1st October 2013Selima Boutique has opened a chic little off-shoot of their charming Marais shop in the Grande Dame of Parisian stores- Le Bon Marché. The pop-up shop – which will be in Le Bon Marché through Christmas – is a cosy, colourful corner with a great selection of Selima eyewear handmade in France. Selima is a vintage-infused paradise – beautifully crafted frames in luxurious materials – with a knowing nod to retro shapes that customers delight in wearing.
There is also a lovely selection of designer frames from L.G.R. in Italy, RVS by V. from Turkey, and Vic Switzerland.
406 by the Milanese label Conservatoire International de Lunettes features a brave combination of acetate, metal and wood. They have several other shapes using this combination and their work on the frame and the finish is carefully studied and executed – in Italy. 406 is a particularly feminine, and glamorous design, with a curvaceous form in acetate with the wood inserted in the brow piece at the front so you can see the contrast in the materials from afar. I had the good fortune to meet the team behind the label on the train to Parc des Expositions from central Paris….delighted to discover their work for the first time. www.conservatoireinternationaldelunettes.comCN
Looking for interesting well-made frames featuring wood? Our fifth choice for Autumn in wood is this layered wood/aluminium design by W-Eye that we also spied in Paris. Italian creativity combine with technical accomplishment to create designs that have a unique character and a lovely natural feel. I admired Dianthus in the new W-Eye H collection which is available in three woods and three colours. Strong aesthetics, a new practical closing hinge design (just introduced), and a great shape for those who like a crafted frame in innovative materials. W-Eye has also added mother-of-pearl into its creations. More on this coming soon. www.w-eye.itCN
September heralds new beginnings, and in fashion, this means wonderful collections unveiling internationally in eyewear and accessories. Find five unique glasses in Reviews, and meet the Danish designer who is bringing new adventures to aluminium eyewear. Discover a fabulous new Boutique in London, and cross the Channel for a beautiful fashion exhibition in City Guides. Through the month, we’ll bring you first glimpses of exciting spectacles and sunglasses launches. Click and stay with Eyestylist for an Autumn of amazing frames and accessories.
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28th September 2013Clodagh and I are twirling around SILMO viewing multiple collections, and marvelling at the creative intensity of eyewear designers. Two impressive standouts are Theo from Belgium and Tarian in Paris. Japanese titanium and horn unite in perfect balance with striking shapes in eye-witness by theo. TV and TX (above) achieve a balancing act between symmetry and asymmetry, and also between a hard material such as titanium, and a ‘soft’ natural element such as horn. The ‘browline’ shape is inspired by the 1950’s optical look that accentuated the eyebrows. Gorgeous colours too — all accented with natural Indian water buffalo horn. www.theo.be
Bold, strong statement styles are the hallmark of Jérémy Tarian. His goal is to create unique and original frames in superior materials, while infusing the design with unexpected concepts. The voluminous lines in Shark Tank (above) are beautifully accented with graphic elements, and precise and elegant details. www.jeremytarian.com
Our explorations at the show continue – so stay tuned for exciting discoveries in eyewear excitement! JG
25th September 2013 Two collections we eagerly anticipate seeing this weekend in Paris are Rolf Spectacles from Austria, and the Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson. Both the Rolf Team and Anna-Karin have won international awards for their unique eyewear, and now they are showing new, innovative designs crafted with even more precision and the finest details. Rolf is launching “advanced/horn” (above) an ingenious creation of select horn plates from water buffalos with an inner wooden core. The result is a harmonic symbiosis that ensures a unique and timeless design, crafted entirely in-house in the Tyrol. www.rolfspectacles.com
Following the success of her impressive and stylish sunglasses, Anna-Karin Karlsson is showing her first optical collection. The bold, strong shapes that characterize Karlsson’s beautiful sun range are equally stunning in optical designs. “Down Lush Boulevard” is an artistic expression in silky black acetate and gold mesh. Luxurious, feminine and striking. www.annakarinkarlsson.comJG
24th September 2013Fine buffalo horn is having a moment. Its attractive, sustainable, natural qualities, comfort and luxurious colourings have long been popular in eyewear. It is a material that requires craftsmanship and skill in the making, just as it did for antique eyewear, and while traditionally associated with classical frame design – most examples are on the theme of of round horn rimmed glasses, often with gold – it is re-emerging in new forms and modern interpretations.
Launched in 2012, Rigards specialises in horn frames with an avantgarde, nonconformist look – a handmade label, as it says itself, on a mission to rediscover the hidden treasures of horn eyewear. Style RG0048 (above) launching this week, is typical of their handcrafted designs, using the finest buffalo horn from small African farms – and tooled by a single craftsperson from start to finish using tried and tested tools and traditional methods. The frame shapes are always distinctive and special details prevail; this round-rim silhouette, for example, is complemented by a subtle “third-eye” on the top of the bridge, inspired by Erlang Shen, a heroic Taoist deity and Indian god in Buddhist scriptures known for his truth-seeing third eye in the middle of the forehead.
Launching a new website tomorrow (25th September), Rigards exhibits its new styles including RG0048 this week in two locations in Paris; at Silmo and Femme SS2014, Galerie De Thorigny (Sept. 28th to October 3rd 2013). The label is one of the shortlisted finalists in the Hall of Frames / Eyestylist Newcomer Award 2013 which will be announced in Stuttgart in October. www.rigards.comCN
23rd September 2013 Who is new in Paris this week? Among the handful of specialist eyewear labels showing for the first time is designer Jesse Stevens’s label Finest Seven, a British-made collection that we first encountered in 2011. (Designer of the Month: http://www.eyestylist.com/2011/07/jesse-stevens/). For its Silmo debut, Finest Seven will launch a new fine buffalo horn edition featuring two shapes each produced in three natural horn colours, light, medium and dark. Meanwhile, their chic and totally covetable acetate designs such as ZERO 05 in tangerine (pictured) remain central to the collection. With vintage 7 layer hinges, Zeiss lenses, cool iconic shapes and limited production – they are produced in special editions of 100 pieces per colour in the UK – these are designs that bring a modern edginess to luxury eyewear produced in the traditional way. www.finestseven.com
I also look forward to seeing the latest releases at British label Fan Optics whose first frames I was introduced to by McClintock Eyewear in Covent Garden. Inspired by a love of modern design and fashion culture, as well as having a huge passion for specs, FAN founders Sarah Coburn and Guillaume Furminger tell me they have introduced new charismatic shapes to show in Paris, and fresh colourways for their bestselling styles such as Brock, which you can expect to see in statement black and pearl with gold detailing, sounding spectacular! www.fanoptics.co.uk
Massada Eyewear, led by designer Kate Lupinsky, will also be making their debut at the Paris optics show. Their latest collection includes some eye-catching sunglass shapes such as Lust.Caution!, some with cool mirrored lenses and a selection of classically inspired opticals working with Italian materials. We’ll be taking a closer look. Massada won a prestigious IOFT award in Tokyo for their 30s inspired style “The Graduate” in the Ladies’ Category. www.massadaeyewear.com CN
20th September 2013Our previews of eyewear to be released next week reveal that beautiful colour harmonies highlight the collections. We love the new colour mix at Face à Face (above Poppy 2) in delicious sugar plum tones. Also note the gorgeous shape – an elegant cat eye, slightly exaggerated for even more style impact. www.faceaface-paris.com
An injection of lively neon tones is also prevalent – Italian designers Guya Montermini and Ciro Tugnoli at Blue Magic Eye express delightful Italian “dolce vita” with Flippo, in happy tones of shiny pink acetate. Handmade in Italy, a retro ambience is evident in the finely crafted shape. www.bluemagiceye.com
JF Rey’s BOZ collection includes this sleek, uncluttered cat eye geometry in fresh, radiant red. The smooth satin finish adds a lovely lustrous touch to the frame. www.jfrey.frJG
17th September 2013 Excitement is mounting as Hall of Frames and Eyestylist announce the shortlist for the 2013 edition of The Newcomer Award. The finalists are: Blue Magic Eye; Claire Goldsmith Eyewear; Hapter; Suzy Glam; Rigards; Kuboraum; Coblens and Nine. Here we present two of the entries, and the designer’s philosophy behind their creations. Designer and artist Livio Graziottin describes his frames as “monumental, concrete, organic, architecture. Kuboraum masks are drawn on the face of the wearer – masks that highlight personality. Eyewear gives people the opportunity to feel unique and special with timeless taste.” The brand started in February 2012, and is handmade in Italy. Above: optical mask T3 www.kuboraum.com
Netherlands based jewellery designer Susanne Klemm uses her expertise with fine gemstones to achieve the play of shadow and light in her eyewear. Suzy Glam was launched in May this year, and she has three goals when creating a design: “First, the frame must look good by itself from all angles. Second, emphasize the structure of the feminine face- the frame must be complementary – and third, a perfect fit.” All Suzy Glam frames are handmade in Venice. www.suzyglam.com
The voting for the 2013 Hall of Frames/Eyestylist Newcomer Award takes place next month, and the winner will be announced in Stuttgart on October 20th. www.hallofframes.chJG
13th September 2013Oliver Goldsmith designs transcend time – Norum, this lovely acetate beauty – was one of the first frames created by OG. It was ‘retired’ for a period, but now back in exciting new colours that are magnificent. Featured above is Fusion – an explosion of gorgeous autumn tones.
Youngsters adore wearing OG Mini Icons, and playful new colours will be unveiled in Paris later this month in the frames featured above. From the top: Sophia, Lord, and Manhattan. More information at www.olivergoldsmith.comJG
1st October 2013 We first met founder of Paulino Spectacles, Ramiro Paulino, in London around this time last year. Since then we have been delighted to see their fantastic progress into international specialist stores, and so we asked to catch up with Ramiro and colleague John in Paris just a few days ago….
From what we see, Paulino Spectacles is growing quickly. How is everything going? The feedback we have been having has been beyond expectation, and things have moved very quickly for us. As a new, small independent brand the idea was to take things one step at a time, but without any major marketing strategy our frames are now available in London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Oviedo, Lisbon and Porto. The collections will also be available further afield very soon…..we are delighted to have a new distribution coming up in Asia.
You continue to concentrate on handcrafting and traditional spectacle making techniques using exclusive, very elegant acetate? My aim is to go against the grain of mass production, and continue my grandfather’s traditions. Every frame we make is produced in the only remaining factory of its kind on the Iberian Peninsula. With not one single computer in sight, the frames are tooled by hand using very fine organic acetate from Mazzucchelli. We insist on a level of finish that matches our vision and design qualities.
This production process is arduous and takes several days. From the hand made tools that start off the production process – using rasps, saws and files – through to the manually operated pantograph that cuts our frames, one by one, to the tumbling – a process that takes at least 48 hours – which smooths the surface and prepares the frame for hand polishing. We use vintage pins on the hinges, some of which are over 30 years old. This gives me great pleasure and a certain sadness at the same time, as one day they will run out. In any event, it all takes time and makes for a high-end product. I really believe the end result is worth it – frames with their own unique personality and comfort, which mass production can never match in terms of that hand finished quality.
Explain when you are launching your collections each year – you have a slightly different concept in mind I think? My idea is not to launch collections as such but to release new models throughout the year. We have just launched a new model this September and for October, we are on track to release three new models and three further ones before the end of the year. We are also looking to increase our range by launching our first metal frames within the first part of 2014. So we’re pretty busy on the launch front.
Where are your biggest successes so far? Which styles have been a hit? The Alberto, Martim and Sara models were the first models to come out and they have been the bestselling ones overall. Since it came out in February, there has also been a lot of interest in our Filipa model. Though vintage and feminine, it is very up-to-date. It was also a pleasure for me to design it. I was inspired by a model Jacqueline Bisset wore in 1973. It was a metal model and what caught my eye was the ring/circle over the bridge. I ended up designing “Filipa” which is a cateye of course, but differentiated by having the open ring in the bridge.
Could you explain about the cork you use for the accessories cases? Is it sourced locally in Portugal? Yes, the cork is a local product. The idea for the accessories is, of course, to match the quality and philosophy of the frames – handcrafted and made by artisans using old fashioned tools. Cork was a natural starting point for us, as it is very much a Portuguese product and it is organic. Even here, though, we are looking to try new things. We already have in place a new material that we’ll start using this month – Burel, also a 100% Portuguese product made from natural wool. The factory is located in the “Serra da Estrela” (Star Mountain – Portugal’s highest point) and is also made in the traditional handcrafted way. My idea is always to look at the possibility of adding new natural products that are unique to our country and that fit with the Paulino philosophy.
What do you expect in 2014 or what are your hopes for Paulino Spectacles? I expect and hope to consolidate on the very fast paced 2013, so to speak. And I have an idea to add a metal collection soon. As mentioned, things have moved quickly for Paulino Spectacles – a great sign that our collection strikes a chord. But my wish is not to mass market Paulino Spectacles. We just hope to bring the quality and interest of the label to people who wish to try it, whereever they are.
10th September 2013Two tones, two textures, two effects, side by side. It’s nothing new of course, but it’s a direction that is being looked at very closely this coming season. We’ve spotted these brights from Nico Design’s Italian-made Vanni collection, where one colour appears in two versions in one frame front, solid at the top, transparent below. Launching in Paris this month, this fresh fruit-inspired Vanni specs collection -Fruits of Vanni – has 9 gorgeous models in shades that include shocking pink, apple green and bright purple with an additional flash of colour for the lining. Smart, uplifting, and very eye-catching. For more information, visit www.vanniocchiali.com and www.nicodesign.itCN
12th September 2013 A modern ambiance, fantastic attention to detail, and a penchant for Alpacas (see the youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvuicDX1cW0) -Vincent Optiek is a little gem that brings beautiful eyewear choices – labels such as Dita, Graz, Suzy Glam, Gotti Switzerland, Lindberg Precious, Lafont, Face à Face, Mykita, and others – to a local community in Houten, Netherlands. It’s the friendly, smart independent optician’s that some of us wish we had around the corner.
“The new shop has been open for 1 and a half years,” explains owner, Vincent de Goede. “I worked on the interior with a Dutch craftsman called Johan van Zutphen. Our aim was to reflect quality but without looking overly posh, to show a feeling of stylishness, but not excessively trendy.
“We have glasses for all ages, but most of my customers are between 25 and 55. My store is a bit unusual. Most Dutch optical stores are more classic, but there is a new breed of us on the rise. I like to have fun in what I do. For me that means working with the most beautiful eyewear I can find, in a store that fits me like a tailored suit.” Vincent Optiek, Plein 9A, Houten, Netherlands.www.vincentoptiek.nlCN
6th September 2013 Eyestylist continues the series on Eyewear Artisans and Architecture with Wim Somers, founder of theo eyewear, who reveals the structure he likes best in Antwerp.
What is this your favourite building? “My favourite building in Antwerp is just ‘around the corner’ from the theo office – Huis Van Roosmalen. It really stands out with its black-white striped façade. And it resembles a bridge of a ship. At the time it was built, this was quite different!”
Who designed the building? The Huis Van Roosmalen was built in the 1980’s and designed by architect bOb Van Reeth. The owner was an interior designer and he, and his wife, liked the black-white pattern of the cathedral of Siena very much. So they decided to use this banded pattern as well. But the house also has an important symbolic value. It was the beginning of the upgrading of the entire neighbourhood – someone always has to take the first step!”
Does this structure influence your designs – and why? “Like our designs, the Van Roosmalen house is also an eye catcher. I like bOb’s work because for me he’s a true visionairy. Theo also never looks backwards but always to the future. We are looking for the next big thing. And with our designs we also want to surprise people. Theo loves to make people happy – and the Huis Van Roosmalen makes me happy! Did you know that bOb always wears round glasses? Another thing we have in common! And at one time we really got swept away and we designed a pair based on this house. A round one of course! But it was for charity, so only one pair was made. We liked it so much that we bought it ourselves – so we can look at it every day!” www.theo.beJG
3rd September 2013Colour choices are very seductive this season. Alongside plenty of blocked single shades are a growing array of frames in exotic multi tones, using print, pattern, even marbling – on a wide variety of materials from wood to titanium to much loved acetate.
From Italy, W-Eye is a specialist in wood eyewear strengthened with aluminium sheets which also lend extra flexibility to their designs. This year, as well as proposing frames in natural wood tones, they have launched some unique designs with playful stripes, real wood-grain colour effects and exotic rainbow colours. W-Eye’s sunglass model 202 Rajasthan (above) is one of their fun, showy sunglass styles that uses bold statement coloured stripes with a charming soft oval eye shape. www.w-eye.it
RVS by V., the Turkish label by Vidal Erkohen, is one of the independent labels working with top-of-the-range vintage Mazzucchelli acetate this year. “We are using a lot of marbled acetate for the collection this time round,” explains Erkohen, “we are always looking for new combinations of colours for this collection. The blend of solid colour with marbled acetate balances things out and it has been a lot of fun mixing the two within this new line we are launching in Paris shortly.” RVS by V. eyewear is now available at These Eyes of Mine (www.theseeyesofmines.com), Washington DC, Magrabi Optical, U.A.E., and Polo Optique, Istanbul. www.rvsbyv.com
Young Italian label Essequadro Eyewear also makes a feature of brightly patterned Mazzucchelli acetates, this time new ones, in colours developed exclusively for the Ariano Irpino-based label. Their new collection, also launching in Paris end of this month, is inspired by the 1950s and 60s and the history of Italian frames; the range is made in Italy’s traditional eyewear region of Belluno using traditional techniques. Find out more at www.essequadroeyewear.comCN
1st September 2013 Entries are arriving daily from eyewear designers who are participating in The Hall of Frames / Eyestylist Newcomer Awards. The annual event is a unique collaboration with Hall of Frames and Eyestylist.com. This year, the entrants include Claire Goldsmith and the CG Legacy Collection that launched in 2010, designed by Claire Goldsmith and Jesse Stevens.
Goldsmith (above) a British designer, says of the collection: “I prefer contemporary versions of classics. We do have one signature design feature though – a beautiful bevelled temple – a characteristic that follows through all our styles, for both men and women. I’d always rather brand through design than anything else.” www.clairegoldsmith.com Photo: Claire Goldsmith by Phil Birnbaum
Paris based entry Amaury Cagniard, who launched his collection in 2012, defines his eyewear style as “Original, subtle, but not eccentric lines, shapes and colours, and procures a feeling of harmony around a well-balanced design.” www.amaury.eu.com
At Eyestylist and Hall of Frames, we endeavour to encourage and support new eyewear talent, and are delighted with the gifted responses. The winner will be announced in Stuttgart in October. www.hallofframes.chJG
Beautiful autumn tones highlight this optical frame by the acclaimed French brand – Face à Face. The inspiration for the design is Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, whose work is well known for juxtaposing colour surfaces, and the concept is effectively transposed to eyewear in this lovely design. Art and graphics unite in the thin metal shape, which is accented with a smooth matt finish. www.faceaface-paris.comJG
The Australian brand will introduce their newest collection in Paris this month, and among the elegant designs is a modern interpretation of the classically refined Windsor trim frame. The round shape in Japanese acetate is accented with a platinum coloured stainless steel trim on the nosepiece and sides. Balance and harmony in shape and proportion ensure this frame is a pleasure to wear. Delicious colours too: Pacific Blue as shown, plus bamboo, pea green and gold. www.jonohennessy.comJG
The dreamy landscapes of Africa are a constant source of inspiration for designer Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, and Lola is a tribute to the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria – the name means prosperity and wealth. The frame possesses a romantic air with its beautiful composition of acetate and metal, giving the design a graceful flow. The angles are delicate, and peak gently to the sides. Colour combinations are stunning: Matt Havana as featured, plus Ivory/Blue, Havana/Green, Matt Green/Grey, Black/Green and Matt Black/Grey. The Zeiss lenses are finest quality – providing an anti-scratch surface, anti-reflex and guaranteed 100% protection against UV rays. www.lgr-sunglasses.comJG
A monotone mood prevails in fashion this autumn, and in eyewear Paulino Spectacles captures the essence. Hints of cappuccino accent this stunning crystal frame with its intrepid shape. Based in Portugal, designer and founder Ramiro Paulino Pereira is dedicated to the family legacy of crafting specialised and individualistic eyewear. www.paulinospectacles.comJG
1st September 2013 It’s indispensable – the backbone of the stylish woman’s wardrobe. And now the Little Black Dress (LBD) merits its own celebration. The Mona Bismarck American Center for Art and Culture in Paris is the venue for a delightful exhibition of statement Little Black Dresses by international designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and others. Presented by the Museum of Art at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the curator of the show is the peripatetic style maven and VOGUE Contributing Editor André Léon Talley. “The exhibition highlights the strength of individualism,” says Talley, and he also praises the Little Black Dress for its versatility, glamour and grace.
With so many delectable LBD’s on display, it’s easy to understand the allure of this contemporary phenomenon. A must see! Until 22 September 2013. www.monabismarck.orgJG
Photos: Top photo: Marc Jacobs silk dress Autumn 2012 Photo credit: courtesy of Rachel Feinstein, New York. Photo credit Oscar de la Renta: Savannah College of Art and Design