Amidst Extinction Rebellion environmental protests, demonstrations against leather in fashion, LFW photographers and the so-called style influencers, the crowds heading to the shows or lingering outside provide a fashion preview for autumn/winter 19 street style in the British capital. For eyewear, the variety was a talking point with a hugely eclectic mix of frames and sunglasses, from poorly styled to beautifully unique – with some very obvious over worn brand-emblazoned sunnies as well as a penchant for vintage, and mega trends of 2019 – mini Matrix shapes, the cateye (strong also in NYC) or the oversized visor and mask.
This weekend, some of the coolest looks in the city at the venues – both for glasses and sunglasses – showed there is growing confidence in understated, simple or pared back design – especially where there is an architectural detail or retro 80s/90s influenced silhouette. Above: Fashion artist @tayisiya_ph in all black, paired with a statement wide brim hat and structured timeless rectangular specs.
Our review of some of the eyewear spotted on London’s streets and at LFW will be published this coming week – follow us on Instagram @eyestylistmagazine. Top image: London Fashion Week photography by Cesare Riccardi, exclusively for Eyestylist.com. CN
To a well trained eye, crystal tones (in eyewear) can vary dramatically. The most refined offer a delicate elegance due to the quality of the cellulose acetate, and the precision in tumbling and hand finishing to create the desired rich lustre or shine.
Consistent in their choice of strong and flexible Japanese cellulose acetate, SALT. Optics, the Californian eyewear brand works with a wide yet subtle palette of colours and superb clear crystal and smokey tints. The brand plays with the trending tinted crystal tones which are flattering to the complexion – often using colorations and a mix of tones inspired by the natural world, the sea, the earth and the sky. Above: model Sophia by SALT. Optics, in Smokey Grey with CR39 Denim Gradient polarized lenses. The finely crafted metal core is visible inside the clear acetate, a design touch that revisits the crafted finish of vintage eyewear.
This season, the models in the C2-19 collection include a range of finely crafted ophthalmic frames with natural tones of toasted toffee and brushed honey gold through to the sophisticated translucent smoke grey of model Gerry, pictured above.
One of the classic tones of sunglass model Andy, combines a delicate smoke grey and a bolder coloration in tea on the temples. A unisex panto design, this statement frame highlights the contrast of the metal hard ware – with plaques and pins, designed to last – lending a classic hallmark of quality to each design.
About SALT. Optics – SALT. is a premium eyewear brand from coastal California that is committed to quality frame construction and timeless design, inspired by effortless beauty. Combining high-grade materials with third generation Japanese craftsmanship, SALT. makes timeless eyewear designed for anyone who appreciates natural simplicity and lasting design. www.saltoptics.comCN
The founders of the Northern Swedish company EOE have created the first edition of eyewear made from recycled broken and discarded plastic eyewear. The collection and campaign launch this month in Paris.
Commitment to research. Investment in new technology for recycling. And admirable perseverance to set up a workable system for recycling frames in Sweden in a collaboration with the Nordic company Synsam and Vision for All. The founders of EOE Erik and Emilia Lindmark have worked for over three years on the recycling project to create a frame material with performance properties comparable to new acetate and an aesthetic finish and choice of colorations suitable for the creation of high-quality trend-focused products.
Launching the concept with the Regrind edition of three sunglasses, attention has been placed on creating a chic look in the coloration using predominantly black frames for the “regrinding” process. Tiny smatterings of minute coloured frame pieces are just visible, and create a textured effect on the surface, the look of which is wholly dependent on the types of frames recycled, the predominant colours of the frame pieces and the quality of the acetate of the old frames. Above: EOE’s new video illustrates the concept developed by EOE for turning old unwanted eyewear into a recycled material for new chic eyewear.
Regrind debuts as a fashion collection in a stunning campaign by fashion photographers Peter Farago and Ingela Klemetz Farago (www.faragofarago.com) which highlights the idiosyncrasies of the material in a beautiful wild and natural Swedish landscape.
EOE recycled acetate material is produced by EOE together with engineers, chemists and physicists. The frames are shattered into small pieces and the metal parts are then filtered out. The plastic pieces then undergo a regrinding process to create new blocks of raw material. 98% of the old eyewear is recyclable. EOE uses recycled steel from Sweden to produce the metal parts of the frames. In August the company was recognised by Encouragement for Action – Stockholm Fashion District in the “closing the loop” category, part of an award scheme to raise awareness and bring attention to important ideas in sustainability, digitization and fashion tech.
Imagination and thinking “outside the box” highlights the thriving individuality and creativity of independent, global eyewear designers. Next week (15th and 16th September) in Zurich, this elegant Swiss city on the lake, is the ideal opportunity to discover over forty gifted creators who bring new concepts, dimensions, and spirit to eyewear. Organiser Nathanaël Wenger noted: “We’ve had lots of activity and interest in the Zurich show; and even with many changes in the optical sector, the market for independents is stable and strong. Opticians know how to focus and increasingly choose independent brands. So we are really positive.”
From Andy Wolf to You Mawo, the roll call of participating brands in HOF Zurich is impressive, energetic and artistic. Companies recognised on an international level, as well as newcomers, are participating in the two-day event as Papiersaal, an historic location in the centre of this vibrant, beautiful Swiss city. Glossy acetate and minimalist titanium designs grace the masterful variety of frames by Orgreen (top image). Japanese architecture inspires the newest collection, with stunning shapes and colours www.orgreen.dk
Nature and beautiful surroundings in the Austrian region of Styria is the keynote to the latest Andy Wolf designs. In an expressive collection with innovative silhouettes and chic colourations, you’ll discover diverse frames that also reflect Andy Wolf’s commitment to sustainable use of resources. www.andy-wolf.com
Danish Titanium specialist LINDBERG launches the autumn season with a striking collection of chic designs for men and women. Exquisite detailing, and attention to every aspect of frame creation, has enabled LINDBERG to become a recognised leader and award-winner in luxury eyewear. www.lindberg.com
Fassungswerk is a small Swiss brand also inspired by Nature with their crafting of unconventional frames in acetate and horn. Quality, precision and experimental styling characterises their young contemporary concept. www.fassungswerk.ch
Parisian designer Caroline Abram dresses up women’s eyes with glamour and elegance, as well as dashing and daring concepts. Caroline’s latest dazzling optical and sunglass designs in creative colourations and marvellous shapes, are the ideal accessories for autumn/winter fashions – holidays too! www.carolineabram.com
Come enjoy and experience exciting, new eyewear with independent creators in Zurich on the 15th and 16th September at Papiersaal…a remarkable place to discover exclusively produced designs with profound pedigrees. For the full list of exhibitors and more details, visit www.hallofframes.chJG
The Silmo fair in September (international trade fair) is the pinnacle of the “eyewear designers” calendar of events, and provides our eyes with a feast of colour and innovation in design from well-known, new and up-and-coming labels who descend on Paris for several days. It’s the place we love to scout for innovation, new trends, and unique eyewear and accessories from all around the world.
Joining the line up are many companies who return to the event every year. The Marseilles designer Jean-François Rey launches new designs across multiple collections at the event, with a principal focus on expertise in colour, design creativity and beautiful French artisan quality. Highlights this year will include the new Wave collection (above) – an architecture-inspired eyewear concept using stainless steel to create lightweight, airy structures with a “folding effect” achieved by hand. Gorgeous hand applied colour combinations provide an eye-catching effect on the face. www.jfrey.fr
From Sweden, Oscar Magnuson returns each year to Paris, this time with a bio-acetate collection that marries a bold structural look with the quality and pared-down purity of high-quality Swedish design. The sunglasses collection in the same material include some statement micro shapes (model Sid) and oversized classics (model Debbie) and across the lines you will find a palette of monochrome tones such as urban green, crystal grey and deep ink – a deep sophisticated and moody tone that makes a clever alternative to black. www.oscarmagnuson.com
Their first time showing to the international audience at Silmo, Diffuser Tokyo – by Masaki Hirose – will reveal its comprehensive high-quality range of accessories which include cases, frame holders and eyewear pouches in a fresh concept that highlights quality materials and well designed functional products. Preview their ranges at www.diffuser-tokyo.com. We are already big fans.
Brand new crystal colorations and nature-infused tones are a feature for next year’s sunglasses collections. Californian label SALT. Optics is introducing new styles in their C2-19 collection which is poised to deliver beautiful heritage-inspired eyewear, made in Japan with exclusive quality features (incredible hardware through to chic glass lenses) and subtle colorations of dusty rose, hazy taupe, mojave and whiskey (above). Find out more at www.saltoptics.com
Another new name at Silmo this year, Mr Lenoir is the official brand of former football player Djibril Cissé, with optical and sunglass designs created in partnership with Laurent Balducelli, a French optician and specialist in bespoke eyewear. Produced in Montbeliard in France, the eclectic range of styles are made from Mazzucchelli acetate and in some cases feature metal laser cutting and chemical etching. They are available at a few independent stores already, both in and outside France. For more information visit their Instagram page @mrlenoirlunettes.
For luxurious, cutting-edge design, the Swiss brand Von Arkel stands apart in its achievements in applying the technical precision and craftsmanship of watchmaking to luxury frames, produced by master craftsmen in Morges in Switzerland. New sophisticated concepts will show on the Von Arkel stand at the Paris show this month: www.vonarkel.com
Silmo Paris – the international eyewear and optics fair – takes place from 27th to 30th September 2019 at Paris Nord Villepinte. For further details and registration visitwww.silmoparis.comWatch our Design + Inspiration page for the next weeks for more updates and previews for the Paris show!
As The Matrix trend and tiny sunnies slightly wane in favour of oversized and “in your face” shelds and visors, miniature proportions for ophthalmic glasses are an essential look for autumn/winter. Several cutting-edge brands have just released interpretations of the look; they combine shapes we last saw trending in the 1990s with state-of-the-art materials and finishes for the contemporary twist. Above: 90s style glasses by Götti Switzerland
Götti Switzerland have launched lightweight models Gardin and Gafin for Autumn, a minimal expression of a 90s design in fine Japanese titanium, adjusting the look with contemporary influences for A/W 2019/20. The fine design features include narrow metal temple tips and a pure linear style. www.gotti.ch
The youthful Austrian label – neubau eyewear – also has some wire revival designs launching this month, produced in filigree stainless steel. The frames are light and have a barely-there effect on the face, gently outlining the expression of the eyes with oval and almond silhouettes.
Model Virginia by neubau has an almond eye shape and is available in a choice of colours: matte rose, glorious gold and matte ink black. Find out more about this eyewear label at www.neubau-eyewear.comCN
The luxury accessories brand La Loop is celebrating 20 years in the business with a gorgeous holiday capsule and sophisticated new entries for autumn/winter. The designs offer a mix of classic La Loop style and new glamorous shapes and colours, with pieces that were around when the brand first launched, and 2019 iterations.
“I was inspired by Lucio Fontana’s Earth & Gold exhibition at the Borghese gallery in Rome,” explains California based designer Elizabeth Faraut. “Fontana’s 20th century gold metallic abstract paintings were placed next to classic sculptures and paintings by Bernini and Raphael. Fontana, an abstract artist whose body of work spanned the 1920s-50s, was the pioneer of spatialism, a movement which intended to synthesize colour, sound, space, movement, and time into a new type of art.”
Overall, the collection showcases the richness of material with distinctive details that make these pieces extremely collectible. And for Silmo release, Faraut promises something for everyone: “From supple metallic Italian leather, to multi-colored Tiger’s Eye beads, chunky gold and oversized acetate links, we bring you a breadth of texture, shape, and colour. We’re offering boxy, biker-inspired gender-neutral box chains, opulent gold plated bling, and a selection of premium solid sterling necklaces made by the same family-run NY jewelry manufacturer who made our very first La Loop necklace.”
In celebration of 20 years, La Loop has launched the ‘Loop In’ campaign which focuses on honoring people who are making a difference in their local communities. The goal is to have 10,000 people ‘loop in’ and share their personal journeys of how they shape their communities – by 2020. For more on the campaign, visit the Instagram page @la_loop . For more information and to purchase direct at the online store, visit www.laloop.comCN
Antwerp creator and avid eyewear collector Laurence Bourguignon says she doesn’t follow trends nor does she focus on a specific target group or age. “My designs are an expression of myself and who I am. I can only hope they will be picked up by women with a genuine and self-confident personality, daring to express themselves.”
Named after her father Ari (short for Aristide), the collection remains something of a special ‘secret’ outside Belgium, although it’s stocked in some prestigious optical stores and luxury fashion stores like Azzurro Due (www.azzurrodue.com). Pictured above: model Authentic in Honey – a showpiece in the Laurence D’Ari collection.
The 8 sunglasses in the 2019 selection – named after characteristics of personalities which the designer admires (they include ‘Devoted’ and ‘Spirited’) are crafted in Italy in rich marble-effect acetates with bold organic or angular oversized forms and retro-infused squares and cat eyes that have characteristic sculptural definition in some details such as a wave effect in the lower edge of the temples, and an open gold temple ring to attach the accompanying gold chain.
Laurence D’Ari launched in 2018 with focus on strong, charismatic elegant styling inspired by vintage elements, especially for women. The sunglasses are available in selected opticians (including Annys Optiek, De Wilde, Philip Hoet and Frank Props) and several fashion concept stores known for unique designers and luxury apparel. Find the full collection online at www.laurencedari.comCN
Big is definitely beautiful when it comes to square frames. This shape has re-emerged in 2019 with bold retro-inspired depth and bulkiness – or a minimalist airiness – in a choice of ingeneous colorations, that beg to be worn as modern statement pieces.
Above: Essedue model Ecstasy in grey from the Italian label’s Prima collection, a handfinished line produced in a family factory in Irpinia near Naples. Prima sunglasses by Essedue are available direct from the Essedue website atwww.esseduesunglasses.com
Frames with a classic retro flair are an easy bet for all-year-round styling, and the square designs are already being hyped for SS2020. Model Fuz from Oliver Goldsmith is one that has inspired many other sunglass designs. First created in London in 1966, the frame is still constructed with bold bevelled edges and paddle temples – and comes in lots of new colorways including black leopard (above) and black cherry. www.olivergoldsmith.com
The UK label Kirk & Kirk always delivers a classic shape with a unique twist. The Percy is one of their acrylic optical styles in the Centena collection, providing a magnificently bold silhouette with the flash of transparent colour that lights up the face. www.kirkandkirk.com
In contrast, Finest Seven brings on the square with a special super fine structure. Their oversized Zero 09 has a large squareish lens with a neat double bridge. The frame is made of stainless steel wire and fitted with 100% UV 400 high quality Italian lenses. For more details visit www.finestseven.comCN
Introducing TVR®, an eyewear collection by skilled craftsmen from Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
Japanese precision, tradition and artisanal craft: at the centre of the frame manufacturing region of Fukui, where artisans have worked for over 60 years in old family-owned workshops, today there are just a few traditional factories existing in Sabae who still produce handmade eyewear, and a handful of craftsmen and women of this age who continue to produce eyeglasses by hand. Some of them work exclusively with True Vintage Revival – TVR®, a small label dedicated to their extraordinary expertise through the revival of the historic “classic” shapes. Above: Artisan Yamada Mitsukazu, in his 70s, works with his wife in their traditional workshop. He has been making frames since he was 16 years old. Between them, they make around 100 frames a month.
TVR® uses time-tested methods to create these high-quality “revival” designs as well as original tools and moulds which date from the 1920s to the 80s. They also use the “Datum Expression Size” technique, a masterful method for measurement used during the 50s in Japan to obtain a subtle balance in the design for comfort, durability and lightness.
In the making of the TVR® classics, vintage design features including the keyhole-bridge, functional ‘spear’ rivets, 7-barrel hinges, and other traditional spectacle details are boldly executed with skill, passed down through these generations of craftsmen whose families were responsible for starting the production of Zylonite/celluloid spectacles in the early 1950s.
Today, TVR® produces a selection of collections in Japanese zyl and SPM Sun Platinum Metal – a metal material first used in Japan in the 1930s and a favourite of the former Emperor of Japan, Hirohito. The shapes are inspired by 50 rare and collectible frames the TVR® team found discarded in an old Sabae factory. The collections include the mainline TVR Collection and “YM” – the Yamada Mitsukazu collection. For details about frames in the collections launched for 2019, visit www.tvropt.comCN
Sziget festival has become one of Europe’s summer season musical highlights. Held each year in northern Budapest, the week-long event now attracts over 565,000 visitors and puts on around 1,000 performances. This year, the line up includes singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots from the US and Martin Garrix, DJ and record producer from The Netherlands.
As in previous years, all of the lead musicians/performers will receive special commemorative sunglasses made by Vinylize, the Budapest vinyl eyewear brand. Above: custom sunglasses by Vinylize await Ed Sheeran this week – where possible Zack Tipton makes the frames from the artist’s own vinyl – in this case he was able to use a copy of ‘Divide’ – Sheeran’s third album.
Vinylize was first commissioned to make sunglasses for Sziget when Zack Tipton, co-founder of the brand, had lunch with Károly Gerendai, the visionary behind the event. Gerendai appreciated the fit between Vinylize and Sziget instantly. After he sold 70% of his stake in the festival in 2018 to a US-based private equity firm, the new organizers saw the value of continuing to work with Vinylize and the relationship continues.
The Vinylize team arrives at Sziget the day before the festival begins and stays throughout. “We design and pre-make the sunglasses and take our buffing wheel, thermal equipment to form the frame to the performer’s face and sandpaper for the final touches. Much as we’d love it if the performers dropped into our store for fittings, we work from photographs. 90% of the time our frames fit pretty well, and we just need some minor adjustments.”
The Mono-glass is part of RCA fashion graduate Yi Wen Lim’s SOFT POWER project (RCA 2019). SOFT POWER celebrates women at work and represents a new image of power and femininity.
RCA Fashion (Womenswear) graduate Yi Wen Lim has produced a stunning, wearable Mono-glass as part of a finals project entitled SOFT POWER. The jewellery collection was designed in collaboration with Yi Wen Lim’s close jeweller friend Agatha (Instagram: @raccoonandbabiesofficial), and explores re-appropriating jewellery in the formal workplace. Above: Model Mercedes von Thun-Hohenstein wears Yi Wen Lim’s design
Highlights in the collection include the merging of power pearls with everyday work accessories, stationery and tech wearables – these pieces include a biro pen cap ear cuff, Airpods pearl necklace, ID Badge necklace and the Mono-glass with Hair-clip.
“The Mono-glass is inspired by work glasses that women wear, sometimes as a means to establish their intelligence and competence,” says the designer. “It is also inspired by tech accessories like the Google Glass, which perhaps can one day be integrated into more ‘aestheticised’ designs like the SOFT POWER Mono-glass,” she explains.
Yi Wen Lim’s friend/muse Mercedes von Thun-Hohenstien (www.mercedesvonthun.com) wore the monocle design at the RCA finals presentation in London in June – and immediately caught our eye. “I found her through Instagram @mvthun21,” said Yi Wen Lim. “She is a mature model, and has been very generous with her time and support for me. She has modelled for my presentations and for video and photoshoots. We have become close over the past few months, and we are now great friends.” For more information about Yi Wen Lim’s work visit her page on Instagram – @__wenlim. Other RCA posts on Eyestylist: https://www.eyestylist.com/2016/12/rca-x-100-optical/CN