The merry month of May is a feast of gorgeous sunglasses on Eyestylist. You will discover eyewear designs with avant-garde originality in Reviews, and meet a dynamic British creator – our Designer of the Month. We travel to Vienna to visit an imaginative boutique and a distinguished little museum. Throughout the month, click and stay with Eyestylist for the broadest perspective on innovative eyewear. JG
Tangy Orange Sorbet Frames from EK
31st May 2012 Emmanuelle’s Khanh’s sunglasses are bursting with joy and cheer – the bright orange colour has enormous child appeal. So does the shape. Small, round forms are a favourite with the young set (and their parents too!) so this design (style 1507) allows kids to feel very cool – and the shape is ideal for little faces. EK frames are handmade in France, and the quality and beauty of the acetate is assured. More stunning EK frames can be seen at www.emmanuellekhanhparis.com JG
From Australia to Zurich – Isson Eyewear
30th May 2012 The innovative Hall of Frames 2012 edition takes place in Zurich on October 14th and 15th in the historic venue of Papiersaal. A wonderful showcase for independent eyewear designers, the event welcomes new international exhibitors, including the Australian eyewear company Isson. Featured above: (left) Isson Julian in Green (right) Isson Tyla in Purple Gravel. Jarrod Abbot, National Brand Development Manager for Isson commented: “This year, Isson celebrates its 10th anniversary with the launch of the Isson Optical Collection, plus featuring our statement sunglasses. Known for unique character driven frames with intriguing colours and effects, our participation in events such as Hall of Frames is a perfect way for Isson to connect with like-minded optical boutiques seeking out the unusual for their eyewear aficionados.” More information at www.hallofframes.ch www.isson.com JG
Sensational Summer Blue by Face à Face
29th May 2012 Face à Face excels in colour – and for summer, this glorious blue is just wonderful! Lolly is crafted in shimmering sea blue acetate, in a bold, dramatic shape, and capped with a touch of cappuccino on the temples. The design is modern and free, yet a strong hint of Retro prevails, and the result is an outstanding frame. I’m ready for the beach in Lolly! www.faceaface-paris.com JG
Finger in the Nose + Vuarnet = super sunnies!
28th May 2012 Trendy children’s fashion company Finger in the Nose has teamed with Vuarnet, French designers of legendary eyewear, to create a stylish collection of sunglasses. Kids will enjoy wearing this design (above Surfer in ivory acetate) that is a reincarnation of a Vuarnet frame that captured the 1980’s surfing influence. Children will respond to the look of the frames that compliment the contemporary image of Finger in the Nose clothing, and parents will be delighted with the quality of the acetate, and sun protection with unbreakable lenses. www.fingerinthenose.com. www.vuarnet.com JG
Glamorous Sunglasses from Lindberg
25th May 2012 These summer stunners from Lindberg feature a graceful, elegant shape with gentle volume that protects the eyes, while creating a sense of mystery about the wearer. The frame (style 8561) is beautifully sculpted in acetate with a titanium insert on the temple. For more information about sunglass beauties from the award-winning Danish company, visit www.lindberg.com JG
Style Savvy – Oliver Goldsmith Mini Icons
24th May 2012 “My girls just love sunglasses, and they want to wear them all the time,” reports the mother of two girls, ages 6 and 8. Already they are sunglass enthusiasts and mini-fashionistas – we love it! Young style setters are certain to relish wearing sunglasses from Oliver Goldsmith’s Mini Icons collection. Bude (above) first appeared in 1959 for grownups, and the children’s version is an exact replica in silky-smooth acetate, scaled to fit young faces. The frame is perfectly crafted in this gorgeous retro shape in bright, oh-so-trendy red! www.olivergoldsmith.com JG
The Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey Street, London, SE1
22nd May 2012 An exhibition that will explore the impact of music, art and personality on the development of the fashion of the 60s and 70s. From the poodle skirts and embellished leathers of the rockers through to the Punk era, this exhibition will take in the cool stylings of the Mods, the high baroque of Psychedelia and the kitsch glamour of 70s retro by designers such as Mr Freedom and Miss Mouse….
Highlights will include items from Elton John’s personal wardrobe (can’t wait to see these), purple flares worn by Donovan, the pop-art fashions of Mary Quant as well as Quant’s early modernist pieces from the original Bazaar. Furniture, original posters and graphics and promotional materials will help to set the scene while an “I’m Backing Britain” display will create a dramatic centrepiece.
The exhibition will provide new insight into 20 years of popular culture from one of the most comprehensive private collections of design and fashion.
Exhibition Dates: 6th July – 27th October 2012, The Fashion and Textile Museum, London. www.ftmlondon.org CN
Ic Berlin’s Ralph Anderl on Creating Sunglasses
22nd May 2012 “My favourite design this season is the ‘dr. ihab rough’. I took the inspiration from a painting by Caravaggio, which is in Berlin and called ‘Amir Vincit Omnia’. It is smooth, but rough and very beautiful with light, dark, and strong emotions. Inspiration also comes from Giordano Bruno, Karl Jaspers, Sir Karl Popper, my sister, a physician, also inspires me, and my mother in some very rare moments. For me it is easier to design for men than for dogs or horses, but for woman it is very easy, because women have more soft lines everywhere – more or less, and of course, some parts are also edgy. As long as men and women have two eyes and one nose, it is relatively simple to find a design or a shape which works on a face. I love to design for my mother, father, girl friend and boy friend, and people in the wild, wild West. Russians also appreciate our designs very much.
“Sunglasses are cooler than rx glasses, even if they are not necessary for nightlife or in clubs. If you do not see the eyes of a person, for some reason it is special, cool and fascinating. I love sunglasses and wear them much too often. Sometimes I do not see holes in the road at night, and have fallen off my bike, and broken bones. However, the future is bright and we need sunglasses.” www.ic-berlin.de JG
Top photo, Ralph wears another sunglass favourite: Rückblick
The Rolf Team – Ready for the Sun!
Christian Wolf discusses the Rolf Spectacles team’s favourite sunglasses for Summer 2012 – Skylark 41 – featured in the above photo.
“Rolf has a strong connection to old cars, so it is not a surprise that the first ‘woodstone’ sunglasses are inspired by a vintage car. The Buick Skylark Convertible – which like all Rolf frames – was handmade when first produced in 1939. Nowadays, only a few car companies build their cars by hand, or without a lot of computer engineering. I think the same happens everywhere – also in the optical business. Crafting a pair of Rolf glasses requires several hours of handwork and a high degree of craftsmanship. The sanding stage requires lots of concentration and precision, which we leave to experienced hands only. At Rolf, we are always searching for new materials that correspond with the company’s philosophy. The challenge was to try out a material that was not yet used on the market. Stone is the perfect addition to wood and bamboo frames, since stone also offers unique characteristics, which have developed over thousands of years. The layered structure of shale lends a lively up scale surface to the frames. Shale is prone to splintering and breakage. These characteristics have caused doubts about the viability of the project. In order to avoid destroying the stone during pressing, new technologies have been used.
“We try to keep our designs as pure as possible. As we work with natural materials, we think there is no need for special colour lenses, or a huge logo placement. We try to transport a kind of understatement. It is important that customers value the products, and do not spend lots of money because of brand attention. We try to transport a story – not a brand. I think the future will bring more and more sustainable products and new technical innovations. Also, the importance of multifunctional eyewear will increase. In the future, you will be able to do more with sunglasses than just protect your eyes from the sun.” JG
Mary Pace – Sales Director, Rem Eyewear
18th May, 2012 “I’m a big fan of high quality acetate and light weight titanium sunglasses. I’m always drawn to smaller shapes, as I find I cannot support larger size frames – both for fit and my particular style. My favourites at the moment are innovative trend setting shapes, vintage redone with flair and details of the moment. I love matt and textured finishes mixed with crystal. (above, Mary wears John Varvatos style 774 in crystal.) I’m definitely a frame collector! Each season, I probably have about 10-15 pairs that I chose from. For work, I always try to have items that create multiple outfits, as I travel constantly. Accessories are a must and fun to play with – always a scarf and glasses – relaxed, rock chic! For leisure, there is nothing better than putting on my bright skinny jeans, a cashmere pullover and my Converse Chuck Taylors’s! I love some of the colours for this season, like the champagne colour of my new leather shirt jacket from “All Saints” – mixed with brights in large tops and skinny jeans. I still love Armani for the great fit and super leather jackets that feel like butter. I’m a fan of Rick Owens, for great fitting jeans and leather items. The most influential ideas and concepts today come from Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, and Proenza Schouler for women. For men, it’s John Varvatos. Wearing cool eyewear is a must in any season – it can change your look and your mood with simple effort. Sunglasses should certainly fit your lifestyle and express your fashion sense – colour, shape and detail are important in great glasses!” www.remeyewear.com. John Varvatos is available in the UK from www.eyerespect.com JG
Image: Rachael Branum Photos are legally privileged. All rights reserved, www.eyestylist.com.
Paris Designer Visits Savvy California Boutique
17th May 2012 Eyewear connoisseurs Derome Brenner have created a jewellery collection to complement their beautiful frame designs. Necklaces and bracelets are crafted in the mode of the eyewear – bold statement designs, unexpected details, and exciting colours. The frames and jewellery have delicate volume, and the effect is subtly dramatic. Xavier Derome made an in-store appearance to present the collections at the trendy Southern California boutique – Gogosha. Guests had the opportunity to meet the eyewear artist, be personally fitted for frames, and discover the jewellery.
Fun and Fashion from Zoobug
16th May 2012 Children’s sunnies are fashion delights for youngsters – there are some super designs on the summer scene. Among my favourites are two frames from award-winning Zoobug – the innovative eyewear company created by ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Julie Diem Le. She combines great styles that youngsters love and relate to, plus the high quality lenses provide the maximum protection necessary for delicate young eyes. Youngsters will really enjoy wearing the Zoobug Super 5 (above) transparent design with blue and black, its double bridge, and gentle aviator shape.
The ZB1 in black acetate is a classic wayfarer in a mini version – so grown up! Available also in red, and red and white; pink, lilac and navy blue. For more exciting Zoobug children’s frames in lovely designs and great colours, visit www.zoobug.com JG
Natalie Levy, Grey Ant
15th May 2012 Natalie from Grey Ant in New York has put forward this tortoise, attention-seeking piece for our month of stupendous sunnies for the summer. Given how tortoise continues to be a leading trend when it comes to frame pattern, we are rather delighted with this choice which has a distinctive and as they say themselves “off-the-grid” personality – which undoubtedly begs fashionista attention. Image above, Natalie and business partner Grant Krajecki from Grey Ant, www.greyant.com.
“The Foundry is a round acetate frame with sawed-off effect creating a literal optical illusion. The thin metal arms lend a preppy guise. We were thinking of Janis Joplin and John Lennon and then made the shape our own.”
Grey Ant is NY fashion at its strongest and raunchiest. These very exclusive sunglasses, if you’re after a new and very cool label, are available direct from their website http://shop.greyant.com. CN
Super Sunnies from Marni
14th May 2012 Reds really sizzle this season – as we’ve featured in previous posts. I recently had the pleasure of previewing the Marni sunglass collection for Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 – and marvelled at the fabulous shapes, amazing colours, and superb quality. I singled out this red and cappuccino design in particular for its casual chic, a graceful rectangular frame shape, and distinguished nose bridge. Marni frames are handmade in Italy and exude authentic fashion flair. Available at Corso Como in Milan, and Poul Stig (www.poulstigbriller.dk) in Copenhagen. Further information at www.marni.com JG
11th May 2012 The Sunglasses Salon in Liberty’s was updated last year, and now features around 600 sunglasses, from 24 luxurious brands, many of our favourites! I am always popping in for inspiration and love the superbly curated selection. It’s one of the best places in central London if you want to pick up an utterly desirable design…. from Moscot to Lasry, a-Morir and Cutler & Gross to the Linda Farrow ranges, there are classics as well as trendy-focused designs for Spring/Summer ’12.
Chic Liberty print sunglasses are also on display, part of a collaboration with RetroSuperFuture, the trendy Italian sunglasses label. I like the Retro Lucia design in Pepper Liberty Print, which features quality Zeiss lenses for proper protection from UV rays. Available on the web at £130.00, www.liberty.co.uk CN
11th May 2012 Red is hot! I received this image from our good friends at the Berlin store Lunettes Brillenagentur last week (www.lunettes-brillenagentur.de), and the little hint of very striking scarlet looked very cool and uplifting indeed; this colour has certainly had its moments through eyewear history in the last decades. There are quite a few exciting luxury reds around that we’ve been enjoying, but with so much talk of pinks and pastels, I haven’t had a moment to fully appreciate how amazing these scarlet shades can be. Bright red offers something positively decadent and characterful in eyewear…
Three favourites, the Casper from Oliver Goldsmith, www.olivergoldsmith.com (above, which we wrote about last month in our reviews section and we simply can’t get enough of this one, and the completely flamboyant “catty shades” (that’s my preferred name for the catseye) by RVS by. V. (www.rvsbyv.com), as well as that Framers choice we just wrote about, all very enticing. Enjoy the brights while there are plenty of flirtacious ones on offer. CN
L.G.R. teams with trendy A.P.C.
10th May 2012 Eyewear innovator Luca Gnecchi Ruscone of L.G.R. has joined forces with A.P.C., the French casual clothing and home accessories brand, to create a select collection of sunglasses. The frame designs, suitable for both men and women, emphasize true naturalness – no solvents or paints are used in making the frames: everything is hand polished, and fitted with anti-reflex lenses that provide 100% UV protection. Frame shapes embrace a touch of Retro, with a modern air. Beautifully marbled Havana acetate (above style 4231) – my favourite – is paired with brown photochromic lenses.
The classic black model features sporty green lenses. Both styles harmonize so well with the relaxed clothing designs from A.P.C. They have just gone into the A.P.C. stores today! All L.G.R. frames are handcrafted in Italy. www.lgr-sunglasses.com JG
Fashion Divas Honoured at Costume Institute, NYC
10th May 2012 Two grand Italian fashion design divas, from totally different eras, are the subject of a fascinating exhibition at The Metropolitan of Art Costume Institute in New York City. Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada:Impossible Conversations opens today, and explores the striking affinities between these two Italian designers from distinctive fashion decades. Iconic ensembles by Schiaparelli and Prada are in the galleries, with approximately 100 designs and 40 accessories by Schiaparelli (1890-1973), dating from the late 1920’s to the early 1950’s, and Prada’s creations span the years from the late 1980’s to the present. Harold Koda, Curator in Charge, noted: “Juxtaposing the work of Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada allows us to explore how the past enlightens the present, and how the present enlivens the past.” Curator Andrew Bolton added: the connection of the historic to the modern highlights the affinities, as well as the variances, between two women who constantly subverted contemporary notions of taste, beauty, and glamour.”
Schiaparelli worked in Paris from the 1920’s until her house closed in 1954, and she was closely associated with the Surrealist movement – she collaborated with Salvador Dali on several projects. Prada, who holds a degree in political science, took over her family’s Milan-based business in 1978, and focuses on fashion that reflects the eclectic nature of Postmodernism. Both women are influential style mavens, and their designs continue to make an impact on fashion culture – and beyond. Exhibition dates: 10 May – 9 August 2012 www.metmuseum.org JG
Photo credits: Top image of Wallis Simpson in Elsa Schiaparelli, Vogue 01 June, 1937 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Cecil Beaton, Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s. Prada photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by David Sims.
Matthias Busche and Sarah Settgast choose their Favourite Sunglasses
9th May 2012 “The sunglass styles Mariann and Luki are the ‘must-haves’ this summer”, says Sarah Settgast, Baroness of Design at Framers Eyewear in Berlin. Mariann reflects perfectly the current ‘zeitgeist’ with a touch of the past. I have in mind the streets of Paris in the 1950’s, the beautiful little cafes, couples in love, the sun is shining……..I love to wear Mariann in bright strawberry red!
“For Matthias, Earl of Eyewear, the perfect match is Luki in a smokey grey colour. I think this frame is a statement for the adventurous man who knows what life is all about – a mixture of traditional and contemporary design.
“Maybe my imagination is a bit romanticized. I love to watch French movies, because they give me this beautiful attitude to life. We are ready for the summer!” www.framers.de JG
8th May 2012 I just got these two images in from Glasgow’s famous optical store, Niche Optical Tailor…and we wanted to share them immediately. The images come from an incredible shoot that has done some great work with these two ultra-luxe frames…the black panto is part of the Thom Browne Collection (New York) and the metal frame (the Oxford) above is the cousin of one we have reviewed on Eyestylist, the Cambridge from the precious Leisure Society collection (www.leisure-society.com)…few words are needed here, this is how standout eyewear should look! Our thanks go out to the fantastic team, including model agency Model Team, for giving us permission to share the images today.
Fashion credits: Styling, Lisa Ringrose; Photography, Armando Ferrari; Hair, Gary Lees using tecni.art by L’Oreal Professionel; Make-up, Piffanne for Academy of Make Up; Model, Jamie Walker at Model Team. Tailoring, Hugo Boss at Cruise.
Eyewear featured available at Niche Optical Tailor, 119 Candleriggs, Glasgow www.nicheopticaltailor.co.uk CN
8th May 2012 Yesterday we featured an interview with Anna Zaboeva of Pleasemachine, and as a fan of recycling herself, she mentioned the Australian brand, Holloway Eyewear, which we have explored a little further. Based in Brisbane, Holloway is one of a new generation of labels focusing on sustainable production and recycled materials…others include the Eco line by Modo, and one of my favourites in this genre, the Catalan label, Vuerich B.
Reclaimed materials used by Holloway include anything from old skate boards to guitars. Founders Raffaele Persichetti and Martin Gordon Brown are committed to ecological awareness and manufacture that respects the environment, designing frames that are in tune with these values, whilst being trendy and desirable as fashion products.
Raffaele Persichetti: “We seek to maintain our existence with a better understanding of our impact and always act purposefully with tomorrow in mind. Our material capabilities are growing rapidly, and we’re getting into scavaging from hard industries like metals and stone. We’ve finished prototypes of the snowboard range and are playing round more with finishing in natural pigments and stains which are really changing the end product.”
For more details on Holloway Eyewear in Australia, visit www.hollowayeyewear.com.au
Anna Zaboeva, footwear designer, Pleasemachine, Budapest
7th May 2012 Our friends at CraftHunters.com have lead us to Anna Zaboeva, the Siberian-born shoe designer, and this great picture of her in vintage shades. I asked Anna about her work and her interest in eyewear.
“My label Pleasemachine Peculiar Footwear, is a beautiful blend of design and pure craftsmanship. Each pair of shoes is made in the traditional way, slowly and with passion, from fine leather and recycled textiles which I find on the street.
Recycling is a major area of my design and I have a great affinity with other modern designers who also do beautiful things using recycling. In terms of eyewear I’ve got a few cool and rare designs from Tipton (www.tipton.hu) made of recycled music vinyls, and still can’t choose which is my favorite among Holloway’s designs made of recycled skates, surf and snowboards (www.hollowayeyewear.com.au)
I consider the role of sunglasses in style and fashion to be very significant. It’s an essential accessory for me, and I have about a dozen favourites in my modest collection. Generally they are vintage – some without names, and from great fashion houses like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. In the picture I am wearing vintage sunglasses which I have not been able to identify, I found them on the street. I like to wear things which are older than me or at least have a story behind them. An old, well-designed pair of sunglasses can make me look elegant, or hot, or funny or carefree, and sometimes all of these at once.
Comfort is always important too. I have quite a small nose so I have a hard time with frames that don’t have good nose pads that can elevate the frame off the cheeks, enough to avoid traces and prevent potential stretching of the skin.
Sometimes I do some work on a new or old frame myself, to get a perfect fit. Customized eyewear, from the fitting to the design, would be a dream for me. Just like I design and customise my shoes.” www.pleasemachine.net www.tipton.hu CN
Wild West Inspiration for Jono Hennessy
4th May 2012 “I’ve had a whole Western thing going on in my head for some time, and I love the combination of leather and metal. I found a vintage Western belt buckle in the market, and we commissioned two jewellery makers to actually carve the pattern in reverse for Rancho Deluxe, so that we could stamp the frame shape out. I designed the pattern specifically for the shape of this frame – it’s not just stamped out of a sheet. My favourite colour is the copper, like the rivets on old jeans, combined with a ‘Bentley-dashboard’ briar wood acetate temple – the light green sun lenses compliment this combination beautifully.
“We have started a new direction in sunglasses from last year, getting away from the heavy acetates. We are probably a little bit early at this stage, however, I am sure we will see more textured metal coming up at Silmo (the Paris optical fair).” www.jonohennessy.com JG
1st May 2012 On Thursday I visited Hastings, not so far from home, and a place that is full of surprises, from great food to vintage stores to art… I was visiting designer Tom Herrington at his optical shop by the sea! I love this little place and before I knew that it was Tom’s shop, the vintage vespa in the window had already caught my eye…
Tom greets me in ’60s French beret, black polo neck and his oversized Antibes sunglasses. First we take a look around the store which stocks collections you might not expect to find down here out of London, from Oliver Goldsmith to Kirk Originals, and people travel to find him…he loves to break the mould in his choices which is always refreshing.
A similar uniqueness is there at the heart of his own label, RockOptika, which he launched in Paris last September, after 15 years working with other independent eyewear labels in London. The present collection includes 10 very classy designs, 5 for girls and 5 for guys, including punk tortoiseshells (so cool!) and a favourite for me, a small round shape that fits beautifully on my narrow face. I also love the elegant and distinctive French lace.
Tom explains: “My frames are very nicely put together, produced in Italian acetate, and made in one of the traditional workshops in the Jura region of France. I go out there to see them being made, to check on every detail, from the width of the bridge to the final finish. The collection is strong on design, and I work for hours sketching from my imagination….I like the inspiration I get from the 1960s, sci-fi..I wanted strong retro but with a really modern feel. I use a lot of architectural angles which means the frames are quite flat, I think that’s interesting. ”
And the colours? “Well with very strong angles and very strong shapes, I have used classic colours…and that’s where I am trying to carve my niche. I like bordeaux and olive for guys who tend to be quite conservative in their colour choices. And I enjoy tortoisehell which is everywhere, but I think it works and has a lovely classic look, it is so stylish.
Do you follow trends? “There is a fine balance between following trends and doing something that is interesting. So I have classic tortoiseshell but I have added a punk tortoise; and I’ve used lace because it is trendy, but I’ve not used a predictable lace, it’s this incredible blue and gold, it’s wicked. In eyewear, you have to keep an eye on fashion because it drives the industry forward, but I like to do this with my own take on it.”
Asked to comment on what is coming up for next season, Tom tells me about his plans for a new campaign, some very special limited materials he has put away in preparation for the collection, and he alludes to some unique colour combinations…I am hoping for a preview myself in September!
RockOptika sunglasses and spectacles are available at Wolf & Badger, Notting Hill, London (www.wolfandbadger.com), McClintock, Covent Garden, London (www.mcclintock-eyewear.co.uk) and The Optical Lounge, Hastings. CN www.rockoptika.co.uk
I first saw these sunglasses in Paris, in a showroom on Place des Vosges last year…..it was an amazingly sunny day, music playing, and the Reiz frames were looking pretty exciting…Surya is one of a collection using graduated colour in an inspired way…the styles in the range, men’s and women’s alike, echo just what the small but fabulous German Reiz brand is all about…individuality, simplicity, serious style, and 100% quality…it is a super idea if you don’t know what to get for your statement piece this season! www.reiz.net CN
The beauty and variety of nature’s greens is a dominant trend this season in both fashion and eyewear – as demonstrated in Emmanuelle Khanh’s translucent emerald acetate design. The elegant shape is classic EK – big and bold with stylish grace. A touch of white on the temples embellishes the summer-ish feel – this frame cannot wait to be on the beach! www.emmanuellekhanhparis.com JG
Grey is really a trendy shade at the moment…so if you are tired of black, this is a tone to try out. The example I’ve picked here is an acetate sunglass style by the ever-so-cool Californian label, Garrett Leight (GLCO). The grey is graduated, from dark at the top to crystal lower down, with the effect that the frame is light and easy in its coloration on the face. Retro 50s and 60s is a strong part of the collection and there are lots of great classics with updated colourings (from crystal to tortoise and espresso). Another favourite of mine for this season is the girl’s catseye, Lucille in ivory gradient, a delight! In the UK, you can find GLCO at Adam Simmonds (London) and Seen (Manchester) http://garrettleight.com/. CN