerland, with a unique perspective on design and a fastidious passion for craftsmanship. Each frame style, including the elegant Sol Sol Ito 032BF (above), has signature exchangeable twin-steel arms – created in a huge choice of colours – a design feature which also offers a comfy, custom fit. 032BF, like all the styles by this Swiss label, is a limited edition – just 50 are produced of each one. The fluid curves of the front are reminiscent of details in the art deco design movement and reappear in different ways in several of the designs across the collections.
Available at selected boutique opticians including Fueter & Halder, (Baden), Parici, (Paris) and Bruce Eyewear, (Vancouver) – the award-winning Sol Sol Ito label was created by designer Sandra Kaufmann and artist Monika Fink. Photo credit: Hans Hansen. More details at www.solsolito.com CN
Do a Diva this summer in Plein Les Mirettes Diva 7 with its sculptured, curvaceous silhouette, and the frame front intricately textured on sleek black acetate. The artisan frames created by Christophe Morcamp are handcrafted in a Normandy atelier to the highest standards. The collection is available in both sun and optical designs. Explore your inner diva at www.plein-les-mirettes.fr JG
Aviators are a perennial favourite. This year has been a particularly fab one for this shape with it surging much like it did in the 70s and 80s. In particular, the very narrow aviators in metal have been a hit, glazed with prescription lenses, pale coloured tints – yellow in particular – or in-your-face mirrors, take your pick: the colour palette is infinite.
The shape itself can be edgy. Model Praph by Grey Ant takes this line, emphasising the vintage feel of the classic shape – using acetate with a soft graduated colour shading. Contrasting essential details in metal create a special highlight, and are conveniently designed to adjust (as are the nose pads) for a comfortable fit – a huge bonus with an oversized shape. Grey Ant frames are designed by Grant Krajecki, eyewear innovator and member of the CFDA. The brand is based in NYC. www.greyant.comCN
A new chapter unfolds in Blackfin history: Blackfin Lamina Plus meets acetate with striking new designs in superb colourations. Outstanding is Searose BF792 that combines Blackfin’s hallmark material – Titanium – with acetate eye-rims, handcrafted in Italy with the finest workmanship. The sculptural Searose is an angular beauty with its graceful shape and creative form. Discover more about Blackfin Lamina Plus at www.blackfin.euJG
The magnificent Sydney Opera House is a continual inspiration for Jono Hennessy – a personal connection as Jono used to surf with the son of the architect. Jono remarked several years ago: “I drive past the Opera House every morning, and it inspires me every time I see it.” The superb angular sails of the famed structure is the foundation for Blast 8408, created in luminous acetate tortoiseshell colourations – the red tort shown above is particularly ravishing. www.jonohennessy.comJG
Designed in Barcelona and handmade in Italy, folc eyewear, created by Marta Llinares, is all about paired down luxury, artisan detail and seductive colour. Styling is based on playful volumes and a preference for lively, translucent colours (naturals and occasional brights such as the red pictured above). Model Orbi Grade – a thick bold acetate rim fitted with high-quality Zeiss sun lenses – comes in fresh, classic or Mediterranean colours including bright blue, red, havana and honey. This summer, folc eyewear has launched a fashion film called Summer Lights Shades, directed by Raquel San Nicolás and produced by Astrolabi Films. folc frames are available at independent boutiques including La Tercera fashion boutique, Carrer del Brosoli, Barcelona and Les Lunettes, Barcelona. www.folc-eyewear.comCN
Oliviero Zanon embraces and appreciates culture – and he also has a playful side that is cheerfully expressed in his latest frames – The Bubble Gums Collection for Res/Rei. Inspired by the Pop Art Movement, the frames in Mazzucchelli acetate are pure and streamlined, and the delightful colour palette is named after a different bubble gum flavour…pick you favourite! Lemon? (above) Apple? Ginger? Cherry? Your choice! Discover more at www.resrei.com JG
We have touched on this adventurous concept already in an interview with Henrik Ørgreen earlier this year, but it deserves further mention. As the Ørgreen team explain, their fascination for the patina effect on metal – be it on motorbike parts, cars or tools – led them to experiment with patina and metal treatments in their beloved eyewear material: titanium. And the result is something quite different.
It wasn’t an easy mission, they say. Compared with other metals like steel, brass and copper, titanium is such a hard material that very few techniques could be used to create the desired patina effects. But the result is eye-catching and fascinating in the creative process as well as the colour and finish. Using a special firing technique iridescent flame colours are printed or “burnt” onto the titanium surface, with flecks of purple/blue and red/yellow. The result is a limited series – three spectacle designs and three sunglasses – where each frame is a one off and will slightly change with time and wear.
Glamour, exquisite detailing, and cutting-edge innovation harmonise luxuriously in XL2097 from the Dolce collection by Line Art Charmant. The frame possesses an aura of jewellery, with brilliantly cut Swarovski stones that adorn the temples. The Dolce signature look is a twisted double-filament temple held together by a decorative dot to create graceful curves. Excellence Titan ensures perfect fit and comfort. Available in chic matt bronze (above) plus purple, rose gold, and white gold. Discover more at www.charmant.comJG
In a gorgeous shade of Jade that expresses summer vitality, Sonia by Zac Posen is a chic, voluminous design for maximum style statement. The American fashion designer merges his timeless concepts for women’s clothing into feminine and graceful eyewear designs. The latest collection of optical styles includes wonderful variety in shape, colours, and materials. Discover more at www.kenmarkoptical.com JG
It is always a pleasure to introduce a new quality eyewear label. Belgian brand Komorebi has caught ourinterest with its clean designs produced in Japanese titanium and carefully selected Mazzucchelli acetate. Each of the models is inspired by transparency, light and reflection, based on ‘komorebi’, the Japanese word for “sunlight shining through the leaves”.
Komorebi eyewear works closely with small creative workshops in Belgium and Europe to create its frames and eyewear cases. Model Velma, a unisex sandblasted titanium frame has a gentle aesthetic that is clean, minimal and delicate but appealingly different.
The frame is hand-polished on the outer surface to create a bright shiny finish. The end tips on all the designs are based on stylised leaves – a signature of the brand. Komorebi was launched in Spring 2017. The brand will be present at the Paris optics fair Silmo in October. www.komorebi.beCN
Among l.a. Eyework’s latest – and striking – collection is the voluminous, fun and graphic design – Dublin. Gai Gherardi and Barbara McReynolds always pioneer the unexpected in eyewear with demonstrative shapes, lovely materials, and elite colours. Crafted in acetate in Italy, the combination of Tea Sparkle Tile with Tiger Eye colourations ensure this is a memorable design. Visit www.laeyeworks.com for an adventure in creative eyewear. JG
Adaptive lenses – also known as photochromics – are entering a brand new era. Whilst fashion has set down rules for us to wear ever brighter coloured frames with colourful lenses, Transitions Optical, the makers of the most famous light-adaptive lenses has launched a new collection of style-driven colours for specs wearers demanding a stylish and sophisticated final product.
Fitted for my review by Kensington’s Eyeworks London (www.eyeworkslondon.com), the new Style Colours lenses in Sapphire are a fashionable match for the black frame colour I had selected, darkening to a point outside in full sunshine where they take on an intense bright blue. The other lens hues in the range – Amber, Emerald and Amethyst – also darken to produce statement tones that will enhance both a matching frame colour or provide a very stylish dramatic contrast.
Worn indoors the experience is that of wearing normal glasses, with a clear, high-quality lens. The tone changes quickly outside providing immediate UV protection with the trendy tinted coloration, chic and comfortable to wear whether gently faded (a popular look for summer) or at their darkest when the glasses transform ‘magically’ into shades.
Style Colours were launched in the UK in May. For more details visit www.stylecolours.co.uk. Pictured above: the new Style Colours lenses in Sapphire fitted in Kirk & Kirk’s model Warren from the Kaleidoscope Collection. www.kirkandkirk.com. CN
Pearls are definitely “divine lil somethings” as expressed in Anna-Karin Karlsson’s opulent design – and have a long history of symbolism. In ancient Rome, they were connected to wealth; in the Royal Courts of Europe, pearls encrusted tiaras, rings, necklaces and bracelets; and in 1916, French jeweller Jacques Cartier purchased his landmark Fifth Avenue shop by trading two pearl necklaces for the property.
Translucent pearls look especially splendid in Karlsson’s luxurious optical frame. The upswept cat eye shape is enhanced with lustrous pearls in graded sizes set in gold for a dramatic effect. “This is a happy shape,” says Anna-Karin. Divine Lil Something is among the exquisite optical styles by the Swedish designer – discover more at www.annakarinkarlsson.comJG
A style that boutique label Berenford is becoming known for, London is a unisex sunglass model that has regularly been spotted on celebrities, including, most recently, Sir Elton John.
During a stay in England, founders Christian and Elizabeth say they were inspired by the harmonious blend of sophistication and modern vibes of London and they worked to implement these characteristics into an artistic, 70’s influenced style; the classic metal frame mixes old world glam with postmodern details, and combines with three different vibrant lens colours (pictured in bright blue), one of the leading sunglass trends of the season – and an ideal choice for the summer festivals. Berenford sunglasses are made entirely in northern Italy and are produced in limited editions, with a story that is influenced by a sweet nostalgia for the past. www.berenford.comCN
A British brand with a love of the artisan, RockOptika has come up with a new collection of acetate specs that balances their unique take on vintage with perfectly worked detailing and a sensitivity towards subtle acetate colourations.
Model Reprise, a round shape with a distinctive double bridge, has the highly polished finish of a RockOptika frame and rich tones that stand out in a crowd.
Colourways available include blue turtle, tortoise/gold (above) and the deliciously named and very British ‘greengage crumble’. Available at The Eye Place, London and RockOptika HQ, 45a London Road, St Leonards on Sea. For further details: www.rockoptika.comCN
The Brand New 1 frame by Woow Eyewear offers a glamorous take on the classic round in a selection of sweet acetate colours ranging from vibrant transparent green to a traditional subtle patterned tortoise – with matching or contrasting temple tones. True to the origin of the French label Woow, the frame offers an imaginative off-beat shape, playful details such as the little messages on the temple tips – designed to “cheer you up!” and a nice way to re-invigorate a wardrobe for Spring. Best of all the lovely quality feel and finishing (the frame is made in Italy), comes at a sensible price. Find the full collection of Woow sunglass styles and ophthalmic frames at www.wooweyewear.comCN
Traveller protection, financial gain and luck are all attributed to the Roman god Mercurio, and are inspiration for expressive sunglasses at Res/Rei. Oliviero Zanon mimics the god aesthetics with side “wings” that feature cut-out slits. The frame is a harmonious blend of vintage, modernity, and the avant-gard in lustrous Mazzucchelli acetate, and sophisticated colourations. Visit www.resrei.com for the latest vibrant designs handcrafted in Italy. JG
Whether your destination is Martinique or Miami, Capri or Cannes – don’t leave home without Blackfin’s striking Martinique sunglasses. The stunning vintage aura, with a voluminous round shape, features a contemporary double-layered eyebrow line in two different colours, reflecting the colouring of the temples. Pure titanium enhances the unison of design and technology. More info on Blackfin’s glamorous sunglasses at www.blackfin.euJG
Vera Wang has introduced stunning, romantic sun styles in glorious colours. An Eyestylist favourite is Clarette with its voluminous silhouette in beautiful Sky Blue and glamorous adornment: four Swarovski crystals arranged in an alternating pattern on the temple. An elegant sun statement from the fashion designer inspired by sophisticated fluidity and contemporary creativity. www.kenmarkeyewear.comJG
The new Ida from Fan Festival – a collection by Guillaume Furminger of Fan Optics – is a graceful acetate with a round eye shape, a perfect fit for the SS17 season. The distinctive material, produced by the Italian makers, Mazzucchelli is M49, a biodegradable acetate made from wood pulp and cotton; one of the colour choices features a shiny and textured surface creating a subtle contrast between the top and bottom of the front. Fitted with Zeiss sun lenses, the overall result is a very high-quality, flattering yet simple proposal for those who love the round eye style, made with respect for eyewear traditions and a desire to experiment in design.
Fan Optics is an independent eyewear brand designing in Amsterdam and producing its frames and all of its elegant packaging in Italy. Founded in London in 2012, the FAN team is committed to quality, craftsmanship and design led products with a fashion feel. More details at www.fan-festival.comCN