We are very excited about May! Eyestylist is focusing all its attention on sunglasses which combine good design and quality production…..not forgetting the little extras that give sunglasses the wow factor…the gorgeous shapes, colours, tonal combinations, seductive materials, and the incredible styling, which this season touches in particular on the 1950s and 60s, but not exclusively, as you will see in our editorials…our choices this month are made to highlight the variety of trends in sunwear…and to inspire our readers to explore what they might want to be wearing. We will adding new styles regularly, selecting the designs and brands we believe are setting the example. If you wish to inform us of any styles you have seen that you think we should take a look at, please contact us today!
26th May 2011 As well as the colourful array of florals we have talked about, there are lots of other patterns and fabric inspired designs in eyewear this season. These range from the wonderful animal prints on offer to a variety of tartans, checks and pretty suedes (in some cases using real fabrics inside or covering the frame, I’ve seen suede at Alexander Wang and at the Vanni collection by the Italian company Nico Design, to name just two!). And here’s one more statement design by Kenzo using printed cotton in one of the great vintage shapes featuring a matching smokey blue lens. www.kenzo.comCN
25th May 2011 This new label goes into Harvey Nichols in London this weekend, as well as two other carefully selected outlets, The Eye Company in Soho, and Hostem, the menswear specialist in Shoreditch (www.hostem.co.uk). I recently met with designer Jesse Stevens to view the collection, which has been very carefully planned and produced to exacting standards using luxurious metals and the best Italian plastic as well as wonderful vintage metal details. I love the fact that a number of these Limited Edition sunglasses are hand assembled and finished in the UK; this is an impressive step for a luxury eyewear brand, as we have come close to losing our tradition for and expertise in spectacle-making. CN
18th May 2011 Danish design company Ørgreen, known for its inventive eyewear designs featuring strong lines, trendy colours and Scandinavian creative passion, has opened its own flagship store in Copenhagen. The interior is sleek and minimal, with custom-made furniture, slim-lined fluorescent lighting and great attention to detail. The store has been designed to showcase the brand’s full collections, whilst adding in a few special ranges, from some of our favourite companies like Reiz, Blinde, Zuerihorn and ic! Berlin. One to put on your shopping agenda when visiting Copenhagen. CN
May 23rd 2011 In a month dedicated to exclusive sunglasses, we could not overlook the Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson, who is launching her first sunglass collection officially this autumn. We are told by Anna an optical line is also underway. A collection based on fairytales and romance, balanced with wit and elegance, the designer who has a background in underground music as well as art and fashion, has been producing one-off sunglass designs as bespoke pieces for some time. For more on the designer, visit www.annakarinkarlsson.com or go to The Optical Wardrobe to browse and purchase online (www.theopticalwardrobe.com/akk1.php) – watch out, there’s already a waiting list! CN
21st May 2011 This image caught my eye…and while we make it our business not to report on collections that we haven’t seen up close and tried on from time to time…I am looking forward to having a chance to examine this one soon. Frency and Mercury are based in Japan, and promise high quality materials, a meticulous production and high quality standards.
The designer behind the brand is called Eque M. and has been working in eyewear design for some years…we will have more to say about this brand soon and we will keep you updated on their whereabouts in Europe, so far there are a few stockists we know of in Italy, including Capri Vision (Capri), and L’Ottico Fabbricatore in Venice. CN
20th May 2011 I have this sunglass sitting on my desk this morning. It’s a classic plastic aviator, a shape I love but unfortunately not one that suits me ..unless anyone wishes to convince me otherwise. This is a design that doesn’t appear to go out of fashion and it has a great versatility so it’s perfect whether you are dressing up or down. This one is nice and light, and has a narrow metal brow bar decorated with minute Givenchy stars. It’s retailing on the Internet at about £155, and comes in black but also a neutral truffle tone.
19th May 2011 The stylish Parisian brand Lotho has just launched a new series of high-tech sunglasses in titanium. I’ve tried on these frames, a trendy blend of retro and modern, and delighted in the fit and sleek design. A smooth matt finish on the titanium lends an air of distinction and finesse to these glasses, and the polymère sides insure perfect comfort. Creamy café, above, is lovely for summer, plus there are four other colours. See www.lotho.fr for additional details on this savvy collection. JG
16th May 2011 The Flemish region of Belgium is a little jewel, with its charming canals and medieval castles. There is another jewel as well – Carine Van Bossele Opticians. Mme Van Bossele and her son, Véran Bekaert, have a distinctive boutique in the village of Lede. The interior is stunning, and Bekaert explains: “The concept was to mix modern style with the warmth of Asian art and colours.” Throughout the shop are beautiful examples of Asian artefacts – tapestries and sculptures. Visiting Carine Van Bossele is like going to a vernissage – frames are treated as art. “We chose frames because we personally love them for their beauty and colours,” says Bekaert, “and more and more, we are searching for limited series frames – the small collections that have that extra touch. It is a quest to find them! Of course, Théo, Paul Smith, Mykita and Tim Van Steenbergen are always available.”
The shop has a wonderful garden, and in the summer customers enjoy drinks on the terrace while trying on frames. “Bring the world in front of your eyes” is the boutique’s theme. This is successfully accomplished with exclusive collections in stylish surroundings. www.carinevanbossele.beJG
14th May 2011 Le Bon Marché is the grand dame of Parisian department stores. She is an elegant lady who has reigned supreme in the chic 7th arrondissement since 1852, with the distinction of being the oldest department store in Paris. The imposing structure has stood the test of time, just like Gustav Eiffel’s magnificent tower – he also designed Le Bon Marché. The finest international fashion designers can be found here, plus marvellous accessories.
With summer on the horizon, jlc opticien at Le Bon Marché can also meet your sunglass requirements. The Parisian based optician has a lovely boutique area on the ground floor of the store. In this gracious, spacious area, customers can sit in quiet comfort while browsing, and try on coveted names that include Dita, Salt, Barton Perreira, Oliver Peoples and other designer brands. You’ll find frames in unusual materials and distinctive frame shapes. Excellent service too! Le Bon Marché 24, rue de Sèvres 75007 Paris. jlc opticien also has other boutiques in Paris – check out www.jlcopticien.comJG
17th May 2011 Joan recently reported on a Marc Jacobs sunglass in stripes…and here is another inspired by lines that is so sweet it had to be included in our display of special sunglass designs for May…”I wanted something fresh and pretty,” explains the French designer Pierre Cariven. The shape and styling are typical of the minimal style for which Pierre has made his name; together with a purity of line and elegance which comes through in the subtle mix of colour.
We think it’s a must-have for those craving a retro, Brigitte Bardot look with nautical overtones, and a perfectly contemporary finish. The optical versions are cute too. If you want to try to find these in the UK, try Schuller Opticians or Viren Jani, or check the list of stockists on the website, www.pierre-eyewear.comCN
16th May 2011 This is a superb example of the bright colour palette on offer for Spring/Summer. Matthew Williamson 9, produced in collaboration with Linda Farrow (pictured above), comes in three fluorescent choices, pink (an Eyestylist favourite shade for S/S 2011), yellow or orange teamed with dark grey softly graduated lenses – there might be lots of cheap copies of these on the high street, but beware….they won’t have the quality distortion-free UV-protective lenses offered here, nor the lovely soft acetate and nuances of colour).
I’ve found this style available online at Urban Outfitter at £170.
May 15th 2011 While I haven’t been able to see this collection yet myself, the concept is a nice one: the creation of a sunglass range inspired by species dwelling in reefs around the world, creating awareness about coral reefs and the current threats to the marine life that live in them. Reef is a collection by German eyewear brand, Whiteout & Glare. Each product in the range is named after a marine species from some of the world’s most incredible coral reefs…these include Pterois Volitans, the red fire fish, and Solenostomus Paradoxus.
The sunglasses are made of Japanese acetate and feature a noteworthy titanium hinge design called TI22, and special PVD coatings which lend special colour finishes…dull gold, warm grey and egg plant – all rich tones with an individuality that I like very much. With 32 styles in the collection, each one limited to a production of just 100, the collection is a constant reminder of the finite nature of the world’s resources.
In support of the world’s reefs and research undertaken to monitor their condition, the company has set up a website (www.whiteout-glare.com/reef/) which will monitor the reefs and provide news, divers’ pictures and updates about them. CN
Katharina Plattner, Creative Director of Andy Wolf wears Poppy
13th May 2011 “I am wearing Poppy from Andy Wolf this season. This is a limited edition featuring lace, I wear it with clothes by Irwin & Jordan. This is a very special creation. We have put French lace between two layers of Italian acetate. It is a European product, produced in Austria. I think it’s very feminine, it makes you feel like a diva! My personal style is elegant with influences from the 1960s. I think it is important to look feminine.”
Poppy is available in four different colour choices.
10th May I have been looking around for fashion stores offering an interesting selection of sunglass ranges this season. Like Liberty, Matches takes a serious interest in quality sunglass design, and many of their styles are also available on their website. For Spring/Summer 2011, the store has the following exclusive sunglass names: Illesteva, Thierry Lasry, Carerra, Prism, L.G.R., Very Vintage Sunglasses (the Marylebone and Ledbury Road branches have the widest selections). Matches also stock a selection of sunglasses by the following fashion brands: Balenciaga, Balmain, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen, Cacharel, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, 3.1 Phillip Lim, MaxMara, Bottega Veneta, and Tom Ford. To browse the selection online visit www.matchesfashion.comCN
10th May 2011 Have you ever dreamt of creating your own perfume scent? Well, it’s actually possible! Patricia Nicolaï, founder of Nicolaï Createur de Parfum in Paris, runs workshops where participants can create their own scent and take it home with them. During the session, you’ll discover what it means to have a “nose” – the term used to distinguish various scents – and work with natural oils and scents used in making perfume. You prepare your own 100ml bottle of perfume, which you can christen with the name of your choice. Courses are held in a historical building, located near Palais Royal. Patricia Nicolaï, a descendant of the Guerlain family, the luxurious perfume and cosmetic company, started Nicolaï in 1989, with her husband. The scents in her collections are fresh and delicious – with names like Weekend in Deauville and Violette in Love. There are also Home Fragrances – my personal favourites are Bal à Venise and Resiné de Pin. For a stimulating and unusual experience, book a Nicolaï Perfume Workshop! More details at www.pnicolai.com. There are Nicolaï shops in Paris and one in London at 101a Fulham Road SW3. JG
6th May 2011 Cathedral, culture and champagne form the nucleus of Reims, a 45-minute train ride from Paris. Over thirty kings of France were crowned at Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, so the region is rich in historical treasures and lore. Reims is also the champagne capital of France, and for superb champagne sipping, Le Jardin Brasserie at Les Crayères is a memorable experience. The Brasserie is part of the magnificent Chateau Les Crayères, set in equally magnificent gardens. In addition to the fine bubbly on offer, the food is wonderful – here I savoured the best meal I’ve eaten in France. During the summer, lunch and dinner are served outside in gardens lush with trees and flowers. Les Crayères is part of the Relais&Chateau group, and it’s a grand place to stay for a champagne/cuisine/cultural celebration. www.lescrayeres.comJG
5th May 2011 German eyewear designers Grotesque Frame KG have created a new optical store inside two 40 foot seacontainers. The shop is located in Villingendorf in southern Germany, and stocks Grotesque frames, alongside IC! Berlin, Orgreen, Tipton, and Herrlicht. The store has decided to take steps not to represent brands producing in territories they refer to as “low wage” countries.
“We wanted to create an eye catcher from the outside, but a noble, relaxing, clean look on the inside,” explains Daniel Benner, founder of Grotesque. “It has taken us 12 months to create the shop; when you go inside you feel like you are in a very special place, not a container, the contrast is exciting and very unexpected.” CN
When O Fil de L’O docks at quai de la Tournelle, this is a sure sign that spring has arrived in Paris! I have a special fondness for this floating kiosque, a restored 1920’s Venetian vaporetto moored on the Seine, and silhouetted against the majestic towers of Notre Dame. This is the perfect place to start the day with coffee and croissants, or pop by for lunch, and choose from a menu that includes salads, hot dishes, tempting desserts, and a wide variety of beverages. During the summer, Sundays are lively on O Fil de L’O with a Jazz Brunch. Directors Christian and Christophe are very welcoming, and the friendly staff understands if you’re in a daze, being surrounded by this wondrous display of Parisian beauty and history! O Fil de L’O is docked on La Seine until the end of September. www.ofil2lo.comJG
Emma Migliorini Kristensen wears Francis from Ørgreen
13th May 2011 Emma Migliorini Kristensen works in the PR Department at the Danish company Ørgreen. “I have chosen Ørgreen’s model Francis 286 in black this season. I love this lightweight classic aviator in beta-titanium. You can wear them for any occasion, daytime with jeans and a t-shirt or with a colourful vintage dress. This model takes the classic teardrop aviators and laser-cut lines to give them a unique clean lightness and a high fashion look. The broader base design around the lenses and complimentary frame and lens shades creates a strong profile that expresses individuality.
I will call my style feminine and raw at the same time. I look for comfortable and well-designed frames which are timeless.”
Miet Vaes from Theo wears Beech from Theo by Tim Van Steenbergen
13th May 2011 Beech is an amazing sunglass style! Miet Vaes, the PR Director at Theo says: “I am wearing model Beech from the Limited White Tie collection – theo by Tim Van Steenbergen. It’s a black & white frame. I love black so I wear a lot of black clothing. The colour suits me well. The frame is also very big and I need a big frame, not only for comfort but also because I look ridiculous with a small one! I wear this frame all the time. So for work when I’m dressed more casually with jeans and a T-shirt, but also for more formal events. With a smart outfit the frame looks very chic.
The signature for this collection and the clear reference to Tim Van Steenbergen’s clothing collection is the metal sidepiece on the glasses. This detail has the structure of tree bark and looks very luxurious. Just like a jewel, this emphasis gives something unique to the glasses. The model is rounded, large and very stylish. And this model has Zeiss lenses! My clothing style is rather casual. I’m practically always wearing jeans. And I love the brand adidas (sneakers, sweaters, t-shirts…). I’m interested in fashion so I do try to find out what the trends are but I’ll wear only the things I really like and combine them in my own way. Rock ‘n roll! I prefer sunglasses in a ‘basic’ colour.
Very colourful sunglasses are not my thing. My black and white pair goes with everything and that’s great. The pair I have now, really glams up an outfit.”
Xenia Deger, Marketing and PR Director at Mykita in the sunglasses named after her
12th May 2011 “I had to choose this particular model, as it carries my name: Xenia. At Mykita all frames have a first name as their model reference, and since this one was named after me I guess it’s my favourite frame for summer 2011. I’ve been working here for 3 years, and now I finally have “my” Mykita frame.
It’s not only right for me because of its name, it luckily also suits me and I like it too! I always wear big sunglasses, plus this frame is quite sexy and sophisticated, but also quite casual. It also goes with most of my wardrobe. I like clothing and accessories that are quite clean and simple. I also wear a lot of black, with the occasional strong colour pops. The Xenia goes perfectly with my new red asymmetric Helmut Lang dress. But also with my everyday black skinny jeans and tee shirt combo, which is my normal “uniform”. It’s an 80’s inspired oversize metal frame with a very strong topline. I also love the colour combination: black and gold, always looks very classy.
My style is very casual and low key on an every day basis, as I live in Berlin where everybody is following this “code”. Also, our work environment at the Mykita Haus is very laid back, no need to come in wearing heels! But of course we all wear nice glasses, they sometimes make the outfit/look! I like frames that are simple and clean, this is what Mykita’s designs are all about, so I guess I am working for the right company.” www.mykita.com
10th May 2011 Sarah works in the PR department at French eyewear brand Anne et Valentin. “I chose to wear model Soul in black. I like the “Vintage” spirit of this model. I went for the black because I like the chic aspect given by dark glasses…I wear it daily, with anything.
Soul has a very elegant shape and gives a sophisticated and “chic” vintage look. Its “keyhole” nose shape gives character and personality; its design enhances a trendy personal style.
My style is trendy but I also like comfort. My outfits really depend on my daily mood, and usually reflect how I feel in myself. (My style can be really different from one day to another.)
I expect my sunglasses to complete my look with elegance and class, like a nice piece of jewellery or a beautiful pair of high heel shoes.” www.anneetvalentin.com
Maria Leitner at Seequal wears Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses
9th May 2011 “I have chosen to wear model Y-Not from Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, an exact replica of the model originally launched in 1966, in the colour Blue Opal.
Eyewear created by Claire Goldsmith is eyewear that I trust and can rely on. 5 years ago she re-launched the family brand after a hiatus of 20 years and recently added her own optical collection Legacy.
The Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses are great quality, produced by real craftsman in a small, personal family run factory in Italy. They are subtle in quality and great in style. This is exactly what I like and I can wear the Y-Not as a statement accessory with my business outfits, as well as to compliment a more casual look. This is why the style is the right frame for me, it is an all rounder that works with my schedule.
The Y-Not by Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses is bold, dramatic but effortlessly cool. With beautiful paddle temples, the frame is oversized yet surprisingly wearable on many different shaped faces. It’s a perfect representation of the late 1960’s fashion, full of theatre and wow.
I never really think about my sense of fashion. I like good quality and genuine craftmanship. I choose classic styles combined with a strong accessory to personalize my style. I like my wardrobe to let me have the freedom of being able to go wherever I want and not feel out of place. This is very important for my job as an afternoon meeting can easily end up with dinner and a night out.I follow Oliver Goldsmith’s opinion. Claire’s Grandfather was an amazing man; I think his words are so right:
“I don’t believe in those theories about a certain style suiting a certain shape of face. Life is too short to worry about such things. If you find a shape you like, have it.” Oliver Goldsmith, 1969.
6th May 2011Michaëlla Rene (above) works in the Communications Department at French brand Face à Face. “For this summer season, I have chosen, the Face à Face model Moons1 in the colour 676 (rust and pearly grey). This is a large and squared shape that fits my large, round face. I wear it with brown colours, in matching tones or with black/dark colours to make a contrast, depending on my mood.
Model Moons is a design with graphic strength and elegance. In a spirit stemming from the 60s, Moons offers irresistible Glam-Style. Two superimposed sheets of acetate open up like the wings of a butterfly. This original sculpture gives breadth to the volumes and a sophisticated touch.
I am not a fashion addict, but I love accessories. I think that accessories help you to give real personality to a style: shoes, bags, rings, earrings, brooches and sunglasses of course. All these accessories make the difference. In Paris, I have my favourite accessories designers, each of them with their own style and talent.
A pair of sunglasses has to be elegant, with colours and subtle details in the design. Regularly at a terrace of a café, people ask me the brand name of my sunglasses!”
Exclusive, luxurious, revolutionary and glamourous are just a few words to describe the Sama Eyewear Collection from California. We viewed the latest – and beautiful – collection at MIDO. Designer Shelia Vance combines classicism and modernity in her eyewear. Rouge is a fine example of style, grace, technology and quality fusing harmoniously and fashionably. Hand laminated Japanese plastic with three-dimensional laser-cutting, shapes the unique temple design. Mini turquoise Swarovski crystals twinkle on the sides, which are gently curved for an additional distinctive accent. The frames are available in Europe at Optik Wagner in Saint Moritz www.optik-wagner.ch and Les Plus belles lunettes du Monde in Paris. www. lesplusbelleslunettesdumonde.com Additional details at www.samaeyewear.netJG
This is a good-looking metal style (a look we think is getting hotter and hotter for this summer) from a brand that I am pleased to have discovered recently. The New Zealand born designer Jesse Stevens who now lives in London is dedicated to excellence. The brand name Finest Seven holds at its core that there are seven key elements in eyewear production, and sets out to incorporate the very best of these elements in every single design. Features of the Zero 2 which also comes in 24kt gold or 14k gold, are a five layered hinge for durability and strength, Zeiss lenses, metal pad arms and silicon nose pads. The frames are made in Italy by hand and come with handcrafted cases from Spain. Top notch design. CN
Casablanca is part of the luxury sunglass line by L.G.R., the Italian company created by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone. Ruscone inherited a collection of sunglasses dating back to the 1930s from his grandfather, and was inspired by his find to the point where he decided to start his own eyewear label.
The colour I have picked out here is hazelnut with a grey gradient photochromic lens which for me offers elegant styling for the changing season and dress code further into summer (50’s/70’s glamour, bare ankles and legs, tanned skinned). This is a lovely, soft combination, and the neutral frame tone promises to be very pretty on the right faces. It also comes in many other colour choices, my next favourite being ivory with blue gradient lens; another interesting yet easy combination is black with pale violet. The models in this collection are handmade in Italy, and hand-finished with features such as flex hinges. L.G.R.’s founder is passionate about artisanal quality and the production of real, timeless objects. This model is simple yet stylish, and the absence of branding allows the frame to speak for itself. L.G.R. is only to be found in very exclusive fashion boutiques such as Colette (www.colette.fr) and Matches (www.matchesfashion.com) and a few select opticians (see the L.G.R. website for details). CN