We salute the season with an international line up of eyewear innovation. We are off to MIDO – the eyewear fair in Milan, and will highlight what’s new throughout the month. Exciting frames from ten different countries are featured in Reviews, and voyage with us to China to find a stunning boutique, then to Italy for our Designer of the Month. City Guides previews a long anticipated exhibition on a cultural icon that is opening in London. Click and stay with Eyestylist for what’s happening in eyewear fashion.
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29th March 2013In our recent travels, we have spotted several round shapes that quickly became favourites. There are adventurous round versions, and lovely classic interpretations as well. Interior designer and eyewear creator Veronika Wildgruber features frames with the lenses set into intersections (above Magnolia). The result is a very light design with chic and technical triumph. www.veronikawildgruber
The simplicity of Sven Götti’s Aubert (above) is very appealing with its elegant round shape, highlighted with a delicately curved nosepiece, and beautifully crafted in titanium. The frame is as light as a feather, and extremely comfortable to wear. www.gotti.ch
Tortoiseshell and round shapes are natural partners, and ClassicS by Coppe+Sid is a new collection with smart designs in smooth acetate. I saw this collection in Milan, and like the retro spirit with its modern character in quality acetate. www.coppeandsid.comJG
26th March 2013 The Milan show a few weeks back showed us that there is a developing story in design inspirations…we saw the tantalising Bocca collection by Face à Face which has been extended into a Capsule line…born from designer Pascal Jaulent’s love for the form of the Dali “Mae West” Sofa, the lip fronts grew elegant legs, wearing elegant shoes; these range from high heel stilettos to the black varnish Richelieu shoes, a tribute to the Yves Saint Laurent smoking suit.
Meanwhile, British label Cutler & Gross has immersed itself in the world of the surreal with a S/S collection that is showy and creative, with frames such as the slightly eccentric 1030s-esque 1081 with cutaway bridge that hints at the watches in Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali. Something unique and eye-catching again that has been created with thought and pushes the boundaries. The frame is available in matt dark turtle/white layer (pictured) and a very interesting willow. www.cutlerandgross.com CN
22nd March 2013 Paris is one of the best capitals for unique eyewear shopping. Our latest find is the Parisian base of Marseille designer, Jean-Francois Rey – this store showcases the label’s own collections – J.F. Rey and BOZ, and it is one of five stores around the world – the others are in Tours, New York, Tokyo and the label’s hometown of Marseille.
The J.F. Rey label is known particularly for its attention to creativity and innovation in eyewear, launching designs such as JF 2499 below, that explore new directions in metal work and engraving and cutting techniques. www.jfrey.frwww.boz-eyewear.fr
J.F. Rey boutique, 2, Square Delambre 75014 Paris CN
22nd March 2013 Eyestylist attended the first Global Kids Fashion Week in London on Wednesday for a runway show – in aid of Kids Company – highlighting Spring/Summer ’13 trends. Organised by online kidswear retailer AlexandAlexa.com, this was an event for parents and their children, but also attended by many VIPS and fashion press. The children were beautifully styled in pretty pastels, super brights and 80s neons, with a focus on strong colour and delightful pattern, including tiny florals and polka dots, and each outfit was accessorised with sweet hairpieces, accessories, flowers and a selection of coordinated spectacles and sunglasses by the British eyewear specialists, Zoobug. Image – courtesy of Zoobug – above: Boy wears new Aviator style in neon yellow by Zoobug, available at www.zoobug.com/shop/Sunglasses/AV-Yellow-134/
Above, a model wearing Little Paul & Joe Spring/Summer ’13 and Zoobug’s Sunny sunglasses at the Global Kids Fashion Week SS13 public show. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for AlexandAlexa.com)
20th March 2013 Leisure Society, the sophisticated, elegantly crafted eyewear by Shane Baum, has introduced dashing new frames. Each handmade creation is constructed with the principle of heirloom design and quality. I saw these designs in Milan, and they are exquisite. Baum stated: “The etchings in each frame were inspired by the intricate design in an 18th Century candelabra given to the Dalhousie family by the Czar of Russia, and kept at the Brechin Castle, which is an estate I have been fortunate enough to visit.” Dalhouise (above) is a classic style that pays tribute to the house of Dalhousie. The oval acetate shape features a keyhole bridge, and the same intricately etched temples found in Shane’s Harvard design. The frame is available in both 12 and 18 karat gold.
The timelessness of Doyle (above) in acetate and 12k gold is particularly mesmerizing in burgundy tortoise.
18th March 2013 Candy colours or pastels are so sweet for Spring, and designer Moo Piyasombatkul has given her idiosyncratic porcelain tipped styles a complete make-over with these fresh shades for Spring/Summer. They remind us of delicate iced fairy cakes in pale pink and blue – and my personal favourite, this chic and uplifting neon yellow below.
15th March 2013 Spring bouquets bloom jauntily on eyewear designs this season. Among our preferred selections is Jono Hennessy’s lovely acetate frame bursting with colourful blossoms. The gentle cat eye shape is a gracious background to the delicate spray of flowers – can you find your favourite blossom in the frame?! www.jonohennessy.com
Matthew Williamson and Linda Farrow have collaborated to celebrate spring with festive print patterns from Williamson’s Spring/Summer 2013 catwalk show. Created in acetate and stainless steel, the sunglasses (above style 73C1 Sun) include dynamic sprays of bold yellow, red, green, blue and pink. An exciting style to accompany colourful spring fashions. www.lindafarrow.com JG
12th March 2013 In the fashion world, everyone is talking about neon and flashes of colour combined with other tones and there are many accessories on this theme, as well as interpretations in the fashion collections. In Italy, at the recent eyewear fair there, we saw many examples of neon detail and new ways of colour-blocking with bright tones in frames. For those who like these fresh flashes of colour, I’ve picked out two examples on black, but I’ve also seen some excellent shapes using classic tortoise with neon tones on the temple, end tip or as a lining, which are very chic also.
The newly launched Courrèges eye shades collection experiments with single tones – sherbets and fruit colours such as canary yellow and fresh orange – as well as two-tone contrasts, including the bright pink on black pictured. It’s an upbeat fashion collection that has instantly been noticed by the fashion boutiques – it’s available at Colette in Paris – and the playful interpretation of vintage Courrèges has been carefully re-worked through collaboration with French eyewear designer, Alain Mikli. The model pictured above is called ‘Eyelids’ and the eyelids themselves are removable. www.courreges.com/lunettes-paupieres.html
The Italian label Blue Magic Eye has adopted the neon theme in its latest collection, including this fresh acid green contrast on model 6600. The Bologna-based brand also produces frames in its 2013 collection with shocking pink and trendy turquoise flashes. This is a super way to wear colour on the face and adds edge to an everyday look. www.bluemagiceye.comCN
8th March 2013 When Clodagh and I were in Milan, we had the opportunity to discover Hapter Eyewear – the innovative new handmade label from Italy. Founders Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti spent three years researching and developing the exclusive industrial process that merges fine artisanship and high technology.
A pair of glacier military goggles from The Second World War, found in 2009 on a summit within the Dolomite Mountains, inspired the creation of Hapter. Natural fibres and stainless steel provide a flexible, light frame, yet very sturdy as well. The colours are chromatically harmonized and the result is a collection that is tactile, streamlined and functional. Hapter’s first collection has already been awarded the prestigious IF Product Design Award for 2013. www.hapter.itJG
5th March 2013 It is when you see some of the finest frames close up or worn on the face, or popped on your own, that you can get an understanding of the workmanship that some designers put into their frame designs. Eyestylist has been in Milan this weekend, to view a host of collections from across the world, and we are fortunate to hold and try on many of their prized creations.
In the past days we have seen innovative new materials and new ways of combining materials; we have seen continued dedication to old-school spectacle making techniques and finishings, and intricate tooling and finishing work both in metals – as they see the start of another re-surgence – and acetate. We have noticed some punchy, upbeat design ideas and colour stories (details will follow) and we’ve tried on some truly charismatic shapes and colours, some of which we are sure will go down in eyewear history.
The re-emergence of metals was evident everywhere. Highlights included the clean-cut styles shown to us by Jacob Kilsgaard from Denmark, whose label specialises in aluminium; he has combined his minimal design with more concentrated blocked colours – pictured – model Sun 5.8/8, in a strong, deep purple – an alluring edgy fashion colour for this year. These sunglasses feature Zeiss lenses, a perfect partner to these precisely built technical frames. The label is one of just two leading companies in Denmark to be granted the Zeiss certification and the lenses feature a miniature logo endorsing the authenticity. www.kilsgaard-eyewear.com
At Framers, the Berlin label, the selection of colours in the super-light German-made “Titanium collection” has been extended, inviting a powerful interpretation. The line includes the big, bold, round Barcelona style – a homage to Salvador Dali – in statement black. www.framers.deCN
In the vast beautiful land of Sweden that Anna-Karin Karlsson calls home, the designer excels in creating romantic, revolutionary eyewear. Isola Ella radiates innovation and imagination. Bright turquoise acetate is accented with black and gold in an extravagant cat-eye shape. The intricate gold filigree is a special patented process. Stunning! www.annakarinkarlsson.com JG
The colour turquoise always triggers thoughts of the sea, beaches and sunshine! Kilsgaard has the ideal solution for these sunny occasions – whether on city streets, poolside or seaside- with this lively new design in aluminium and acetate. The contemporary design of the frame expresses Jacob Kilsgaard’s mantra of simplicity and minimalism. The award-winning company was founded in 2007. JG
The new theo sunglass collection by Tim Van Steenbergen is lively, bright, fun and the colours are delicious. Van Steenbergen is strongly influenced by his architect grandfather, whose works can still be seen in Belgium and the Netherlands today. Anna expresses the linear play of colour, structure and form of Van Steenbergen’s grandfather’s buildings. The colours are wonderful – summer green (above), orange, red and transparent sand. With these sunnies from theo, you are ready for spring/summer! www.theo.beJG
Designer Ramiro Paulino grew up in an optical atmosphere in Portugal, and nowadays he endeavours to continue the tradition of fine spectacle making that is the family legacy. A fine example is Bernardo – acetate sunglasses with a glossy sheen, totally handmade. The elegant two-tone bronze/copper colouring gives the frame a quietly sophisticated appearance. www.paulinospectacles.com JG
Australian designer Catherine Federici loves avant-garde eyewear, and she possesses a unique talent for creating unorthodox, unique eyewear. Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, Isson has launched a super collection, including Tyla (above) a dominant sunglass design with a bold square shape, in rich purple gravel acetate. The collection also includes a stunning assortment of ophthalmic designs. www.isson.comJG
Music, ecology and hand craftsmanship are the keynotes at innovative Vinylize in Hungary. The frames are made from recycled vinyl records, scoured from flea markets and antique shops. The very rich texture and distinctive grooves ensure a totally unique design. Pege (above) is named after the famous Hungarian jazz musician Aladar Pege. With its bold shape and spark of colour detailing on the frame interior, the glasses are a cool and contemporary tribute to the late virtuoso, and symbolic of the artisan spirit at Vinylize. www.vinylize.com JG
The design team at Rolf have just launched a lovely new wood collection that is refined and wonderfully crafted. Arabella features multiple layering of fine wood: sourced from The Tyrol, where all Rolf’s frames are handmade. The look is very substantial, but the feel is extremely lightweight, and a delight to wear. Arabella is a frame with soft harmony, and a design for women who enjoy eyewear with distinction. JG
Sven Götti designs eyewear that is the epitome of Swiss beauty and precision. The new keyhole acetate collection favours strong shapes with elegant thin rims. Character and noblesse are evident in the keyhole bridge, and the hand-polished acetate is available in several exciting colour combinations. Above left, purple mates with a sunny yellow interior, and solid black (front image) is forever chic. Other colour combinations include Havana, plus marine blue and turquoise -the latter two with bright yellow interior accents.www.gotti.chJG
Fresh spring green highlights this frame by design duo Ciro Tugnoli and Guya Montermini. Based in Bologna, the history and environment of the city frequently inspires their designs. Classic lines and intrepid detailing feature in the above style, and tortoiseshell is a spring favourite – Eyestylist spotted numerous tortoise eyewear variations at London Fashion Week. For more on the lovely contemporary collections by Blue Magic Eye visit: www.bluemagiceye.comJG
In the heart of the picturesque Loire Valley in France, every Derome Brenner frame is fabricated in their countryside atelier, under the watchful eye of designer Xavier Derome. Eyewear and working in acetate are his passions, as are uncluttered designs that deftly combine classic and modern elements. Huggy demonstrates Derome’s supremacy in acetate – subtle tortoise colourations in a strong round shape, expertly crafted. www.deromebrenner.comJG
1st March 2013 Home to the Fiat and an important industrial centre in north west Italy, Turin is not normally associated with eyewear. But Giovanni Vitaloni’s company has grown from a family business producing automobile parts and accessories to an eyewear design company, recognised for its pioneering spirit in terms of innovation, materials and uniquely Italian infusion of style and technical achievement. Working with Irene Chinaglia (head designer, above, centre) and Valerio Fava (pictured above, left), Vitaloni (above, right) is also a representative of the board of Anfao, the Italian association for producers of frames and sunglasses.
“Nico Design as a design company, has always been interested in product development and experimenting in colour, shapes, and materials. My family was manufacturing components originally so we used that experience in other sectors and applied it to eyewear; that is really how we began. I believe it is this direction that gave us a chance to create our own market in the frames’ business.
“For 10 years we have had our own showroom/store in Turin where all the collections are on display. It is like the heart of the two brands we have created, Vanni and Dérapage….we do special exhibitions here but it is also a place where our customers from the surrounding area can buy their frames direct from us.
“We have a design team in which I am involved, for the two labels. Personally I have developed my knowledge in terms of eyewear over the years, since I first started working with my dad. We opened our own factory in Belluno for metal frames and we had that for about 5 years, so I was able to learn a great deal about the production side.
“My aim has always been to have our own taste and identity – so we always start from a blank sheet of paper. Our process for developing the collections lasts in total about 9 months from start to finish. For example, we are developing our own colours with Mazzucchelli and in order to do that you need time.
What’s new at Vanni? ” We are launching new collections for the Hydra and Happy Days lines in Milan this month. We are also launching a new surface treatment on a metal frame called Mock-rock – we have created a unique matching “Vanni” nail varnish in the same colour as the frame which is given with the frame as a gift. It’s beautiful!
“Vanni was born in 1991 – it is a line that has, and continues to be, based on colour concepts but our aim is always to find a balance between creativity, originality and wearability. We work very hard on our own acetate colours and unique patterns in collaboration with Mazzuchelli – this requires true dedication. www.vanniocchiali.com
“Our other brand – Dérapage – is dedicated to frame innovation. The latest addition here is a special MoleCube hinge which is made in Italy in its entirety – this consists of three strips of steel held together by a square pivot. Their is no need for adjustments and no risk of it coming undone which makes it very, very practical and popular for those who want integrity in the design and true wearability.” www.derapage-eyewear.comCN
1st March 2013 Spring is a colour jubilee this year -dreamy, soft tones from buff, sand and cappuccino, to sprightly buttercup yellow, tangy orange and royal blue. Accent colours are in deeper tones – wine and grass among the favourites. Eyestylist spotted Jessica Hanna, Marketing Editor, Net-A-Porter.com – looking very chic in a sunny yellow coat at London Fashion Week. Photo by Margarida Viegas at London Fashion Week, February 2013, exclusively for Eyestylist.com
Anne et Valentin greet spring with sunglass models that are gems with colour and design. We love the extended cat-eye shape of Douala (above) and the juxtaposition of pale and dark – pale pink is accented with moss green or wine. www.anneetvalentin.com
Colour Pop is the vivacious new collection from Caroline Abram, with a trio of different tones on each frame. The classically elegant cat-eye takes on a new dimension with the combination of colours. This spring – be daring! www.filaoparis.comJG
1st March 2013An exhibition awaited with much anticipation – David Bowie Is – opens this month at the V&A in London, and celebrates Bowie’s fifty years of songwriting, performing and recording, to designing costumes, stage sets and album artwork. The chronicle of Bowie’s extraordinary career starts in 1963, when David – or ‘Davie’ Jones as he was then – began to be involved with London’s burgeoning music scene. In 1965, he changed his stage name to David Bowie. He has never been fearful of breaking with tradition and being radical – whether in his choice of music or amazing costumes. The exhibition includes the original Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit and boots created by Freddie Burretti, and worn on national TV, when Bowie’s first single from the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust was released. Bowie was fascinated with the designs of Kansaie Yamamoto, and approached him to design costumers for his Aladdin Sane tour. The striped bodysuit (above) was among the most flamboyant, sculptural and eye-catching that Bowie wore and was inspired by the Japanese style of samurai and kabuki actors.
The luxury Italian fashion brand Gucci, and Sennheiser Group, the acclaimed German manufacturer of microphone and wireless transmission systems have generously sponsored this pioneering exhibition. DavidBowie Is an altogether striking celebration of a truly original performer, whose immensely creative imagination and ubiquitous presence in music, fashion and the stage continues to influence contemporary visual and virtual culture. Opens 23rd March through 11 August 2013. www.vam.ac.ukJG
Top photo: Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour. Designed by Kansai Yamamoto Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita 1963 Copyright Sukita/The David Bowie Archive 2012
Middle photo: Promotional shoot for The Kon-rads Photograph by Roy Ainsworth 1963 Courtesy of the David Bowie archive 2012. Copyright V&A Images
1st March 2013 David Leung from Coterie in Beijing shares with Eyestylist the history and direction of his glamorous boutique.
Please give a background of the boutique. “Three of us, all fashion addicts, came together in late 2011 and started the Coterie project. For us, it is exciting to be the first to introduce many top eyewear designers and their collections to China. We strongly believe when consumers are offered more choices, they will start to understand that good eyewear is more than just a luxury name tagged onto the temple of an average product. We created the interior space design ourselves. We believe the best background to frame eyewear is white. It is the only colour that allows the subtle colour differences – both the lens and the frame – to be fully revealed. And since we are so into originality and the beauty of vintage, it came to us naturally that the space would have no option but to be European-style inspired – and all-white.
“One of our boutiques sits in a very interesting mall in Beijing called Parkviewgreen. The entire mall is covered with glass walls from top to bottom – like a greenhouse. Abundant sunlight penetrates the mall, and makes you feel like you are walking outdoors. Since the mall owner is also the biggest art collector in Hong Kong, he displays lots of his interesting and stunning collections – including Salvador Dali – in the mall. When people walk in, it is not only about shopping, but also an experience that resembles going to an exhibition.”
You stock European/North American labels – are your customers inspired by fashion from these countries? “To us, there are two major reasons why we are more inclined to labels from Europe and North America. First of all, these countries are also where most of the world’s fashion ideas come from. We can see breakthrough new attempts every season, and that’s inspiring! Amazingly, while innovation is there, we also see a lot of brands that have a long history successfully keeping their craftsmanship and spirit in their collections. It is heritage and it is not replaceable.”
Your customer profile? “Most of our consumers come from the fashion world. They are celebrities, actresses/actors, fashion editors, models and trend lovers.”
For Spring/Sumer 2013 – what are customers looking in eyewear? “We believe black/gold, with acetate plus metal parts will be still on the spot. Slowly, we see metal as a material (or partially metal) coming back on stage as a trend. Green/dark green will become a colour to go for this season. Mirrored lenses and frames and lenses in the same colour are options to many who are bored with normal gradient grey/brown lenses. Wellington styles, oversize, cat-eye, flat-top and vintage revamps will be some of the most favourable shapes in 2013.”
Do you have events in the boutique? “We love modern artwork, and therefore we regularly invite artists to have their exhibition in our stores. We had Chenman – the photographer – create a series of images for us when we launched the project. And it was followed by ceramic artist Nutz Luk, and Graffiti artist Hurricane from Oops in May and November last year. In 2013, we will have Casper from Disiniok, creating special fashion illustrations and an exhibit in Coterie in March. Besides artist collaborations, we also create special edition products with brands. Last year, we did projects with EK Paris, Neighborhood Eyewear, Graz Eyewear and Dita Legend. We are now working on a few special limited edition projects, hoping that will help draw more and more attention from consumers in China.
“In April we will have Mik Somers from theo coming to China and we will have interviews with the media. We are also working on a pop-up store project with a brand, and if everything goes smoothly, it should land in Beijing this summer.” www.coterie.cnJG