Handmade eyewear, of our time: Patinated Copper with Aluminum Magnesium
Ti Kwa’s commitment to design innovation is increasingly recognised across the industry and in the upper echelons of the optical retailing community and he continues to quietly push the boundaries in his work in materials, textures and specialist production techniques, with resounding individuality and an unmistakable style.
This September, his label RIGARDS explores an exceptional copper material finish with a gently-toned verdigris in a model designed for avant-garde fashion designer Ziggy Chen (RG1911CU), based on an existing “small and narrow” shape in the collection that has come to be known as the ‘Mad Scientist’.
The finish, a tribute to Bronze Age ritual vessels and their weathered slightly mottled greenish tones, appears in a unique way in all the models as the copper takes the patina finish differently from frame to frame.
“We added an interchangeable clip-on,” explains the designer. “Made from ultralight aluminum-magnesium — it locks onto the frame front and converts the glasses from optical frame to sunglasses. Two small side holes hold an eyeglass chain, allowing the sun-clip to double as jewellery.” Both the glasses and the clip-on can be fitted with lenses through built-in openings, part of RIGARDS’ exclusive screwless spring-hinge mechanism designed to ensure the product is both aesthetically pleasing and maintenance-free.
RIGARDS (from Hong Kong) was first launched in 2012, and exhibited their handcrafted buffalo horn eyewear months later at SILMO, the Paris eyewear fair (see our first story in 2012 at https://www.eyestylist.com/2012/11/rg0006/ ). Designer Ti Kwa has a refreshingly different perspective on design and has gradually opened eyes to the possibilities in creating exclusive artisan pieces with a distinctive modern approach to production techniques and eyewear aesthetics. RIGARDS exhibits at SILMO (Paris) and Paris Fashion Week. Don’t miss this collection: https://rigards.com CN
Hall of Frames Zurich returns to its roots – the historical and refurbished location Papiersaal – that was originally an ageing paper factory – to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. Organiser Nathanael Wenger reflected: “During the years, opticians all over Switzerland have supported our event, even during different moves inside the city. The event grew slowly, but now we have over forty independent brands, some whom have been with us since the beginning.”
Wenger is particularly delighted that more and more Swiss designers have joined the show. Some are Newcomers – Baselli, Fassungswerk, Specs Lab and Nirvan Javan – while other brands are well established and include Götti, Didier Voirol, Einstoffen, and Von Arkel. “We are proud that these companies show their collections at Hall of Frames Zurich along with many other well-known labels,” said Wenger.
The two-day event will showcase unique eyewear brands featuring artisan quality, creative imaginations, and enticing styling. Koali by Morel Lunettes introduces stunning new optical and sun designs (above photo) in a collection that is rich in beautiful colourations and shapes. www.morel-france.com
German designer Anne Dickhardt creates fabulous bags…and innovative, fun and useful eyeglasses cases (above) in elegant natural materials, with a welcoming sense of humour. www.any-di.com
Blackfin’s latest collection is highlighted with new craftsmanship processes and stylistic features. A unique frame structure reflects masterful technology with Leven BF850 – an innovation that anchors the beta titanium bridge to the titanium rims. www.blackfin.eu
Hungarian brand Vinylize introduces sleek geometric shapes in octagonal, square and round variations. The Vinylize signature vinyl record exterior on Roach (above) is individualised with graceful sculpted temples. Handcrafted in Budapest. www.vinylize.com
Mark the dates – now! 7th and 8th October at Papeiersaal in Zurich for the 10th anniversary celebrations of Hall of Frames Zurich. Seize the moment and experience skilfully gifted eyewear collections – from long-time favourites – as well as new and talented independent designers. www.hallofframes.ch JG
In nineteen-nineteen, two brothers – Sidney and Percy Kirk – laid the foundation for a century of optical innovations and strategies that still inspires around the world today. The mantle is now carried with Jason and Karen Kirk (above) at the helm, as the Kirk dynasty celebrates its 100th anniversary. “This is an amazing moment; having seen everything that my grandfather achieved, and grown up in my parent’s practice, Karen and I are very proud to learn from the past to drive the future. This is about looking forward, as like the previous generations, we try to contribute to the next century of optics,” said Jason.
Karen reflected on the influence of Sidney and Percy: “It is easy to overlook how innovative the Kirk Brothers were as a company. Things that seem normal to us today were visionary in the 1920’s. For example: Kirk Brothers were the first to deliver glasses to opticians by motorbike courier to offer a better, faster service.” Jason and Karen will launch the Centena Collection at SILMO – celebrating the one-hundred year history, and they are now firmly focused on future development programmes. The frames are handcrafted in France with special Italian acrylic – a very light, yet strong durable material. The new designs are chunky and bold in 10mm acrylic, but featherweight and wonderfully comfortable.
Colour is always imaginative in Kirk & Kirk designs – and ten vibrant colourations bring additional beauty and character to the Centena Collection.With their innovative eyewear approach, and exploration of shapes, colours and materials, Sidney and Percy Kirk would indeed be very proud of the continuing family tradition.
At SILMO Paris, 28th September-1st October, Jason and Karen will present Centena designs, alongside the Kaleidoscope, Spectrum and sunglass collections. Warmest congratulations to Kirk & Kirk on their exceptional and memorable centennial anniversary. www.kirkandkirk.comJG
The run-up to the international shows in Paris has begun. Eyewear designers exhibit at Silmo, Paris at the end of the month, an international trade fair that brings together some of the freshest new designers and start-ups as well as iconic established eyewear companies.
For trends, our previews point to a fastidious focus on excellence and finesse in all details of frame designs. Acetate and metal collections appear to be equally well represented, although some designers refer to an increase in metal for 2019. These designs, while they are more and more sinuous and shapely, they tend to come in a wide variety of shapes, with oversized being just as popular as more reduced proportions.
Highlights in our previews include L.G.R, the Italian luxury brand by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, who has some particularly strong new designs in metal and for Silmo, the special focus is on the development of the optical collection for the season ahead. An avant-garde direction is noted with careful attention paid to minimalist lines and metal colorations, with the introduction of a delicate, and slightly exotic copper finish. As trends go, it’s our favourite use of the colour in eyewear so far. www.lgrworld.com Pictured above: Tuareg in copper by L.G.R
At Claire Goldsmith, the latest CG Legacy releases take on a new direction by utilising the properties of stainless steel combined with Mazzucchelli acetate. Model Dean will be amongst the collections on show in Paris, “a solid light tint allows customers to make the choice of wearing the design either as a sunglass or an optical,” says the designer.
The light tint mirrors some of Goldsmith’s first ever ‘sun specs’ and the original glass lenses, which make a great addition to a wardrobe in the winter months. The Goldsmith stand will also feature OG Decades during the Paris fair, a collection of era-defining designs that represent the traditional values of the brand, combining that with a fresh and dynamic twist. www.clairegoldsmith.com / www.olivergoldsmith.com
An acutely design-focused buffalo horn collection from Delirious Eyewear (Milan) balances the natural colour effects of a classically luxurious material with a beautiful individuality and subtlety. This young award-winning artisan label – who also produce in other materials including metal, is moving in to the top optical boutiques worldwide, as one of the hottest emerging labels from Italy. More information at www.deliriouseyewear.com
Frame Chain – from the UK – always has something new and innovative and their latest chains are chic and delicate – with minute jewellery details such as freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. The female design duo – Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney – continue to shake up the eyewear accessories side of things across the fashion and optics industries (their collections are now in the top fashion stores worldwide) with designs that perfectly blend practicality and statement style. Meet this fabulous team at the fair and find out more about the chains at www.framechain.co.uk
A series of fresh collections by the Jura-based company MOREL – including their historic 1880 range, will highlight traditional French eyewear production at the Silmo exhibition in 2018. KOALI – the nature-inspired collection by MOREL, will release several new designs including this dramatic modified cat eye, sunglass style 20038K. Pink, gold and black are the tones highlighted in these designs which play with contrast and design accents behind the lens. Visit www.morel-france.com
Laura Imami, from the UK, exhibits at the fair in Paris for the first time. Her exclusive designs, which are made in Northern Italy, are, this season, inspired by architecture. Model Toska, produced in 8mm Mazzucchelli acetate, demonstrates a bold sculptural style with a faceted front, highlighted in a stunning colour mix. Other innovative designs require that the lenses are glazed into the front of the frame. Laura’s creative collection is currently available at Schuller Opticians in the UK where she is based, and at selected stores in Copenhagen and Berlin. www.lauraimami.com
Watch this space for exclusive Silmo updates / Silmo Paris takes place from 28th September 2018 to 1st October 2018. www.silmoparis.com CN
September is the harbinger of a new season – a harvest of back-to-school, cultural events…and the latest eyewear creations. Captivating shapes, in a host of intriguing colours – from subtle to sizzling – in technically advanced materials, ensure that eyewear for autumn is dynamic and stylish. ROLF Spectacles introduces a stunning new “Twist” design from their Evolved Collection (above image). Razor-thin sliced end-grained wood veneers are carefully selected and combined with each other. Crosscutting the tree trunk rather than cutting it lengthwise obtains the unique characteristics of the frame. ROLF’S individualistic collection will be presented at SILMO Paris 28th September-1st October. www.rolf-spectacles.com
JF Rey’s Parisian chic VOLTE FACE collection highlights exclusive Mazzucchelli acetate designs in beautiful patterns and colour palettes that are enriched with glittery accents. www.volteface.com
The autumn harvest is abundant with original concepts. Jeremy Tarian launches his superlative eyewear collection that unites his consuming passion for creation, and the memories and expertise of a childhood pleasure – working with clay. His striking designs are handcrafted mixing clay and acetate in glorious colours. See the complete elegant, luxurious collection at SILMO Paris 28th September – 1st October. www:jeremytarian.com
Anna-Karin Karlsson’s slinky, seductive panther has a new look this season, artfully perched on a beautifully silhouetted voluminous shape in acetate. 24K gold plated accents and the graceful panther shimmering in Swarovski crystals, add to the glamour of Rose et la Roue. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Berlin’s exclusive nightclub the Berghain – is the inspiration for the strikingly chic sunglasses by KBL. The nightclub located in a former power station. is famous for its long queues…and powerful security. Break the deadlock in KBL’s distinguished, dashing design – the Berghain. www.kbleyewear.com
Flowers of Denmark by Fleye Copenhagen pays tribute to Danish heritage with its beautiful collection inspired by Flora Danica – an iconic collection of plants from the 18th Century. Daisy is portrayed in subtle acetate patterns with shapely graphics. www:fleye.dkJG
Design trends are often influential in other disciplines, and the Decorex International fair in London – which highlights luxury interior design – specifically furniture, lighting, textiles and crafts – provides exceptional inspiration and insight into new directions and creations for the home. This year among the array of trends forecasted, details in line using inlays and marquetry in furniture take on a new contemporary aesthetic – and the typically astute attention to material mixes such as exotic wood and metal offers some very classy and refined design work across categories.
Above: Dhow monochrome 2×2 cabinet from Bethan Gray – showing at Decorex International Fair. The handmade Dhow collection features intricate use of marquetry on stained maple veneer with a stunning combination of solid brass. The collection is handmade to order in Muscat, Oman. Bethan Gray is a talented Welsh designer who combines luxurious natural materials with expertise in craftsmanship and technology. Find out more: www.bethangray.com
As is often the way, a similar interest in bold and graphic use of line has infiltrated the designer eyewear collections. In Studio 1 by Mykita, an art deco aesthetic meets functionalism for an aesthetic evoking the Fritz Lang classic. These particular models have a strong graphic look with fine, repetitive horizontal lines which join with round lenses. A sleek single or two-tone colour concept accentuates the 2-d quality of the sunglasses.
Inspired by the latest advancements in surface treatment technology, MYKITA’s Studio 6 uses a precision etching process to make ultra fine lines on the frame surface – the lines follow the exact contour of the frame and create a 3d graphic pattern. By combining metallic tones with matt solid colours the emphasis falls on a psychedelic effect, which evokes the optical illusion art of the 1960s. www.mykita.com
Similarly, exquisite inlays characterise the Stella’d Cocktail Cabinet by Zelouf + Bell – creating an exciting and eye-catching optical pattern that mixes a modern look and art deco with real artisan expertise. Zealouf + Bell – award-winning studio furniture makers – will also be highlighted at Decorex International. Visit www.zeloufandbell.com for further information.
The brand new model Hop from BOZ is an equally masterful design-focused frame from France. It’s unusual angular line superimposed on a circular eye shape is enhanced further with a very finely laser-etched pattern at the top of the double triangle creating an enchanting focus on linear detailing. www.jfrey.frCN
The leading interior design event – DECOREX International – takes place on 16 to 19th September at Syon Park London. Visit www.decorex.com for details and tickets.
Celebrity-endorsed frames don’t get better than this. Vinylize has a unique position in being the only artisan producer of high-quality vinyl eyewear – hand-finished in the beautiful city of Budapest, which has become a destination for film, art and music enthusiasts…and it’s putting their exclusive handmade designs in the headlines at international events across the city.
A new shape designed for rapper Kendrick Lamar features a rhodium plated sterling silver brow piece on the vinyl front and was commissioned by Sziget, one of the biggest multicultural music and arts festivals in the city. For Lana del Rey, a bold unisex octagonal design has been created by designer and founder of Vinylize Zachary Tipton, and both are presented in packaging that resembles an original box set, with exclusive cover designs in black and gold.
Vinylize launches the two new limited styles today (from 31st August 2018) and they are available in a limited production exclusively by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Vinylize/TIPTON Eyeworks is based in Budapest and sells their collections – which include CINEMATIQ – worldwide in leading optical boutiques. www.vinylize.com CN
“The language of flowers is non-negotiable” Vanessa Diffenbaugh The Language of Flowers
Flowers speak a beautiful, global language, and the latest FLEYE Copenhagen eyewear campaign Flowers of Denmark is meticulously aligned with flowering inspiration from the iconic Flora Danica – a collection of 18th century plants in the Danish kingdom. A Winter mood sets the elegant scene with flowers frozen in ice blocks. Annette Esto, Head of Design noted: “Our idea was to emphasise the plants and illustrate their intrinsic qualities, just like the iconic flora Danica illustrations from the 1700’s, only doing so from a very new perspective. In these still-life images taken by photographer Ida Emilie Risager, lies the inspiration for the rich and dense frame colours, as well as the structure and layering in our newest eyewear.” Top image: Ida Emilie Risager All Rights Reserved
The frames are superbly crafted in three categories: Carbon/Wood, Acetate and Beta-Titanium. The melting ice cubes with the cracked surface and layered edges in the photos is a reference to a new-layered bottom line of acetate frames with a bold, yet light shape.
The FLEYE Copenhagen Flowers of Denmark collection for men and women will be launched – and flourishing – at SILMO Paris 28 September-1st October with beautiful streamlined shapes in a gorgeous colour range. More details on award-winning FLEYE designs at www.fleye.dk. JG Campaign photos: Josephine Svane All Rights Reserved
Encouraging youngsters to value the importance of eye care and the benefits of quality frames can set the stage – and cultivates – a lifelong appreciation of fine eyewear. Artisan eyewear designers encourage this educational process by creating frames that children – and their parents – will approve. Most importantly – that kids will love to wear! With Back-to-School underway, there are impressive and “eye-inspiring” frames to kick-start the academic year.
A dynamic new launch is the beautiful collection by Sven Götti – Generation Next – featuring superbly-crafted 3D creations. Said the Swiss designer: “Creating a collection for children has been on my wish list for a long time. But I know that just doing a smaller version of existing frames is not enough. Selling eyewear to children has a lot to do with respect and responsibility, and it is so important that this will be a good experience. Plus comfortable fit and a cool look, so children have confidence wearing glasses.” Generation Next ticks all the right boxes with designs that combine fashion, fit, quality, and durability. Featured above: DUMU – a sleek little round shape mirroring a silhouette which both kids and parents love to wear. www.gotti.ch
The enduring beauty of tortoiseshell is stylishly interpreted by Lafont Paris in Cowboy – a contemporary form in acetate with trendy nuances. Designed for youngsters 7-12 years old, Cowboy is ideal for pre-teens and small faces. Lafont also has super selections for babies to three-year-olds, and children 4-7 years old. www.lafont.com
In Marseille, headquarters of JF Rey, children gather to participate in creative workshops (above) organised by designers, when they are creating frame designs for kids. The children are able to chose from diverse colours in acetate that brighten little faces, create their own motifs, and select shapes they like the best. www.jfrey.fr
Stylish, flexible, lightweight, adaptable, comfortable fit and fashion cred – LINDBERG titanium wire is the magical material for children’s frames by the Danish brand. LINDBERG Kid air titanium rim Lucas (above) is also hypoallergenic, perfect for young, sensitive skins. www.lindberg.com
Zoobug has a superb collection of lively, colourful designs that captivates children’s interest. These opticals were created by eye surgeon Dr Julie Le, who fully understands the importance of quality frames for children. ZB1027 features a timeless shape in acetate, for 7-12 year olds, with print sides for additional style pizzazz. Shown above in Raspberry, the frame is also available in dynamic blue or subtle candy floss pink. www.zoobug.com
Parisian Caroline Abram designs fun frames – Tetes à Lunettes – in a marvellous array of colours and shapes for youngsters 3-12 years old. Solid and two-tone colourations provide intriguing choices for young spectacle wearers. Explore more at www.carolineabram.com
Sabine B launched a charming collection of eyewear for kids with her innovative designs for mini be – frames with playful shapes including mini be cat’s (above) plus a gipsy theme frame, and round and rectangular shapes in neon tones. www.sabinebe.fr
Children frequently like to emulate what their parents are wearing, and clear crystal acetate designs are a perfect example by Very French Gangsters. www.veryfrenchgangsters.com JG
“If you wear spectacles then do it with panache and bravura” Oliver Goldsmith (Jewish Life, August 1966, from Top of the Optic Pops)
Bold style is not so new. Some of the standout designs of the past were thick-rimmed in the most conspicuous colours, contrasting with skin tones. In the 1960s, actor and style icon Michael Caine’s signature was undoubtedly his unmistakable Oliver Goldsmith spectacles. He has been much applauded for giving glasses a stylish reference at the time: while the era was literally bursting with creativity in eyewear his everyday classics and the way he wore them with assurance and ease – he had several 1960s Goldsmith designs – paved the way for a confidence in cool suave statement eyewear styling for men that remains to this day. Above: A Goldsmith classic: model Ingema in dark tort acetate – worn by Michael Caine on and and off set.
With so much history in its favour, the beautifully structured model Ingema worn by Caine (and several other jaw-dropping creations that turned into icons in the same decade) is back in the Oliver Goldsmith Vintage Archive Range, available as a special bespoke order. The OG store in London (All Saint’s Road, W11) is the best place to view the archive of styles available in this range and discuss styling and prescription needs. It’s a space that is packed with history….celebrity endorsement inspiration from the past, exceptional vintage designs and rare eyewear that you won’t see anywhere else.
Today the company is run by Claire Goldsmith, the great-granddaughter of Oliver Goldsmith and a designer in her own right, whose collection is also on show in the store, distinctive in its links with the family style and excellence in quality, with modern touches in colour and detail and keen pricing, with handcrafted frames in acetate from £230. For more information visit: www.olivergoldsmith.comCN
“While spectacles are a growing fashion phenomena, there are too many unattractive and unfashionable items in the eyewear accessory market,” says the owner of Diffuser, a Japanese independent label that is already a leader in its field at home in Tokyo. Masaki Hirose, formerly at eyewear brand Dita, questioned the situation and turned his attention to developing attractive, distinctive accessories designed for men and women with discerning taste.
Launched in 2012, Diffuser’s concept is to create a well designed set of timeless accessories – with more accessibility for men, in well crafted quality materials, including leather and silver. “We are offering customers the satisfaction of wearing a better product – at an affordable price,” says Hirose. “The range now includes glasses cords, eyewear cases and pouches and some small leather goods – all of them coordinating with one another.”
Diffuser designs are original and come in a tasteful colour palette which includes natural tan, navy and black, with gold lettering – well suited to luxury eyewear and classically focused yet in line with contemporary trends. The accessories are widely available in Japan and are stocked by a selection of handpicked optical stores worldwide including Milan Lunetier (Paris), Haute Eye (S. Korea) and Senses Optik (Hong Kong). For more information visit: www.diffuser-tokyo.comCN
Young Italian label Delirious Eyewear is the first eyewear collection to receive special recognition in VOGUE ITALIA’s Who’s on next? annual awards, supported by Altaroma, the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade.
Delirious founder Marco Lanero was honored at the event held in June alongside fashion names which included Angelia Ami, Diletta Cancellato, MRZ and MTF Maria Turri. Accessory brands highlighted ranged from Maissa (luxury accessories), Manfredi Manara (shoes), and Woobag (a collection of bags), as well as Delirious, the only eyewear label present in the accessories category. In addition, Tomorrow, the international fashion sales platform, awarded a special prize to Delirious for their expertise and precision in Made in Italy production while the eyewear label also took away the Sugar prize, a special accolade awarded by the avantgarde concept store in Arezzo (Tuscany).
The awards are judged by fashion experts from Altaroma and Vogue Italia, with the winners being voted by an eminent Jury who includes manufacturers, distributors and the Italian and international press. The new collection for 2019 will soon to be presented at the Paris trade fair SILMO, September 2018 including new launches in buffalo horn and a titanium/beta titanium mix.
Delirious Eyewear is available at international concept stores and optical boutiques including Ackerman (Rotterdam), Epice (Osaka) and Visionary Optics (NYC). For more details about the collection, visit www.deliriouseyewear.com CN