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28th June 2014Bruno Chaussignand is a trained optician, owner of O Mil’Yeux – www.omilyeux.com, an independent optical store in Montpellier, France and designer of the eponymous eyewear collection, produced in France in the traditional spectacle making region of the Jura. Already available in NYC, L.A. (Gogosha Optique / www.gogosha.com) Japan and across Europe, at leading optical stores and concept stores, Chaussignand says his label is growing fast – he has a team of reps in France and an agent in New York – but he is clear about his personal desires when it comes to style and design, and his love for well crafted hand finished frames.
“The collection is moving forward. At first, I was more geared towards men,” he explained to Eyestylist.com this week, on the eve of PFW, “but now I am bringing in more women’s designs and we have at least 7 or 8 new styles to show in Paris in September too (www.silmo.fr). My focus is on the balance of each design, originality, so that people have something different to wear, but also the pleasure, comfort and genuine quality of the frames we make in the Jura.”
Details such as the density, the bold sculptural bevelling or “carving out” of the frame, created through use of deep acetate sheets, and work on the temples have become a part of Chaussignand’s signature, as have his paired down metal shapes that reinvent classic aesthetics, with touches of luxurious comfort and subtle refinement.
Bruno Chaussignand shows this week at the Showroom Next Door, Paris Fashion Week (until Thursday 3rd July 2014) and in September at Silmo, Paris. The Showroom Next Door, 108 Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 3eme / www.brunochaussignand.comCN
27th June 2014 “The frame I’m wearing in the photo is Model Shadow 1. In fact, it’s a pair of sunglasses and I put in optical lenses. It’s from our Limited Edition Shadows – theo by Tim Van Steenbergen. It’s not a frame for everyday because your outfit really has to match.”
“My absolute favourite frame is eye-witness model TB in colour 106. I simply love this frame! It’s asymmetrical, just like the human face. And the houndstooth pattern just gives it that little bit of extra. Very classy and stylish.”
“The other favourite is my Cinquante+Six (VinGtage Collection), in colour 179. I’m a sucker for red, what can I say? It’s just an easy frame, it goes with everything. And the braille dots (it forms the letter H, the other models have the T, E and O) on the front, and side in black gives a whole new dimension to the frame. A dash of colour doesn’t hurt, right?!” www.theo.be JG
Photo of Miet Vaes exclusively for Eyestylist by Luca Santocono. All Rights Reserved
25th June 2014 Corianna “Coco” and Brianna “Breezy” Dotson, the 23 year old twin sisters of the New York eyewear scene, embark on an eyewear adventure this week, taking in Atlanta Georgia, Florida, New York and finally, on 15th August, Toronto. The girls who have risen to fame in the U.S. with their own sunglasses label and unique fashion direction are showing their SS14 apparel and sunglasses designs in the new Translucent Creatures eyewear collection.
Styles we’ve come to know at Eyestylist.com this year as the label starts to reach Europe include Mosi and Rainy Days (above), based on and inspired by an umbrella and the architecture and building structures around the streets of NYC. Unconventional and decadent, they brim with quirky details, fashionista desirability, and a promising direction in quality and finish. www.cocoandbreezy.comCN
24th June 2014For hot destinations and long haul travel, check you have a fashionable folding sunglass in your suitcase or hand luggage. Our new favourite? Tuscany from RVS by V. is a new limited edition from the Turkish independent label. Designer and founder of the brand, Vidal Erkohen has come up with his own interpretation of this classic sunglass design. “It was my love for vintage Persol that got me into eyewear in the first place,” he explains; “the original 714 folding Persol worn by the likes of Steve McQueen was always a favourite, as it is is for many people. My new foldable design pays homage to that vintage classic while expressing our individuality through a distinctive colourful style aesthetic.” Set with 100% UV protective ultra-luxe lenses, we suggest the supremely cool dark tortoise version with eye-catching gold mirrors. Find this and many other new styles at www.rvsbyv.com. Also available at Gogosha Optique in L.A. – www.gogosha.comCN
20th June 2014 A distinguished, sophisticated collection of beautiful eyewear – The Opera Collection – is part of Line Art by Charmant. Just like an opera, these models are composed of a variety of artistic elements such as the melody of the singers, the music of the orchestra, and the colours of the costumes and stage illumination. Melodic lines expressed in XL2055 (above) offer a harmony of excellent design and superior wearing comfort.
Excellence Titan material used in the designs offers a deliciously light and airy feel, plus the jewel-like intonations with delicately shimmering waved lines are gentle and flowing. “Opera” was awarded the Good Design Award 2013 by the Japan Institute of Design. www.charmant.com JG
17th June 2014 Look closely at the finest eyewear collections and you’ll see more attention than ever on elegant lines and contrasts in colour. It’s just another manifestation of the focus on detail, individuality and artistic aesthetic that moves these frames into the limelight when it comes to innovation and design sophistication.
The Mykita + Maison Martin Margiela collaboration calls their acetate designs “Dual” (above) – each sunglass style has the ‘double’ effect, with tone-on-tone colour or contrasting schemes such as the supremely desirable nude with black. www.mykita.com
Innovative two-tone layering effects are also a highlight in the top-level metal collections. The high-tech Molecube Series 100 from Derapage – famous for its triple-ply metal hinge – features milled fronts where the bevelling (carved or sculpted effect) is picked out in contrasting colour – a stylish twist of a detail that brings a wonderful flicker of brightness to these comfortable slimline frames. Colour highlights come in canary yellow (our top choice), red, burgundy or orange. www.derapage-eyewear.comCN
13th June 2014 Young designer/entrepeneur Cantemir Gheorghiu’s second generation Papp UV sunglasses are pretty unconventional as sunnies go. Made from a mix of recycled wood and cardboard with polarized anti-scratch lenses on the outside of the frame, these are the ideal spare pair of shades – stylish but practical and easy to have ready in a pocket, book or bag; lightweight, flexible and waterproof, with UV protection (UV 400 anti-scratch lenses), the minimal design is enhanced by bold colour and clever details such as flexible reinforced hinges and aluminium end tips. Shapes include an aviator, a round, or a classic wayfarer look.
10th June 2014 Ripe berry and fruit tones brighten the summer scene, and here are two of our favourites. Susanne Klemm at Suzy Glam fashions the iconic panto shape into voluminous proportions for maximum glamour. She created Thinks Big in yummy “Cherry” to co-ordinate with the wearer’s lipstick and an ice cream on a hot summer day. Handmade in the finest Italian acetate, with elegant grey gradient lenses. www.suzyglam.com
Rich and beautiful plum tones distinguish Purple Sun 9.8-8 by Jacob Kilsgaard. The streamlined features of the frame are crafted in lightweight aluminium with acetate temples and polarized Zeiss lenses. www.kilsgaard-eyewear.comJG
6th June 2014 Online vintage eyewear specialists GafaVintage have a new home in central Madrid, featuring some of the online retailer’s most spectacular designs. Curated by Jorge Portela and Sandy Moragon – founders of the online store, this is a unique spot to try on interesting, wearable iconic shapes and designs from the past.
All the glasses and sunglasses are unworn, and date from the 1950s to the 1990s. Also featured are rare glasses made in Spain in the 60s, as well as classics from the big brands: Dior, Persol, YSL and Ray-Ban.
The new GafaVintage store can be found in central Madrid at Calle Santiago 9, – between the Mercado de San Miguel and the Palacio Real. For online shopping, visit www.gafavintage.com – frame above, Benson & Ashley Kiss British handmade sunglasses, online, 235 euros. CN
4th June 2014 The mask or shield, an eyewear icon, that had particular prominence in the 80s and 90s, and earlier decades, has appeared in several exclusive eyewear collections we previewed in Milan, hinting at a revival for this dramatic attention-grabbing oversized fashionista style accessory.
A shield shape is the focus for Hyde’s Spectacles in their second collaborative design with fashion design icon Ann-Sofie Back, following a successful collaborative launch in 2013.
“The sunglasses are inspired by protective glasses and are a continuation of the work wear theme which has been present in prior BACK and Ann-Sofie Back Ateljé collections,” explained the designer on the launch in Sweden last month. Handmade in Italy and featuring Mazzucchelli acetate, the transparent front – in yellow or grey – has an inner aviator style mirrored lens, outlined in metal while narrow metal temples are fitted with chunkier acetate end tips. The overall effect packs a punch – as you might expect – in the face of anything remotely conventional in eyewear.
Featuring Mazzucchelli acetate, the finest you can find in Italy, and created by hand in Danta di Cadore, model Lucio is part of the Res/Rei Limited Edition collection. This new colour release – a transparent base with multicoloured patterning – reminds us of swirls of paint mixed in water. An excellent interpretation of a classic shape and a frame that has immediate appeal for its authenticity and beauty. www.resrei.comCN
Soft, subtle colours enhance the wearer’s eyes, and Susanne Klemm at Suzy Glam proposes this beautiful pearl acetate design with a luminous glow. The intricate bevelled frame front is quietly elegant and refined – a gentle jeweller’s touch in which Klemm excels, with her background as a jewellery designer. All Suzy Glam designs are handcrafted in Italy. www.suzyglam.comJG
Italian creators Mondelliani mix transparent crystal acetate with sea blue lenses – very chic for summer holidays and beach escapades. The round shape is accented with a curved nosepiece and distinctive temples. Also available in lovely tones of cocoa, green and violet with contrasting coloured lenses. www.mondelliani.itJG
Fresh and refreshing two-tone green highlights smart styling by Lafont Paris. There is a slight vintage air to the pure, uncluttered lines of the frame, created in high quality acetate, with a discreet temple accent. We receive many requests at Eyestylist for suggestions about frames for small faces – Oletta is an excellent choice. www.lafont.comJG
The handsome retro Stanley frame in the Original Penguin men’s collection is suave and up-to-the-minute in rifle green. The addition of the tiny stripes in the nose rests is a splendid touch to reflect an element of the Original Penguin apparel collection from which the details are inspired. Upbeat, stylish and elegant to wear. Also available in matt black, bold cherry tomato and vintage indigo. www.kenmarkoptical.comCN
Fine materials and traditional craftsmanship in contemporary design
1st June 2014 Natural materials are a growing phenomena in product design. And so too in the world of fashion accessories. Whether wood, leather or cork, brand-new inspirational ideas for incorporating natural materials with skill highlight the trend for traditional expertise and craftsmanship in modern design. We’ve picked some exciting examples – including an urban bicycle by SELVA (highlighted by the Formabuona Italian crafts project), and some examples of authentic artisan eyewear – frames that look good and impress us when it comes to all important practicalities – the fit, the wearability and overall quality and comfort. CN
Rita, and its sister frame Vivien, are inspired by the works of American artist Sterling Ruby. Awash with colours infused into the transparent base material, this version inspires thoughts of light blue puffs of cloud. It’s all about using the acetate material as a blank canvas, and then creating the work of art. A big super feminine oversized statement, Rita is named after 1930s Hollywood legend, Rita Hayworth. The frame is fitted with tinted lenses from Zeiss. www.mykita.com CN
1st June 2014- J.F. Rey is synonymous with innovative frame creations and amazing colours. Designer Jean-François Rey tells the history of the family label to Eyestylist.
Could you please give us a brief history of the brand. “I am above everything else a French eyewear designer from the Jura region, the French eyewear capital. It was in a privileged family context that I acquired my know-how from my father and grandfather – two generations who specialized in frames. I was about 16 years old when I designed my first collection for the family company, respecting the tradition of French eyewear. So I can say that the famous “French Touch” of J.F. Rey is coming from my family experience. After working in my father’s company, I collaborated for major labels in ready-to-wear fashion, including Agnès B., Issey Miyake and Marithé Francois Girbaud, before launching my own collections. In 1995, I created the company you know today in Marseille, in the south of France. I am the director of Bli-DPB (J.F. Rey and Boz) and Sli (Sky Eyes and Volte Face).”
Colours in the collections are always beautiful – is this influenced by your Marseille location? “J.F.Rey is recognized worldwide for its unique design signature, including unexpected colour combinations. This creative and aesthetic challenge is mainly in the hands of my wife Joëlle, Artistic Director. We find inspiration all around us: travels, paintings, fashion textiles, cultures etc. New and permanent inspirations make you feel alive and give you ideas for creation and design.” One of our secrets is also teamwork and the J.F. Rey philosophy.There are no limits between design and colour – on the contrary. J.F.Rey is a family story with a common passion that continues today in the way we work. Team spirit is very important to us, at each level of the work, and it contributes to the success of our collections. The J.F. Rey Creation Studio is composed of 5 designers, working on all the brands. Together, the designers develop close and positive relations. Sensibilities, experiences, and visions are different from each designer, and this makes the difference, a very constructive and efficient way of working.”
Your collections include a variety of different materials. Are there any new materials you would like to use in future collections? “Each collection is the opportunity for a new creative and technical challenge. In ten years, we have succeeded in taking techniques to the limits and managing projects to fruition that we thought were impossible. The passion that characterizes our designer’s signature makes the difference. Challenges bring unexpected results that are very exciting for everybody. A new laser cutting and engraving unit allows us to engrave materials, and we can rejuvenate acetate and metal, and create amazing graphics at a touch. For the future, we are preparing surprises for our customers. And yes, a new material will be used. But “chut” for the moment…….”
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing eyewear designers today? “The eyewear field is an attractive world for creative people. At the beginning of the adventure, eyewear design was only responding to medical requests. Along with other designers, we’ve introduced design dimension:eyewear for aesthetics, frames as a fashion accessory. This obviously has turned out to be the very core of our design projects. We always try to create trends, to preserve our difference, and our typical design signature. It’s a real opportunity to have the possibility to continue our passion, and bring it to the competitive market and eyewear evolutions. Our work is aimed at the final customers; to create surprise, to attract and bring happiness.” www.jfrey.frJG
Photo of J.F. Rey and Joëlle by Luca Santocono exclusively for Eyestylist. All Rights Reserved.
1st June 2014Darkroom is one of London’s finest concept stores, with a chic black exterior that would fit as easily into one of the design hot spots in Milan; located on Lamb’s Conduit Street, the shop represents the heart of this sophisticated destination for independent shops, menswear specialists and good food.
The interior offers a gallery like display of hard-to-find design and fashion products, textiles, jewellery and items from other parts of the world, including Africa and the Balkans, curated by owners Rhonda Drakeford and Lulu Roper-Caldbeck.
The latest addition is an eyewear collaboration with London’s Larke Optics, a series that marries this emerging British eyewear label’s handcrafted approach and detailed finishing with Darkroom’s singularly bold, graphic aesthetic, perfectly reflected through handpicked vintage acetates.
Larke’s founder, Laura Nicholson explains: “A strict monochrome palette has been chosen to emphasise Darkroom’s fascination with materials, surfaces and finishes used in architecture and furniture design.
The Italian acetates have been hand-selected to mimic the look of marble, terrazzo, mosaic and resin. These materials are playfully reappropriated and condensed into two signature shapes: Veda, a bold circular frame, and Gill, a thick-rimmed frame with a distinctive keyhole detail.”
All frames by Larke are handmade in the UK in one of the last remaining family workshops. Prices from £295.00. CN
Romantic Wedding Couture at Victoria and Albert Museum
1st June 2014 Romantic, extravagant and glamorous wedding ensembles from the V&A collection are included in this magical array of bridal wear. A panorama of superb wedding dresses, and the growth of the wedding industry is explored in this stunning exhibition. Wedding attire from 1775 to 2014 includes dresses by Charles Frederick Worth, Charles James, Hardy Amies, Norman Hartnell, Christian Lacroix, and Bruce Oldfield among others. Most of the outfits were worn in Britain, by brides of many faiths.
There are also wonderful accessories, including jewellery, shoes, garters, veils, wreaths, hats and corsetry. Other highlights include fashion sketches and personal photos, plus garments worn by bridegrooms and attendants, and striking millinery by Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones. The exhibition investigates the histories of the garments, revealing fascinating and personal details about the lives of the wearers, giving an intimate insight into their occupations, circumstances and fashion choices. For a fascinating glimpse into how fashion, social and cultural attitudes to weddings has evolved through the centuries, this is definitely an exhibition to visit. Through 15 March 2015. www.vam.ac.ukJG
Photos: Top: Embroidered silk coat and silk dress designed by Anna Valentine, feather headress created by Philip Treacy, 2005 Worn by The Duchess of Cornwall for the blessing after her marriage to HRH The Prince of Wales Photograph by Hugo Burnand This images is reproduced with the kind permission of The Duchess of Cornwall
Centre: Embroidered corded silk wedding dress made after a Paquin, Lalanne et Cie Paris model by Stern Brothers, New York 1890 Worn by Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers for her marriage in New York to Bradford Ferris Duff. Given by Lord Fairhaven Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Bottom: Embroidered silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell, London 1933