and we welcome the season with frame designs that work wonderfully with new season fashions – see REVIEWS. Our Designer of the Month features an innovative company from Belgium, and in BOUTIQUES, you’ll find a very chic shop in The Netherlands. Check out CITY GUIDES throughout the month for several must-see exhibitions including Chanel’s photo exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London.We’ll preview beautiful eyewear designs, soon to make their debut in Paris next month at SILMO, the French exhibition. And we are reporting from London Fashion Week. JG
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29th September 2012 The highlight of my visit to Tranoï was re-connecting with Anna-Karin Karlsson, and viewing her fabulous new frames. She described the symbolic theme for the 2013 collection: “I took time out from the rest of the world, and moved to a cottage in the Swedish countryside in order to realise my ambition of creating couture eyewear. In the dark forests of northern Sweden, my determination and vision had few distractions, and I worked continuously and obsessively. “Perfecting the Art of Dying Alone”, the title of the collection, derives from working around, and engaging in, themes of grief and mourning. I created the collection to show the beauty and sorrow of sacrifice, and the perishability of it all.
“The design ‘One Trick Pony’ (above, photographed in a Stockholm cemetery) originates from the song I composed, and is my most sculptural work to date. The title plays with the derogative notion of knowing just one thing, and doing nothing but that thing. With this design, however, it stands for the determination and stubbornness behind doing exactly what you want and believe in, and the astonishing results that can lead to.”
Always the romanticist, Anna-Karin says: People want things with a heart – with thought and depth – and I want my designs to live a beautiful, romantic life.” www.annakarinkarlsson.comJG
28th September 2012 Nominated for next week’s sunglasses award in Paris, the ‘Bloody Lys’ is a creation by the French label, J.F. Rey. The frame and lenses of this lace-inspired statement piece in metal are decorated with a traditional ‘fleur de lys’ motif. The technique has been used in two previous collections by the brand, but this is the first time the effect has been extended to appear on the lenses as well as the frame. A spokesperson for the team told Eyestylist.com: “Innovation and technical challenges are the key to J.F. Rey’s success and the driving force for our company. With our unusual creative approach and dedication to our French origins, we enjoy creating surprises for our customers; the Bloody Lys which we are launching at Silmo is an exceptional example of our achievements!” We look forward to more exciting innovations for the new season. www.jfrey.frCN
26th September 2012 Sven Götti has created an innovative range of optical designs and sunglasses that will be unveiled at the autumn shows. We are fortunate to have an advance preview, and one of our special favourites is TILO, above. The lightweight, smooth surfaced stainless steel frame sports a stylish feature – the saddle bridge with its gracious, curved shape, and the ever-so-practical Spin&Stow temple feature – whereby the frames fold compactly. Really look forward to seeing this entire collection! www.gotti.chJG
24th September 2012 I’ve just seen Jeremy Tarian’s captivating new collection, and this season, Tarian pays homage to Paris, Tarian’s home, and the city of lovers and poets. Jeremy has a unique skill of deftly combining the best of retro techniques, with modern interpretations that result in a wonderful offbeat chic. Beautifully crafted, all the frames are handmade in France. Tarian has been nominated in two categories for the forthcoming SILMO d’Or awards – Command Performance for the Optical Frame Category, and Saintonge for the Sunglass Category. Above, delicious honey acetate highlights Command Performance.
Acetate and metal are perfect partners in Saintonge, a design with spirit and verve. Each Tarian frame is now made in a Limited ‘Eye-dition’ of 500 pieces, so the designs are truly collector’s items. www.jeremytarian.com JG
21st September 2012 Inspired by Bob Marley, this new creation is a collaboration between Barton Perreira and Tuff Gong Worldwide. The style is a classic luxe aviator produced in a Limited Edition of just 500 pieces. Made in Japan and hand finished with the Tuff Gong logo plaque, embedded in the temple ends, the design features new “breath logo” lens technology so when you breathe on the lenses an image of Marley appears in a star – that’s quite something! Designer Patty Perreira says she jumped at the chance to work with Tuff Gong: “Marley has always been such a great inspiration to me; his music, his poetic lyrics, his love for life and freedom have inspired me to live and work in a positive way.” www.bartonperreira.comCN
20th September 2012 Beautiful eyewear from Alexandra Hötzl-Giselbrecht and Lena Hoschek, designers at Lena Hoschek, and Anna-Karin Karlsson, has been submitted for the forthcoming Hall of Frames/Eyestylist Newcomer Awards.
Austrian based Lena creates frames that are a reflection of what has fascinated her since childhood: the female ideal of the 1940’s and 1950’s (as in the above photo, style SO12), craftsmanship, high-end tailoring, and traditional materials, plus rock ‘n roll, punk music, tattoos, bad guys and fast cars! Her friends think that when she designs, she secretly dreams of Rhett Butler…..
Anna-Karin Karlsson continues to push the boundaries of eyewear couture, and the Swedish designer views every frame as a piece of art. Her eyewear is elaborate and visionary (above), and music and painting are essential for her creative processes, not only as an inspiration, but as the root from which all of her work stems. Every design has a setting, a name and a story that goes with it.
Watch this space for more designs that we are receiving from international creators for the first Hall of Frames Newcomer Awards – winners to be announced in Stuttgart on 22nd October 2012. www.hallofframes.chJG
Eyestylist at London Fashion Week – Linda Farrow Luxe
18th September 2012 London Fashion Week attracts a few specialist eyewear companies and designers; some of the catwalk shows exhibit a wide variety of their designs and this year have included (so far) a number of Linda Farrow Collaborations, Cutler & Gross, Prism and Moo Eyewear, whose sunglasses appeared at designer, Ekaterina Kukhareva’s show.
Eyestylist.com spoke to the team at Linda Farrow on Monday: “We are launching the Spring/Summer ’13 collections, across New York, London and Paris Fashion Weeks, because we work with a lot of different designers on collaborations. Trends coming up for 2013 include, for Linda Farrow Luxe, a lot of gold, and classic, elegant and timeless designs.” New translucent colour tones include a sumptuous aqua with snakeskin and a very soft pastel pink (pictured below). Tortoise, black and a variety of delicate neutrals led the colour palette, while shapes varied from soft circles and ovals to the more angular rectangles.
“This weekend we have released the SS ’13 Matthew Williamson by Linda Farrow Collaborations Collection. We have more collaborations coming up including, next month, a project with Erdem, and we have shown this collection for the first time here on Monday. This is also our second season collaborating with Boris Bidjan Saberi. Our focus is on improving everything we can offer, bringing up the classic styles and working to make them even better.” www.lindafarrow.co.ukCN
Top image by Margarida Viegas, exclusively for Eyestylist.com.
17th September 2012 Entries are arriving daily for the Newcomer Awards, and we are excited about the designs we have seen, plus discovering the motivation and inspiration that the eyewear creators put into their frames. Today we present designs and comments from Monoqool in Denmark, and Coppe+Sid in England.
Henrik Holbaek and Claus Jensen are the design team behind the Danish brand Monoqool, launched in 2010. “With our first collection, we started our pursuit to be the most innovative eyewear company. We came up with the ingenious spiral hinge (photo above, Radar), a hinge made completely with screws and soldering. Form follows function. A simple, but very innovative approach to eyewear.” www.monoqool.com
Sid Fiz is an optician; Coppe Gualtiero has extensive experience in sales, development and export, and their joint talents led to the creation of Coppe+Sid. “Our collection is a contemporary recreation of a timeless collection put together with skilled, traditional handcrafting, and new production techniques. The collection is a cross-cultural design reference for a distinguished, refined, and cosmopolitan aesthetic.” www.coppeandsid.co.uk
In the following weeks, we’ll be presenting designs submitted from other independent creators – we’re delighted with the broad scope of the entries! Winners will be announced at Hall of Frames in Stuttgart, 22nd October. www.hallofframes.chJG
14th September 2012Italian designers Ciro Tugnoli and Guya Montermini (above) have themed their new eyewear collection around a mysterious treasure hunt. It’s a fun adventure based in Bologna, the historical city where Guya and Ciro were born, live, create their frames, and a city they love. “The Italian landscape was chosen for this project to transmit our values, and the true importance of ‘handmade in Italy'”, say the designers. The hunt is planned by a young man for his girlfriend, as they tour Bologna’s Old City, and discover wonderful little shops and landmarks – plus great new frames from the “Euforia” collection.
Metal and acetate combine harmoniously in the frames – some featuring beautiful Mazzuchelli acetates from 1970 that Guya found in an abandoned factory. “Euforia” and other lovely designs by Blue Magic Eye will be on display at Hall of Frames in Zurich next month. www.bluemagiceye.comHall of Frames Zurich 14th and 15th October 2012 www.hallofframes.chJG
12th September 2012 Tortoise styles are looking so beautiful for the new season and they are plentiful. Here are 3 picks showing the variety you can find if this is your pattern of choice. For classic, this easy retro shape from new label Fan Optics (above) – model Brock, is refined and not too heavy, a lovely accessory for the start of the season. Choose from dark tortoiseshell with elegant yellow highlights, or a green blue tortoise that is more like a marbled effect in the acetate. www.fanoptics.co.uk
Emmanuelle Khanh Paris sent me a few examples of their tortoise pieces including classic panto spectacles and bold 80s and 90s shades. Strong on its retro roots, this design below boasts a golden chain detail, a showy but vibrant and exciting detail if you can carry it off. Fine detailing in gold such as studs and chains are very much a part of the mix right now. www.emmanuellekhanhparis.com
If a whole tortoise style is too dark or busy for your complexion and style, look at designs that use tortoise in interesting colour combinations. At Zanzan, this neat Limited Edition crystal/tortoise design (excellent for smaller faces) – style Mizaru – brings a touch of the unexpected; the sides are a thick, chunky, brightly contrasted acetate to set off the transparent crystal front and dark grey lens. Also very now! See this one close up at www.farfetch.com
11th September 2012 Chanel’s exhibition dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld’s latest book, The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, opens at the Saatchi Gallery in London in October. There is much talk about it given its success in other cities including Tokyo and New York.
The exhibition illustrates the versatility and timelessness of the iconic Chanel jacket, through Karl Lagerfeld’s 113 photographs, modelled on a variety of friends of the Fashion House, with each personality adapting the garment to reflect their own inimitable style – worn as a cape on singer Lily Allen, draped around model Stella Tennant, or transformed into a vest on Edie Campbell. The book will be available in bookshops in the autumn. (Pictured above, Charlotte Casiraghi in Chanel).
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY. Exhibition runs from Friday 12th October to 28th October 2012.
10th September 2012Kids will love wearing the new prescription eyewear from Zoobug’s very desirable collection. Taking a cue from trendsetting styles, the retro-inspired specs are available in acetate or metal, with shapes designed to delight youngsters – ‘Harry Potter’ circular styles, along with vintage and trendy geek-chic models, such as Ollie in the above photo.
The colours appeal to the young set as well – red, sunny yellow, purple/mauve, plus autumnal classics in tortoise, navy and black. Quality is keynote at Zoobug, with durable designs, that feature flex hinges – definitely child-friendly! www.zoobug.comJG
7th September 2012 Show-stopping sunglasses continue to seduce us and here are two, launched this month, that belong to a new Limited Edition by Karen Walker. The designer has reinterpreted some of her most famous shapes in laser-cut black and gold metal filigree – a technique that appears in her jewellery: www.karenwalkerjewellery.com/lookbook (Sunglasses pictured above, Number One Critter).
“We already love working with filigree in our Karen Walker jewellery range so we got really excited about the idea of using it in some of our favourite Karen Walker Eyewear styles with our ‘Fantastique’ frames,” Karen says. “Karen Walker Eyewear is perfect for people who have no fear of bold frames, and the ‘Fantastique’ Limited Edition is sure to get even more people talking.”
The six-piece collection is available through selected department stores including Harvey Nichols and Barneys New York, and high-end eyewear and fashion boutiques. As well as the two shapes pictured, there is a third oversized mask design in the series, “The Butler Critter”.
5th September 2012The retro-inspired round shapes are staying, and it’s a good thing! Such a cool and elegant eyewear classic deserves a prolonged revival and we recommend everyone should try it. It is particularly flattering if your face is slightly square and definitely worth seeing how it looks on if you haven’t experimented with it before. It’s an ideal choice for this Autumn/Winter and next year.
This trendy black one by fashion giant Gucci graced the catwalks for the label’s A/W 12/13 presentations – it has a narrow gold metal brow bar which gives a new contrast to the circular eye shape…we have spotted a few interpretations with this decorative element, for men and women. It has grey graduated lenses so not too dark that you can’t see if the sun disappears behind a cloud. Other colours include a very desirable Havana with brown/beige lenses or horn olive with grey shaded lenses. www.gucci.comCN Images reproduced by kind permission of Sàfilo.
3rd September 2012 Traditional black is going to be very, very hot for the new season as baroque gets a luxe make-over and jet-black leather soars again as a must-have, whether for skin-tight trousers, biker jackets, or key accessories (or all of the above). For frames in black, I’ve picked three women’s looks that offer strong, clean lines and that all important attitude.
First, by Massada Eyewear, pictured above, comes this clean, softly curved design called “Les Amours Imaginaires”, that would work with any winter apparel trend you wish….it’s straightforward and casual and sets off a look effortlessly. The style is out at the end of the month; for more specs by Massada Eyewear, take a look here: http://massadaeyewear.com
Second, from the Italian label EPOS, I like this flourish of decorative stones; while the magazines are talking about opulence, this is a nice twist of femininity on a clean and striking black vintage spectacle design. EPOS is an Italian label using high-quality acetate materials and featuring some very strong, classical shapes, for men and women. To see the current collection, visit: www.eposmilano.com
My other choice to recommend with the black theme in mind is by the Danish label Ørgreen. Lana 387 ticks all the boxes when it comes to styling and dual colours for Autumn/Winter. It’s a modified 1950s cat’s eye shape, named after singer/songwriter, Lana Del Rey. This colour combination, where the black sits next to the palest candyfloss pink on the front, looks utterly of the moment. The style is a treat in all its combinations – there is a subtle pale mint with sandblasted gold which is also unique -, and the ideal accompaniment for those dressing for all-out attitude. www.orgreen.dkCN
The colour of this frame is reminiscent of the fall wine harvest in France – delicious! LIN is one of the new frames being introduced at SILMO by Lafont for spring/summer 2013 called “Rendez-vous”, and includes both optical and sunglass designs. The luscious acetate in LIN, is crafted into a classic shape, and highlighted with delicate temple detail. The perfect accessory for Autumn fashions! For more details, see www.lafont.com, or visit one of their stunning Paris boutiques to view the entire collection first hand. JG
Sleek, rectangular and sexy, says Christian, for your ‘Mad Men’ look. Handmade in Japan and signed with the Peace symbol, Christian Roth’s optical line for Autumn/Winter is inspired by his own vintage collection from the 1980s. This frame – Call Me Dan – has a handsome, handmade acetate rim and temple ends combined with a pure titanium chassis. The colours are soft and graduated, here, black with grey tinted crystal, and the titanium has an antique brushed finish which is super trendy for the seasons ahead. I have always loved this iconic brand and this new direction in spectacle design comes highly recommended. www.christian-roth.comCN
This stunning frame from Orgreen has artistic flair with its lovely graduated colour scheme that begins at the top, and continues with a subtle pattern that ends in transparency on the bottom. Acetate and titanium harmonize the temple details. The contemporary rectangular shape suits many different face shapes, and the overall effect is stylish and elegant. The various colour combinations co-ordinate well with autumn fashion tones. For more information, visit www.orgreen.dkJG
Elegance, refinement and luxury epitomize this beautiful design from Leisure Society. Precious materials – an 18K gold frame and buffalo horn temple inserts – create an exceptional eyewear concept that is graceful, and exudes subtle, charismatic chic with its lovely matt and gloss two-tone effect. Titanium and acetate accentuate the side pieces. The colours are luxurious as well — Gold/tortoise (above) plus silver/black and silver/smoke. Further details at www.leisure-society.comJG
Cars are a continuing inspiration for the Austrian based eyewear company Rolf Spectacles. For the latest collection, the elegance and beauty of the Daimler – the British car that is a favourite of kings and queens – has influenced the beautifully crafted frames in stunning natural woods, including walnut, bog oak and maple. Sovereign takes its design cue from the classic, unadorned and harmonious lines that have made Daimler an enduring favourite. All Rolf Spectacles frames are handmade with exacting craftsmanship in Tirol Austria. www.rolf-spectacles.comJG
Updated vintage styling, broad straight lines and a rigorous construction are all part of the mix in these new Happy Days frames, by the Italian label Vanni. What is really special here is the precious acetate inlay on the stainless steel fronts. The designs bring speckled Havana together with pearly acetate and fashionable matt metals, for a very artistic effect. There are a variety of specs shapes including unisex styles but I love the modified catseye pictured here. Vanni is the creation of Nico Design, the Turin-based eyewear design company, which is devoted to handcrafted eyewear with exceptional detailing and style. http://vanniocchiali.comwww.nicodesign.itCN
The launch of Lindberg’s 9800 Strip Design represents a blend of details that includes acetate and titanium plate, and re-interprets 1950’s retro fashion. The upper surface of the frames features more pronounced curves of the eyebrow lines, as well as unique, screw-free detailing typical of Lindberg’s technical finesse. The sculpted frame shape is distinctive with its soft and subtly curvaceous impact. The Strip Design series is a sleek, streamlined collection from the award winning Danish company. www.lindberg.comJG
1st September 2012Christian Dior’s childhood home – which he adored – is now a charming museum, and the setting for Stars in Dior, a fascinating exhibition that traces cinema stars who loved and lived in Dior designs. Marlene Dietrich, (photo above: Dietrich in a Dior costume for the film No Highway in the Sky 1951) Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot and Olivia de Havilland were dedicated fans of Dior fashions. More recently, film luminaries Marion Cotillard, Sharon Stone, and Isabelle Adjani, among others, have appeared on the ‘red carpet’ in Dior, as well as choosing the clothes for personal wear. The exhibition is an assemblage of the designs, plus amazing photos of the screen stars in Dior.
The impact of Dior’s home, “Les Rhumbs” – located on a cliff, overlooking the sea in Granville, Normandy, not far from Mont St.Michel, – influenced the designer all his life. He wrote in his autobiography Christian Dior et Moi – “I have most tender and amazed memories…..I would even say that my life and my style owe almost everything to its site and architecture.” Fashion historians will delight in the beautiful book that was published by Rizzoli New York in conjunction with the exhibition: Stars in Dior – with contributions by Florence Müller and Serge Toubiana, director de la Cinémathèque française. More information at www.musee-dior-granville.comJG
The Jono Hennessy brand always serves up an uplifting choice of seasonal, on-trend colours. Model 8253 has a soft classic shape enlivened with positive colour choices that will bring a flash of brilliant brightness to the face. The tonal combinations include a transparent crystal with bold blue, classic tortoise with soft jade green and orange with a pearly neutral. If you are wearing run-of-the-mill and you try these on, you are going to experience something quite special! Find out more about this Australian spectacles label at www.jonohennessy.comCN
This smart optical collection was inspired by the desire to create a high fashion, contemporary line of frames for the design-oriented man and woman. Even though the shapes are obviously inspired by the past – you’ll find the classic panto, the Jackie O and curvy butterfly shapes represented – the collection remains fresh and relevant, because of the cool colour choices and the way in which the acetate layers are combined. There are nine shapes in the collection; two come in two colours and the rest come in four. Suitable for progressive lenses. CN
Bright blue captures something new for this season and I have been searching for the right tone to recommend. Here is one from the British brand Cutler & Gross! It is called deep blue and it is teamed with grey pink arms…unusual yet very neat. I like the metal nose bridge which is a trendy feature with acetate for a new look this winter. For more information on the new season styles at Cutler & Gross visit www.cutlerandgross.comCN
1st September 2012 Anticipation about visiting Antwerp was high – I’d heard many good reports about the city. But what really tweaked my curiosity was visiting the dynamically creative eyewear company, theo, based in the city recognised for its port history, and more recently, its avant-garde approach to fashion, art and culture. Communications director Miet Vaes was the perfect tour guide, escorting me not only through theo’s illustrious story, but also showing me some of the city’s highlights.
The theo tale began in 1989 when opticians Wim Somers and Patrick Hoet designed their first eyewear collection. “From the beginning, the concept was that design comes first,” says Miet, “along with the need to find a factory that can make frames to our standard of high quality – our requirements go beyond ordinary eyewear. Our frames are made in the Jura region of France in specialised factories.” The theo building hums with activity spread over three floors, with a brightly coloured interior – each floor is painted a different colour – plus a roof terrace. Located in a charming area of Antwerp, dotted with vintage clothing boutiques and antique shops, plus restaurants and galleries, it is in this creative hub that designing, marketing and sales takes place. The atmosphere is convivial and harmonious – during the winter months, employees play table tennis during lunchtime. Miet says that Wim’s “rules” includes “wearing suits is not allowed in the office.” Theo creates not only unique frames, but forges working relationships with employees who are very loyal – several employees have been with theo for over twenty years.
Wim Somers oversees the family business – ideas are put forth from Wim’s wife and sons – who are all involved. (top photo, left to right: Mik Somers (Sales) Jamme Cardoen, Wim’s wife (Administration Optiek Boutique Antwerp) Wim Somers (Big Boss theo) Jan Somers (commercial side of theo-Optiek shop) Toon Somers (Marketing). No doubt the wellspring of imaginative creativity, coupled with the unified team spirit, has catapulted theo to the top of the eyewear world – theo frames are sold in over fifty countries, and wearers include Bill Gates, among many other high profile fans.
Belgium/European designers also bring their innovations to theo – including Tim Van Steerbergen, James Van Vossel, Christoph Broich and Serge Bracké, who have all created eyewear for the company. Theo also encourages young talent, and works with students at the prestigious Fashion Academy in Antwerp.
Always on the cutting edge of eyewear with imaginative designs, the latest theo collection is called Fruit-O-licious- with deliciously exotic names – MelOn, LemOn, COcOnut, MangO and AbricOt. Two acetate colours are combined to create an illusion that one frame was made by assembling two frames. Technology, fashion, creativity and ingenuity unite harmoniously at theo, celebrating their third decade of eyewear innovation. Coming soon on eyestylist.com – more exciting theo news! www.theo.be JG