this month – Cult Classics with vitality and style! Click on Reviews to find some striking designs. Our Designer of the Month is a dynamic Parisian creator, and in Boutiques, we travel to Lyon. We have also visited Linda Farrow HQ in London, to see some seriously gorgeous fashion frames. Visit City Guides for exhibitions and other cultural delights we’ll be featuring through the month. Click and stay with Eyestylist for the latest in eyewear excitement and fashion news.
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26th February 2013Tom Stevens reflects on “Men’s Eyewear – The Designer Approach”
Do you have a ‘role model’ when you design? “Sometimes I use my dad’s face to work on a design. Of course, you always think about measurements, and fitting that is typical for male faces. I usually start drawing from an image/shape in my mind. Sometimes I fine tune a design on my father’s face.”
What is your perspective on colour, shape and material? “Taste is something different for everybody. I think a frame should complement/complete the face. I do prefer somewhat rounder shapes for men, instead of the very sharp-edged, angular frames. Regarding colours, I think a male frame should make a statement. If the design is good, many colours could fit. i prefer using only one colour on a design. If you use more, for example, two-tone, it is very important that the colours complement each other very well, otherwise it could totally destroy a good design. I love titanium designs for men in basic colours, but also fashion colours, like our neon orange model Lee.” (Below – inspired by Dutch singer Lee Towers, from the 1980’s, who is also well known for his frames).
Nowadays, are men more experimental with eyewear? “Yes, I can see that more and more men like to wear a statement frame. Now it is more common to wear fashionable designs instead of very basic frames. Men are not afraid to wear a frame that stands out somewhat, and men like to distinguish themselves. I like this tendency – it’s fun!” www.stevenseyewear.comJG
25th February 2013 Sunglasses have become a very popular sight on the international fashion stages, and the more avantgarde and eye-catching the better. In London, one show that caught our imagination and included some exciting shades to accessorise the collections, was Canadian designer Thomas Tait’s autumn/winter presentation, which took place at the very cool Carlton House Terrace Garages in St James’s (www.stjameslondon.co.uk).
Featuring slick masculine tailored coats and daring blocks of colour, the shades were part of the story, and came in larger than life, distinctive asymmetrical shapes. Tait collaborates with Cutler & Gross for his sunglass projects and it’s not the first time he has woven a special sunglass collection into his overall catwalk look – some of you will remember the ‘Sadzies’ launched on the catwalk in September 2011. CN www.cutlerandgross.com www.thomastait.comImages by kind permission of Sisteris.
22nd February 2013As the days lengthen, and the temperatures begin to rise, thoughts turn to summer. Lafont has a beautiful new range of sunglasses for men, including this extremely smart acetate model – Luigi. The textured gradation in the acetate is subtle, yet distinct – a hallmark of Lafont’s design excellence, highlighted with elegance. Available in Lafont’s Paris boutiques – more information at www.lafont.com
Also based in Paris is John Dalia – a newcomer on the eyewear scene – and a designer to note. His sunglass creations are named after film personalities. Humphrey (as in Bogart – above) is a sleek frame for men in acetate and metal, finely crafted with luxurious details. www.johndalia.comJG
20th February 2013Today, Eyestylist talks with Rolf Spectacles about “Men’s Eyewear – The Designer Approach”. Above, The Rolf Team working on their designs.
Do you have a particular male role model in mind when you design men’s eyewear?
“Sometimes, the inspiration source is already defined, if it will be a male shape or not. It depends on the theme. But in the end, it’s all due to the various types of faces and characteristics; so difficult to say that a shape is specialized for men. That’s why most styles are unisex. Nowadays, society is more open minded and the ‘classic’ male or female frame does not exist any more.”
What is your philosophy on colour, material, and eyewear shapes?
“One-of-a-kind handcrafted in Tyrol, unusual, different and sustainable designs with a story behind them. This is supplemented with technical features and becomes a man’s daily toy/accessory/companion. Different types of materials such as wood or stone determine the appearance of the style. Generally dark tones are easy to wear in the normal course of life, but the wide range of different textures and colourings, including natural grains and various hues, allows for fashionable and significant styles.”
Do you think that men are becoming more experimental with their eyewear choices?
“Yes, men are becoming more experimental with technical features and unusual materials. Additionally, the shape signals the individual character. It becomes more important to know where the products come from, the artisans, and the history behind the design.” www.rolf-spectacles.com JG
19th February 2013 London Fashion Week attracts some inspired street style outside its doors at Somerset House. The sunshine at the weekend brought out some interesting accessories including vintage hats and avantgarde head dresses, very special eye make-up and an array of sunglasses in all shapes and sizes – we spotted some very well-known styles and some of the crazier sunglass statements – plus a few beautifully worn individual spectacles by independent labels. These included Chip in tortoiseshell by Kirk Originals, worn by Callum Watt of the excellent men’s style blog, Maketh The Man – www.maketh-the-man.com. For more images watch our Facebook page today.
18th February 2013 At Frame, the pop-up eyewear show in London, we had a first glimpse of the YMC / You Must Create eyewear collection, a relatively new collaborative project with London based designer Brian McGinn. Produced in France’s traditional spectacle-making region, the Jura, using vintage acetates, this is a youthful line (including glasses and shades) with attention paid to the details – subtle angles on familiar shapes such as cat eye’s or rounds, and a wide and considered colour palette including transparents and vintage patterns. London’s YMC follows Le Corbusier’s concept that form follows function, but while respecting this idea, McGinn – a designer I have followed over the years, who has worked for some leading eyewear labels – has managed to bring some of his own quirky design touches to the frames including unexpected lens/frame colour combinations.
The collection is now available in London’s Covent Garden at McClintocks and at YMC, Poland Street and Hanbury St., Spitalfields in London. www.youmustcreate.comCN
Unique Fashion Perspective at Queen Sofia Spanish Institute – New York City
18th February 2013The artistic legacy of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949) is currently being celebrated with the recent publication of Fortuny Interiors (Eyestylist City Guides 22nd January 2013), and an exquisite retrospective at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute on Park Avenue in Manhatten. Conceived by and curated with Oscar de la Renta, this is the first exhibition to examine the impact of both the matrilineal and paternal artistic legacies on Fortuny’s groundbreaking work in textiles, clothing design and visual arts. Born in Granada and raised in Paris, Fortuny spent his adult life in Venice, where his prodigious output was the result of a career that spanned over fifty years. It was through his clothing and textile designs that his exceptional artistic sensibilities reached their zenith, as well as a large international audience.
Many of his clothing designs, including the iconic Delphos dress (top photo) emphasized movement and the natural shape of an un-corseted body – just one of the ways that Fortuny’s clothing, although steeped in history, revealed a modern sensibility that helped to push fashion forward at the turn of the 20th Century. This stunning exhibition confirms the beauty and timelessness of fine design. Exhibition continues through 30 March 2013. www.queensofiaspanishinstitute.orgJG
Photos Top: Mrs. William Wetmore modeling a Delphos gown in front of Fortuny fabric. Originally published in Vogue 15 December 1935. Photograph by Lusha Nelson Copyright Condé Nast Publications
Centre: Design by Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, Peplos, 1910-1920 Coutresy of the Museo del Traje, Madrid
15th February 2013The iconic New York label Moscot has just released a spirited metal collection that dives into the family history, and emerges with designs that are compelling, bold and style savvy. The Kleyn (above) is inspired by the American 1860’s post-Civil war era spectacles. Crafted in metal with stainless steel temples and filigree details, the frames feature a classic saddle bridge and no nose pads.
The Mazel (above) is a distinctive drill mount semi-rimless design with authentic filigree accents. The unique lens shape, bridge cut outs, and metal and stainless steel components are stunning. Moscot eyewear is all handcrafted, and the frames are available as ophthalmic eyewear or sunglasses. www.moscot.comJG
14th February 2013 Bocca is a totally handmade heart frame tribute to the talented craftsmen who work in the Face à Face workshops. This unique piece is fun and innovative, created with passion by the people who ensure the excellence in each Face à Face frame. Eyestylist joins Face à Face in wishing everyone love and peace! www.faceaface-paris.comJG
12th February 2013 We continue with our series “Men’s Eyewear – The Designer Approach” and Eyestylist meets Pascal Jaulent of Face à Face Paris.
Do you have a particular male model in mind when you design men’s eyewear? “Design meets the personality of the wearer. The men I am designing for will express energy, contemporary elegance, an assertive character in a well-balanced temper. No ‘chichi’ nor useless details; graphic lines will shape a strong look and bold volumes impose a natural confidence. More personally, my ideal male model would be the character of James Bond – Pierce Brosnan being my favourite actor.”
What is your philosopy on colour, material and eyewear shapes for men? “Beside the basic tones of men’s colour universe (black, grey and all metal nuances, classic brown, ink or navy blue, and a little bit of green), colours add the sporty/energy touch that is part of most men’s personality. These flashes of lightning can be neon orange, green, blue, strong red or bold yellow. I do not like pastel tones nor gold on men. The material dimension, as well as the technical concept are quite important to men: natural materials such as horn, and wood bear the luxury dimension in men’s frames. Both acetate and metal perfectly fit male expectations. Face à Face being rooted in contemporary design, most of our men’s frames have been rectangular/square with both trends to soften or sharpen them.”
Do you think that men are becoming more experimental with their eyewear choices? “I think that men are becoming more experimental in general, and as far as their eyewear is concerned, more aware about self-expression/character, function and fashion. No doubt that we still have a lot to add in order to expand the potential of the men’s eyewear market. I am absolutely thinking in that direction.”
11th February 2013 Are you looking for a unique, romantic destination for a Valentine treat? What could be more romantic than a treehouse! The tree houses featured in Taschen’s delightful new book by author Philip Jodidio are a long way from the childhood versions one might have known.
Tree Houses have grown up – and this stunningly illustrated book is a wonderful tour of the best tree houses in the world, some which are designed by architects, others the work of unknown craftsmen. In this era of concern for sustainability and ecological responsibility, the treehouse may also be the ultimate symbol of life in symbiosis with nature.
Whether you can visit these unique structures, or travel there through these gorgeous pages, Tree Houses gives a new perspective on the world – rustic, contemporary and romantic.www.taschen.comJG
Photos: Canopy Tree House Copyright: Inkaterra
Nicko Bjorn Elliot Tree House Copyright: Jesse Colin Jackson
8th February 2013Iconic Belgian eyewear company theo has a special bond with Valentine’s Day – a theo year starts on 14 February! To celebrate, theo has launched dashing frames in sizzling red, including Coconut 8 (above) with its daring shape and bi-colouration. Sure to please your beloved!
Theo has also collaborated for the third time with designer James Van Vossel. His latest creation is frames with integrated nose pads (above). Out of one thin metal plate, Van Vossel cut a shape in which he already provided a nosepiece. Then, he bent the nosepiece backwards, so there is no frame between the lens and the nose. An innovative masterpiece! James 6 is a trendy round shape and in bright red – brimming with colour vitality. www.theo.beJG
7th February 2013 Take a peak at the latest eyewear emporium in L.A…a new GLCO (Garrett Leight) store that will be the mothership of this growing L.A. specs label headed by the son of the founder of Oliver Peoples, Larry Leight – or the “Prince William of the LA shades scene!” as ‘Urbandaddy’ cutely calls him! With its slick but laid back ambiance, the design of this cool glasses destination perfectly reflects the core values of this young, energy-infused label that focuses on classic design and fine quality.
Garrett explains the new location: “We needed to be in West Hollywood because there is a demand for our product there. The individuals that hang out in this neighborhood are most in line with the characters that are attracted to our brand DNA, and overall it makes the Garrett Leight experience more central to the city of Los Angeles.
“We now have the shop in Venice Beach on Abbot Kinney Blvd. called A. Kinney Court and the new La Brea store. My goal is to continue loving what I do on a daily basis, which is creating brand equity by maintaing our integrity and respect for design, quality, style, and value.
“I am a one-step-at-a-time person, and any brand is a reflection of its leader. Right now we are continuing to hire great people to join the team, building a great office for ourselves in downtown Los Angeles, and developing my vision for the future of the optical industry. America and Asia are a major focus for us this year. Europe is also strong for us.”
So the expansion continues? “Expansion is always a part of the plan, GLCO is trying to change the world.” And clearly that is a serious promise of exciting things to come. We are watching. CN
5th February 2013 Last month, Eyestylist.com met Simon Jablon, Creative Director, Linda Farrow and Tracy Sedino, Press & Marketing Director, at Linda Farrow HQ in London to discover what they have in store for 2013. This was an interesting and new experience as we were not very familiar with all the different collaborations that Linda Farrow is currently working on, and we also had an opportunity to see the extensive Linda Farrow Luxe line, which includes both sunglasses and spectacles, produced in titanium and featuring 18 to 24 carat gold plating.
“Linda, my mother started the company in the 70s,” explained Jablon. “At that time, she was producing incredible, innovative designs that have gone down in eyewear history; she was working with fashion houses like Pucci and Yves St Laurent.We brought the company back to life 10 years ago this year with vintage Linda Farrow, when we discovered my mum’s archive and things just took off from there. We launched our first collaboration with Eley Kishimoto. Now we are working with a variety of established and new emerging names, including Erdem, Jeremy Scott, Agent Provocateur and The Row, and the Linda Farrow Luxe collection is as strong as ever.”
Fashion is the central focus for this growing company, which was one of the first to take eyewear on to the catwalk. “We wanted to be a fashion accessory company, producing eyewear that is iconic, as my mother did. But we wanted to create something different and greater opportunity for designers to create from scratch. When we first brought the collections onto the catwalk, it was quite new, and stimulated editorials about eyewear that the press just wouldn’t have bothered with before then.”
For the Linda Farrow collaborations, Jablon is committed to pushing the boundaries and realising new ideas. “We are doing a lot of things that nobody else is doing. Some of the designs are harder to create than others but our production in Japan and France is next to none and we have access to some of the best materials, including luxury leather and Mazzucchelli acetates produced exclusively for us.”
Jablon and Sedino talk with excitement about 2013 and what’s coming up as they increase their focus on retail. ” We have a new website and new stores opening, from Hong Kong to London. Linda Farrow Luxe is growing, and we are releasing more than 100 styles each season, featuring collaborations with some of the most prolific designers of today.”
Our tour of the showrooms, even with press samples missing as they had been sent off to Paris, was inspiring, with so many ideas and innovations on the table. Eyestylist will share more Linda Farrow favourites as Spring approaches. CNhttp://us.lindafarrow.com/
1st February 2013The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City always has captivating exhibits. Their current show – Fashion and Technology – is a triumph in exploring the link between these two dynamic elements. Many may be surprised to discover that technology and fashion have been inexorably entwined for more than two centuries. Fashion and Technology features more than one hundred items from the museum’s costume, accessory and textile collections, spanning two hundred and fifty years, and displayed in chronological order. With a focus on technological innovations that have had an impact on the production, materials, aesthetics, and function of fashion, Fashion and Technology includes objects as diverse as an afternoon dress circa 1860, produced using synthetic dyes that resist fading.
During the 1930’s new innovations in zipper technology allowed courtiers to use this modern closure in their design. A stunning example is an evening dress by Charles James (top photo) into which James skillfully incorporated a spiral zipper, thus adding complexity to its construction. Fast forward to 1996, and there is Jean Paul Gaultier’s jumpsuit in multicoloured nylon and spandex, with an Op-Art cyber graphic print (above). Nowadays, designers are collaborating with a diverse range of artists, scientists and engineers to create clothing that pushes the boundaries of fashion further than ever before. This new wave of so-called “technofashion” is challenging the way we engage with clothing, and how fashion itself functions within society. Fashion and Technology is a beautifully curated show that illustrates the far-reaching effects of technology and fashion. Through 8 May 2013. www.fitnyc.edu JG
Photographs courtesy of The Museum at FIT, New York
There is a wide choice of round spectacles for men at this time; I particularly like the small metal circular ones with a 1920s feel, and the soft coloured acetate ones, such as this style by newcomers, Paulino Spectacles. Crafted in a small traditional spectaclemaking establishment in Portugal, this one takes the classic design and gives it a special two-tone colour makeover. The photo does justice to the spectacles in that the attractive translucent colour of the acetate material is well represented. A smart choice for men and a label to watch out for this year. www.paulinospectacles.comCN
A beautiful classic frame for men, this new style from Coppe+Sid expresses design harmony, strength and elegance. The luminous effect is achieved by mixing solid acetate block colour with translucent tones. Attention to detail is very important at Coppe+Sid, and this beautifully crafted frame made in Italy is a lovely example. Available at London’s Mallon & Taub – www.mallonandtaub.com – and selected retailers. www.coppeandsid.comJG
Japanese designer Eque M. was educated in America, and the West Coast is the inspiration for his frame designs. Luxury materials and prestigious details are incorporated into the frames. My Burrito (above) is handmade in Japanese acetate with 18K gold detailing. The frame has strong, masculine styling – the distinctive flat bridge denotes eyewear with personality. Frency & Mercury creatively combine classic and contemporary features. www.frency-mercury.comJG
Silmo D’Or winner Jeremy Tarian has just launched stunning new men’s frames, including this distinguished design – Newsstand. The bold, strong shape and beautiful tortoise acetate marquetry effect is highlighted with a bevelled bridge in crystal acetate. Contrasting both light and dark tones adds to the individuality of the frame. www.jeremytarian.comJG
E&E glasses are based in Swedish Lapland. This striking aviator frame from their collection, Abisko, is named after a village north of the Arctic Circle, a place that is known for its great location to view the aurora borealis. The cutout on the nose bridge of the style resembles the U-shape of the Lapponian Gate, a striking element of the landscape there and an interesting detail for this optical design which plays on the classic oversized pilot shape. The introduction of the theme of nature in Sweden is understated yet gives a hip look to the frame.
Tom Herrington, the British designer and creator of RockOptika, has a passion for no-fuss designs with clean lines using top-notch acetate. One of our favourites from the label’s 2013 collection is this well proportioned style named “Montreal” that has individuality and flair. Tom says it is inspired by the 1970’s Alfa Romeo and while I am no car expert I get how the shape and lines pay homage to this super hip automobile. I popped into RockOptika headquarters this month and had a little peek at this one which is the pure black, but I would also recommend the tortoiseshell and the slightly more decadent black with tangerine. Available at The Eye Place, Haverstock Hill www.the-eye-place.co.uk and Occhio in Stockholm – www.occhiooptik.se. For further stockists see the website: www.rockoptika.co.ukCN
Stripes in neutral tones give a very sophisticated look to Jerry 5 – from the distinctive collection of men’s frames at Lotho Paris. Colour variations, fine design and excellent crafting are hallmarks at Lotho, and Jerry 5 in fine polished acetate, handmade in Japan, exudes authority and style. Lotho designs are available in Paris at Artisan du Regard www.artisanduregard-opticien.com and Parici Paris 14, rue du Bourg-Tibourg 75004. For more details, visit www.lotho.fr JG
Götti has just launched an amazing, refined and elegant selection of Buffalo horn frames. The crafting is superb – characteristic of Sven Götti and his innovative eyewear collections. Nature provides the most luxurious materials, and Buffalo horn is an ideal raw material for exclusive frames. Maple and walnut are also integrated into the frame, and the result is a gorgeous design with natural sheen, beautiful texture and strength. Balou (above) with its round shape and natural qualities is a creative symphony in frame design. www.gotti.ch JG
Another traditional specs shape, made famous by Malcolm X and a men’s style that is always very popular, interpreted here by the luxury eyewear label Matsuda, a company that produces its designs in Japan. This is the M3022 style with a dark brown browline in Japanese acetate combined with titanium. The carefully engraved temples are finished with a hand-applied lacquer. Very much one of the key looks for Spring 2013 and a great alternative if the round shapes aren’t your thing. Colours include brushed silver/matte black, brushed gold/matte natural and brushed dark brown/matte dark tortoise. CN
One of the current acetate styles by the French label Beausoleil which majors in classic, timeless shapes in luxury materials. This style has a nice balanced two-tone front combination – the dark top colour emphasises the brow – and fine structure, giving a lighter less intensely retro look for the face. The style has a keyhole style nose shape, another look of the season that brings a masculine elegance to the overall design. www.beausoleil.frCN
1st February 2013As we are celebrating men’s eyewear this month, we have asked several designers to share with Eyestylist their ideas and concepts about designing for men. The series begins with Luca Gnecchi at L.G.R. in Italy.
Do you have a particular male role model in mind when you design men’s eyewear? “When I create eyewear and especially sunglasses, I think about my friends. I try to please them and fit into their lifestyle that we often share.”
What is your philosophy on colour, materials and eyewear shapes for men? “Men’s colours have to be more simple; typically darker and classic. I think that keeping the shape to the essential is important. But also offering technically superior lenses for different masculine uses such as sailing, driving and just knowing that you have a super good polarized mineral glass lens, I think makes a man happier. While a woman, yes, she likes it too, but she is more concerned about an original coloured frame, a gradient lens that makes her eyes seen – but not seen – the game of seduction……”
Do you think that men are becoming more experimental with their eyewear choices? “Yes, they are, they like to play with colour too, but keeping the combinations very separated and strong, with contrast. Like our sanded yellow frames with mirrored green lenses, or our Raw Limited edition in black opaque and mirrored deep blue lenses. Men also like to be noticed, but in a different way, not in the seductive, playful way of women, but in a strong precise taste for something unusual.”
“I am about to present a new Limited Edition for travelling. You will be able to choose your sunglasses especially to fit your light conditions on that particular trip. It’s something that takes into consideration adventure, heat, Africa, wlidlife, unstable light conditions, romance, beauty, escape and freedom.” www. lgr-sunglasses.com JG
1st February 2013 One of the leading spectacle stores in Lyon, Les Lunettes de Marius is run by school friends, Boris Vicard and Simon Lauzier. The first time I came across pictures of the shop I admired the thoughtful mix of furniture, from old and new, to retro and reclaimed. Their interior concept, the mix of labels – which include Claire Goldsmith, Isson, Lafont, L.G.R., Masunaga, and Vera Wang – and their use of the store as a gallery space are inspiring.
Simon explains: “The design of the store is by Colette De Jong. We were inspired by tea and living room. We wanted guests to feel at home in a convivial place to break the notion of time. Optical shops can have a very medical look and we wanted to break this reputation.”
“Our customers are varied, and mainly between 18 and 40 years. A large portion of our products are handmade in Europe or Japan and we rely on this to justify the quality, and its history. We have returned to a time in which the client needs to be reassured about the quality and origin of the product. We like to to discuss this over tea or coffee!”
Asked to comment on the new designers they are following, Boris says: “As well as many independent designers we work with, we also love Garrett Leight, and also Graz, and we had the opportunity to meet them in Paris last year.” They say they like to work with straightforward people “without headaches”, who are open to many things.
Art is an integral part of the shop. “We made done five exhibitions, and some openings. We are not an art gallery, and we do not want to be one. But it is interesting and original to display art in a glasses store, and we enjoy this with our friends and customers. We are very open and I think that is the strength of our business; it is our aim to be varied on many things. ‘The world is beautiful because it is varied.'” CN
Les Lunettes de Marius, 1 Rue Marius Gonin, 69005 LYON