26th August 2011 The Eyestylist team may be based in Europe but we’ve been contacted by some leading independent opticians further afield, so we will be reporting on many of them in the months ahead. We are particularly happy to be in touch with some great designers and opticians in Australia, all of whom we look forward to introducing to you soon.
Brisbane’s Optiko is one of Australia’s leading independent stores, and regularly features in Australian Vogue, given its extra special choice of eyewear collections and rare vintage sunglasses by labels like Marion Ramm, Krizia and Oscar de la Renta.
Optiko director Mike Makras explains the interior concept: ” The store is made up of two distinct areas, the first is marble encased and super light, and the inner room is a dark gentleman’s club style atmosphere. The store is now over 5 years old and is testament to the architect’s timeless design. Located in one of Brisbane’s oldest arcades, the building also houses the city’s largest and oldest gentleman’s club – The Tattersalls Club – so the architect used that as an influence.
We won the DIA (Design Institute Award) retail interiors award when we initially opened. We currently stock Cazal, Cartier, Cutler and Gross, and we have 3 in-house brands made in actetate, local wood, and buffalo horn. We also stock Lindberg, ic-berlin, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Virgin Vintage, RVS and lots of other rare makes.”
I am sure locals will be delighted to here that Optiko is in the process of designing a second store which will have lost of surprises! We will bring you more on this new opening in the winter. www.optiko.com.auCN
Optiko, Tattersalls Arcade, 215 Queen Street, Brisbane 4000, Australia
16th August 2011 Amsterdam abounds with majestic museums – Rijksmuseum, The Van Gogh, Hermitage Amsterdam – just to mention a few. The newest addition to this gilded list is “art” of a different kind – a stunning bag museum. The Tassen Museum of Bags and Purses opened in 2007, in a magnificent canal house on the Herengracht. The exclusive, unique collection of 4000 bags is a fascinating testimony to social history, and how styles in fashion and art have influenced bags throughout the centuries. Finding the bags has been a passion for Hendrikje Ivo, antique dealer and collector, who discovered her first bag in England over thirty-five years ago. What started as her personal fascination has become an iconic museum in a luxurious canal house, that was once a private home. From the 16th century through to the fashionista labels of Chanel to Prada, Hermès and Judith Leiber,(her cupcake bag shown above) the bags will enchant, amuse and delight. I’ve visited several times, and always find new discoveries. The Tassen Museum is “it” for bag lovers! JG www.museumofbagsandpurses.com
It may be holiday time but we are gearing up for Autumn/Winter 11/12…we kick off this month with some of the trends coming up…and 10 unique frames in our Reviews Section which are perfect for the transition from summer to autumn. We’ll be starting to give advice on the best colours, patterns, shapes and influences in fashion and how they translate in eyewear. And of course lots of other special reports and new discoveries in Design and Inspiration, City Guides and Boutiques. CN
Created by Colab, in collaboration with Anthony Lister
30th August, 2011 This is an intriguing project by the Australian brand Colab and international street art “super hero” Anthony Lister. Vacation on the Sun Sunglasses are a Limited Edition, where the first 250 models (see the frame below) come packaged with an Anthony Lister superhero mask in red, blue or yellow.
The sunglass style itself is a classic tortoiseshell style, with brown gradient lens, available in a Limited Edition of 1000 individually numbered models. For more details on this unique eyewear experience, go to www.colab.com.auCN
25th August 2011 Round spectacles and sunglasses have seen a comeback in 2011, and there are lots of new round shapes arriving in sun and optical lines for 2012; the 1930s and 1940s are the favourite decades of inspiration for the latest ones.
Mykita’s collaboration with Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch has seen the launch of two new sunglass models for 2012…cute “Le Corbusier” inspired round designs in a “washed-out” palette of rose, vanilla or stone. Regina, pictured here on the catwalk in vanilla, is a simple yet stunning compliment for a Herchcovitch creation where colour details are synchronised to set off the deep red of the silk dress. Glamorous styling. CN
24th August 2011 Lafont’s ornate optical model Gaufrette 550 translates this winter trend perfectly, combining in one single design a distinctive patterned acetate with intricate gemstone studded metalwork. These are techniques that this exclusive French brand has developed and perfected over many years, and they are very much in tune with the sumptuous fabrics and ornate detailing in this winter’s fashion collections. One of our favourite optical styles for women so far in the upcoming Autumn/Winter Collections. For more information and stockists visit www.lafont.comCN
A leopard-inspired creation by Anna-Karin Karlsson
22nd August 2011 Anna-Karin sent me this picture recently and I couldn’t resist it, I am also a big fan of leopard print and this large fashion shape really does this patterned acetate justice. The Swedish-born designer says she hadn’d been able to find a really amazing pair of leopard print sunglasses in recent years and felt inspired to create them herself. 10 months since her official launch, Anna-Karin’s designs continue to excite the fashion industry and she has just received a nomination for ‘Accessory Designer 2011’ at the Swedish fashion award Guldknappen.www.annakarinkarlsson.com/buy.phpCN
Anne-Solène Guerin, Marketing Executive, Paris, France
21st August, 2011 “My fashion style is classical, yet not boring. So I like to find clothes that have extra special details, or sometimes – in bright colours. Quality and good cuts are very important. For example, if I’m looking for a raincoat, it’s usually Burberry, and I like designs by Catherine Andre. I also like Renouard (www.maroquinerie-renouard.com) from Brittany. With glasses too, I like something different. I have a small face, and the trend right now is for big frames, but large shapes make me look like a fly! It was a problem to find small sunglasses, but when I tried on Lafont, it was – OK – that’s it! I didn’t know the brand before, and I really like the small shape. I love to sail and on the water wear Vaurnet (Anne-Solène in Vaurnet, shown above) with polarized lenses. The shape is great as it protects the eye area, and they are really designed for sport – they don’t move and fit well.” JG
16th August 2011 Some lovely new eyewear collections are filtering across our desks, even during this relaxed, easy paced holiday time. We’re eager to share these new designs with you, and one that has especially grabbed our attention, is a collection of six Limited Edition frames for women, from TD Tom Davies. The made-to-measure, hand finished designs in luscious acetate include this beautiful frame (above) with graduated colours. A hint of vintage shaping adds to the allure of the luxurious styling. The neutral colourations are perfect for early autumn fashions. Other designs in this Limited Edition series feature striped and transparent/opaque contrasts. JG www.tdtomdavies.com
Gilles Choukroun, Chef and owner of MBC Gilles Choukroun, Paris, France
14th August 2011 My favourite sunglasses are by Ray Ban (Gilles wears Ray Ban in the above photo), and Gold and Wood – they have some excellent designs. I like black frames, but sometimes I like colour too – especially orange or green. When I’m looking for glasses, I visit different boutiques because there are a lot of frames, and the choice is very difficult! My preferences are for frames that are simple, without decoration. I like casual clothes, never a suit! In the restaurant kitchen, it’s really casual – jeans and a black chef jacket. Kenzo men’s wear is super, and I also like casual wear from Oxbow.” JG
3rd August 2011 The museum shops in London are great for buying presents and other more unusual decorative items, art or ideas for children. The V&A in London is one of my favourites, along with the National Portrait Gallery shop.
The V&A has an online shopping site with a wide range of stationary, and they have recently added the distinctive Christian Lacroix stationary range….which includes notebooks, notepads and journals with a flamboyant style. Every purchase supports the museum, an even better incentive to pass by…www.vam.ac.uk or www.vandashop.comCN
We have asked a few eyewear designers to preview their interpretation of these colours. Claire Goldsmith’s scarlet version of Campbell and model Corban from the CG Legacy collection (above and below) are beautifully in tune with these glamorous tones…sometimes in mono but also present to punctuate more sombre tones and classic black. CN
2nd August 2011 Now we are starting on our winter trend reports, here is one we like from Face à Face. The French label has adopted the tartan trend in its 2012 collection, by offering six of its top selling frames, including Sagan 1 and Woody, in colourful plaid. Whether it reminds you more of Scottish castles or 1980s punk, it’s a style statement we’ll keep seeing in the coming season. CN
1st August 2011 Amsterdam is a European destination I always enjoy, and a favourite optical shop is located there. I discovered Oogappel several years ago, a boutique with flair, style, desirable fame selections and superb service. Owner Sarah Smit is at the helm of this fashionable boutique, founded by her father thirty-five years ago. “We are an eclectic shop, with collections from luxury brands, but also from creators that we find worldwide”, explains Sarah. “Claire Goldsmith Legacy, Tom Ford, Paul Smith, Oliver Peoples, Prada, Théo, Marni, Mosley Tribes, Persol and Dino Art are among the brands we stock. The eyewear is really distinguished with colours, materials, and shapes. Because we are situated in the centre of Amsterdam, in the fashion and museum district, we have visitors from all over the world who visit the boutique”.
The shop location is great, as it’s near the Van Gogh Museum, The Concertgebouw, The Rijksmuseum and the trendy Pieter Cornelisz Hofftstraat, with numerous fashion boutiques. The wood and white leather interior at Oogappel (which means ‘apple of one’s eye’) is very chic, cool and sophisticated. At the entrance is a signature chandelier by Brand van Egmard, the Dutch design duo, who also create amazing pieces for royal palaces and international hotels. If visiting the charming canal city of Amsterdam, hop on the No. 5 tram from Centraal Station to Baerlestraat. You can be assured of a friendly welcome from Sarah, shop manager Bart Singor and staff. Plus you’ll find exciting frames! www.oogappel.comJG
Tom Ford is a man of talent and style, and his glamorous eyewear is a stunning example of those qualities. Catherine, shown above, showcases Ford’s signature inspirations with a wide, cross-front architectural design in metal, a double bridge, and gradient lenses. The voluminous shape is dramatic, and shields the eyes from harsh sunrays. Modern and style setting, this design expresses Ford’s commitment to elegant minimalism and refinement. Tom Ford eyewear is available in London at 36 Opticians, 36 Beauchamp Place, and Fenwick’s on New Bond Street. Further information at www.tomford.comJG
This is a collection that I haven’t seen yet, but I find very intriguing. Respecting the environment is the philosophy behind Tipton Eyewear. Designer Zack Tipton’s handmade frames are created from salvaged acetate and records. The frame featured above is from the Vinylize range, and merges both vintage and modern ingredients that result in a stylish, unique look. The grooves on the frame front are instant distinction. The Budapest based designer also produces a cinematique collection that is created from salvaged acetate, stainless steel and vintage film. The collection is currently distributed in France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and America. With such an unusual approach to eyewear, it won’t be long before Tipton Eyewear is available in other countries. www.tipton.hu JG
I confess to a passion for voluminous frame shapes, so Fluffer is definitely a design with great appeal – I loved it the moment I saw it. The details are intricate – it’s a classic retro shape, with a 3-dimensional titanium punch-out frame front. The “floating” lenses are securely held in place with nylon wire. Leather simulated enamel inlays accent the top portion of the frame front above each lens. A sterling silver barrel with the Chrome Hearts “plus” motif marks the point where the temples make the transition to Tegu leather – the hide from a Tegu lizard. The end-tips feature the Chrome Hearts motif in sterling silver. Fluffer possesses distinguished characteristics. For further details, visit www.chromehearts.comJG
When I saw this frame at MIDO, I marked in my notes ‘great style’ – it really is! Handmade in Japan, the frame also has an intriguing provenance. Designers Shelia and Ross Vance were inspired by the beauty and mystique of ancient Egyptian culture and design. The soft, oversized shape of Gossip is in layered acetate exclusive to Sama. The temples, in titanium, represent a “Breast Plate” worn by a queen of the sun, and constructed with state of the art laser cutting. Another special feature is the reversed plating, with the outside and inside of the temples in different colours. It’s a dashing, glamorous frame, and especially beautiful in this deep, intense aubergine shade. www.samaeyewear.net JG
When I visited the Francis Klein studio in Paris, this is one of the frames that immediately caught my “eye”. It’s stylish, a bit racy in bold red and black acetate, with mini coloured pearl and bead trim. Red is set to have fashion impact in the coming months for clothes and accessories, and black is always a fashionista favourite. The details on this frame are fantastic- the frame sides have the illusion of a pleated ruche effect – “ruche” is a fashion trim used in clothing. A strip of red acetate runs between the black – a chic accent. The frame is also a stunner in black acetate and crystal. The collection is available in the delightful little Francis Klein boutique at 30, rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris. For further details: www.francisklein.comJG
Described as a classic panto, the elegant model Voyage Voyage is sleek and streamlined with a finely curved temple so that front and arm merge seamlessly into one. The colour choices are an instant draw – foggy grey, smoky asphalt, honey and tortoise are included in the line…each one offering a chic yet pared down look that I believe will work perfectly for the coming season (for those who love a minimal approach to vintage).
Lunettes Kollektion frames are packaged in handmade boxes, by the traditional Berlin-based card and paper company Ernst Ließ. The frames are handmade by traditional, family-owned producers in small batches. The materials used are described as the “finest” available. An unpretentious, high-quality collection which we hope to see a lot more of. CN
I have just had this Mykita frame fitted with my prescription by my local independent optician, Wilson, Wilson & Hancock in Tenterden. I have picked out this frame for practical reasons. I like the most high-tech metal frame designs for their comfort and lightness and this ticks those boxes. While I am more used to wearing titanium (also very light and comfortable), this line is created from 0.5mm thick stainless steel sheets, and it is very light. It is also interesting for its functional snap-hinge, the clever design of which means there are no soldered joints or screws used in this style. As far as design goes, Mykita No 1 offers frames for all wearers…you can choose a classic one or a very trendy look. The Heather is a good compromise for me in this area, I see it as an every day frame – not too much of a statement, but there is a vintage feel which makes it a bit special. It is easy for work, everyday wear and subtle enough to be worn with any outfit. I am wearing the Heather in blackberry; the gold is also striking. CN
I’ve got really into this Paul Smith collection and I know a few opticians I trust who are doing extrmely well with it. Apart from the eloquent names of the styles which are all after poets, the line draws part of its inspiration from the British Dandy and musical icons. Larkin is a unisex model with smart vintage lines, perfect as an optical but also well suited to sun lenses. Modelled on the spectacle styles worn by some of the most prolific British poets, the temples have small silver and black enamel round pins. The colour, “golden tortoise ombre” is reminiscent of the more traditional tortoise tones but with a more trendy look than classic interpretations of this patterning in acetate. CN www.paulsmithspectacles.com
This is a luxurious men’s optical frame (also produced as a sunglass) made in two exotic sounding woods…tanganika and bubinga for the face. The temples are made of bubinga while the front combines both woods. Wood is a fashionable material given its longevity and refined patterning…and of course its smooth finish which feels nice on the skin. It is an easy-to-wear material that has lots of exciting colours and effects….this style is subdued and classic with clean lines and a matt finish which adds to the sophistication. The combination of the two woods is simple and very effective for the overall elegance of the frame. CN
French label Anne et Valentin have an exceptional ability when it comes to combining colours…their acetate and metal designs often include two tones or a play on transparent/solid colour contrasts. Volta is a really classic shape in acetate, turned into a more eccentric or exuberant frame through the clever use of high quality tortoise with a fresh shade of pink….bright refreshing pops of colour are on-trend and very desirable in fashion generally. This style is a very strong example of how this translates in eyewear. CN
Sven Götti is the creative spirit and force behind this iconic Swiss brand. Sven describes in his own words, the history of Götti and his harmonious approach to design.
“I opened the optical shop GÖTTI + NIEDERER in Lucerne together with Urs Niederer in 1993. Through interior design, which was revolutionary at the time, plus highly respected window displays and unprecedented exhibitions, our shop quickly became known beyond the borders of Switzerland. After working hard for three years to build the business, and gathering plenty of experience, it was time for me to launch my own collection. This was new territory for me, since eyewear design was not part of an optician’s education. I soon found a CAD computer program and began to design the first eyeglasses for our shop in the evenings and on weekends. We had these produced from buffalo horn in small production series. When I took the step into independence, I assumed a very important principle that is still with me today: to always choose that which I can stand behind personally, with pleasure and consistency. Since I still design our own collection according to this creed today, my signature is still recognizable throughout the collection. What I find fascinating is that in this way, I address precisely the customer that I also tend to like. After fourteen years of dedication, I am still enthusiastic about this exciting work, and continue to be astonished by what is possible when it comes to eyeglasses and people. I like to compare the creative process of new eyeglasses with composing new melodies. Even with a fixed number of notes, new songs are continuously being composed. In principle, I design eyeglasses like a composer – variations in shape are my notes, and only the perfect form has the right sound.
“For creative inspiration, I let myself be guided by fashion flow and trends. To find these and anticipate them is a continuous process. I often find inspiration on the road. Everywhere I go, I look for input, new designs and trends. A walk in a city, where I see people and faces, belongs to my work. It can also be a very old model that draws my attention. I sometimes think, ‘Wow! they had a good solution at that time.’ In our collections, we process all possible materials, like genuine horn, titanium, acetate and epoxy. Acetate I find a particularly valuable material. The infinite varieties of colour combinations challenge the creative process. To bring out these often hidden colours in the production of all three dimensions is fascinating. Last year, we introduced the SPIN & STOW mechanism, which makes it possible to create flat sunglasses by twisting the temple. This feature gave us a lot of fun and brought positive feedback. It is our goal to inspire our customers with beautiful shapes in addition to new technical solutions. It’s exactly this point I find so exciting and challenging about eyewear design – the combination of shapes, fashion and technology.” JG
1st August 2011 Fashion exhibitions in museums span the globe. Yojhi Yamamoto was a big success at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Madame Grès has crowds flocking to Musée Bourdelle in Paris, and Sporting Life is a hit in New York City at The Museum at FIT. As Suzy Menkes wrote in The International Herald Tribune: “Fashion has developed from being a passion for a few to a facination – and an entertainment – for everybody”. A beautifully appointed show has recently opened in the glorious setting of The Grand Trianon at Versailles – The 18th Century Back in Fashion. In the luxurious château, the clothes are displayed in the splendid settings of The Grand Trianon rooms, where Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and friends once lived. The elegantly curated exhibition, by Olivier Saillard, includes designs from Vivienne Westwood, Azzedine Alaïa, Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix,(featured above, photo by Marcio Madeira) Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, and Thierry Mugler among others. The opulence of clothes worn by Marie Antoinette and the grand ladies of that period, are skillfully interpreted in 20th and 21st century versions with superb embroidery, variations on hoop skirts, and luscious fabrics. In addition, there are accessories from the period on display – shoes, bags, fans and belt buckles. The 18th Century Back in Fashion is a historical voyage that illustrates how fashion is a vital part of cultural heritage, social history and design. Marie Antoinette would probably relish the fact that the style setting influences of her time still inspire creativity two centuries later. Until 9 Octobre 2011 at The Grand Trianon at Versailles. www.chateauversailles.frJG
1st August 2011 London’s colourful vintage festival, inspired by the Festival of Britain, took place over the weekend on the Southbank. The creation of fashion designer Wayne Hemingway and his wife Gerardine, the event is a unique experience for enthusiasts of vintage clothing, music, art and culture from the 1920s on. I was lucky enough to be invited along….there were lots of eye-catching outfits on parade in the sunshine yesterday, and the vintage sunglasses were out in their splendour…lots of fun. CN