27th August 2015 Eyestylist’s continuing series on Eyewear Canine Companions visits with Lapin – who is bilingual, but reportedly all paws when it comes to computer keyboards. So Lapin had a little assistance from her owners Jason and Karen Kirk, of Kirk & Kirk Eyewear.
Have you had Lapin since she was a puppy? “Lapin joined the Kirk family when she was eight weeks old. She is now twelve. Her parents were working dogs, and we met her at a farm in the Pyrenees, France. She is a Pyreneen Shepherd. As a puppy, she would herd Eden and Ezra (her parents) as if they were sheep, and nip their ankles.”
Is Lapin an “office dog?” “Lapin spends her day in our design studio making sure we are not barking up the wrong tree.”
What are some of her special characteristics? “Lapin has a fear of flies. She has lived in Brighton for three years now, so she is completely bilingual. Her favourite artist is Celine Dion, which really annoys the rest of the family, as nobody else in the house enjoys listening.”
Has walking with Lapin ever triggered a design idea? “Taking Lapin for a walk offers a brief moment of calm…often the moment when ideas are formed.”
Does Lapin travel with you? “Lapin rarely travels with us although she did make the move from Bordeaux to Brighton. When we go on holiday she often prefers to stay with friends rather than come with us. As a mature lady, we allow her to make her own decisions. Lapin was nine when she moved to England, the perfect age for learning a new language. She took the cultural change in her stride, but developed a nervous twitch. And now whenever she meets a French person she whistles “She” by Charles Aznavour. It was alright the first few times…” www.kirkandkirk.comJG
25th August 2015Opened nearly thirty years ago in New York City, Periyali restaurant continues to gather rave reviews. Proprietor Nicola Kotsoni, originally from the Greek island of Zakynthos, conveyed her love of the island’s cuisine…to the island of Manhattan. All the entrees are individually prepared, and diners can savour classic dishes that include: Spanakopita, Moussaka, and grilled Calamari – along with other Greek specialities. The wine list is extensive – with a wonderful collection of champagnes – including Dom Perignon- and superior Greek wines, plus American and international selections.
The ambience at Periyali (which means “seashore”) welcomes diners to the tranquility and beauty of the Greek Islands, with its fresh décor, and inviting sky lit garden. Nicola loves to entertain – and she personally oversees every detail – including selecting the most beautiful flowers for her famous and original designs. For traditional Greek cuisine, Periyali represents the best of culinary delights from the Hellenic Islands. www.periyali.comJG
Independent, exclusive eyewear brands headline the Hall of Frames exhibition in Zurich 4th and 5th October. The event is a celebration of eyewear creators, and includes among others: ROLF Spectacles; Adrian Marwitz; Götti; Suzy Glam; Kirk & Kirk; Orgreen; Face à Face; Hapter; Lafont; and Coblens.
ROLF Spectacles present their award-winning Excellence 92 (above) from the evolved collection. Streamlined and elegant, the frame is available in four different wood combinations – utilising the finest natural materials, innovative technologies, and superb craftsmanship. All ROLF designs are produced by hand in The Tyrol in Austria. www.rolf-spectacles.com
Extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear, Adrian Marwitz champions the characteristics of Titanium in his Urban Stranger series. Lucky number Stranger 13 is slim and slender, artfully crafted in Germany, and exudes a sophisticated air in Navy Blue with Turquoise trim. www.adrianmarwitz.comPhoto by Max Gudczinski
“Suzy Glam has left the building” is an evocative new design from The Netherlands based designer Susanne Klemm. Smooth acetate is crafted into a voluminous shape that is bold and striking. A varied selection of colours is available including Champagne (above); army, thunder; and turtle in luminous acetate, plus matte versions. Save the dates for Zurich! More information at www.hallofframes.chwww.suzyglam.comJG
21st August 2015Suzy Glam’s chic, sophisticated boutique in the Museum District of Amsterdam opened last November, featuring the complete selection of handcrafted eyewear created by Susanne Klemm. The boutique also showcases distinctive eyewear designers with a creative spirit – including Jérémy Tarian who visited and presented his collection at a recent Vernissage.
“After appearances of Paulino, Willems Wonderglasses, 8000 Eyewear and now Tarian, the concept of an Eyewear Gallery is Established,” says Etienne Frederiks of Suzy Glam, “and it was great that Jérémy came to Amsterdam. The nice weather and great people made for a relaxed atmosphere.” Photo above: Etienne Frederiks, Susanne Klemm, and Jérémy Tarian at Suzy Glam Boutique
The Tarian collection is unique in its originality, style, beauty and colourations. Jérémy brings art into the eyewear environment with his handmade designs in acetate, and acetate and metal. www.suzyglam.comwww.jeremytarian.comJG
Reading Writing, ‘rithmatic…and new glasses! Appealing frame designs for the new term will please and excite both youngsters and their parents. Zoobug has a striking, fun collection that includes vintage shapes in modern colours. The above photo features Sunny – a round design in perky red/white stripes: Butterfly is for children from 5-12 years; Kat is perfect for blooming fashionistas; and Square is super trendy in a range of colours created to delight children. For more information on the latest Zoobug collection, visit www.zoobug.comPhoto by Wanda Kujacz, www.wandakujacz.book.fr
Bright, joyful colours and precise fit highlight children’s eyewear at Lafont Paris. A Scottish touch with the inside of the frame accented in Tartan plaid adds zest and zip to Rififi. Discover more fresh statement shapes for children at www.lafont.com
Red Optical in The Netherlands has launched a beautiful collection for children in colours that range from soft pastels to sophisticated darker tones. Montreal has a vintage spirit, crafted in smooth acetate, with perfect fit for little faces. www.redoptical.com
Eyewear styles that reflect adult designs are a favourite with kids, and Original Penguin Junior has a selection for boys in grown up colours that include black, tortoiseshell and olive geen. www.kenmarkoptical.comJG
The Air Titanium Rim was launched in 1993, and today, the frame is an icon in the LINDBERG collections. The lightweight, minimalist design is individually handcrafted, and weighs only three grams. It is both strong and flexible, with a graceful curved bridge, as in Marlene – above.
Henrik Lindberg says: “If something’s worth doing, we do it exceptionally well. That’s why we insist on the unique LINDBERG blend of iconic handmade Danish design, subtle elegance and exceptional comfort – everything done in-house.”
The LINDBERG Air Titanium Rim frame is representative of elegant, enduring fine design. www.lindberg.comJG
11th August 2015 Leading independent optical retailer Óptica Toscana, one of Europe’s top eyewear destinations, opens another store this summer, on the beautiful island of Mallorca. The design is in keeping with the other stores in its creative design, but maintains its own unique warm ambiance and decorative details, fitting with the sunny location.
Like the other shops in Madrid and Barcelona, the store proposes a selection of “the best collections from around the world” including Anna Karin-Karlsson, Rapp, Anne & Valentin, Mykita and Jacques Marie-Mage. Find additional details at www.opticatoscana.com
Óptica Toscana, Paraires, 2., 07001 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
A harvest of beautiful eyewear from independent designers is featured this month at international events. Handcrafted glasses and sunglasses in luxurious materials, stylish shapes and amazing colours confirms the beauty and unlimited possibilities for creative eyewear. Continue to follow Eyestylist and experience the latest eyewear collections. Check out all the Eyestylist sections for frames, fashion, boutiques, creative spirits, and cultural icons.
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Tel Aviv’s optical boutique owner/optometrist Joseph Haver launches his second sun collection, with five styles for women and men, inspired by 1960s futurism and 40s geometric purity. Vintage proportions, and a hint of the white ‘Lugene’ sunglasses photographed famously by Horst in 1939, come together with evocative colours – classical tortoise, black and white, or up-to-the-minute grey or red.
In line with the popular direction for bold graphic shapes (squares, circles and octagonals with contrasting lens shapes and flat surfaces), the frames come in Mazzucchelli acetate known for its quality and finish, and are made in a small family factory in Italy. Despite the large, eccentric proportions, the fit is carefully addressed by the optometrist-designer, with temples sculpted through to the end tips for comfort and ease-of-wear. The collection goes online soon at www.joseph-haver.com. Also available at Joseph Haver Optometrist, Tel Aviv, Israel. Photography by Michael Topyol. CN
6th August 2015With a new Bond film on the horizon, theo has launched amazingly cool frames that will rock your world. Just like the original “007” women, theo’s “Bond Girls” are young, glamorous and like to make their own statement…as theo says: Bond Girls are ladies with guts!
Four strong, significant designs in seventeen brand-new colours highlight the acetate frames with a 3D effect. Volume is key here, with the front piece lining up perfectly with the volume of the temples.
However, the frames – and the temples – are not heavy, but distinctive and stylish. Each model has been given the first name of an iconic Bond Girl – Pussy (Galore) Octopussy, Vesper (Lynd) and Eve. Will 007 – that dangerous and famous secret agent – be able to resist their charm? www.theo.be JG
Vue dc Founder Chris Mascré is one of the most modest designers we have come across in the eyewear profession but his handmade French designs speak volumes about his love for traditional spectacle making and creative artisan design. Chris and Yolande de Clerq talked to Eyestylist ahead of the Autumn eyewear fashion fairs.
“Since I was a teenager I have been attracted by eyewear as an accessory,” explains Mascré, “that expresses individual personality.” Mascré studied optometry at the famous optical institute ISO in Paris, trained at ESSEL (later Essilor) and opened his first optical boutique in Montparnasse in Paris in 1975. The shop was known for its different approach to eyewear, at a time when independent designers were almost unheard of.
“In the 80s I worked with Paulette Guinet and Alain Mikli, and that was when I began to have my own specific style and identity as a designer.”
It was in 2007, at Silmo, the Paris eyewear fair, that Mascré made his debut as a designer in his own right. “By March 2008 we were exhibiting our acetate retro style designs for the first time in NYC,” says Mascré. We were immediately noticed by the most innovative optical shops of the time. That show was the start of everything.”
Today, Vue dc designs are the work of Chris Mascré with consistent input from Yolande de Clercq (aka Yoma). “Yoma has always been involved in Vue dc – she is behind the choice of materials and colours; her approval in the designs is decisive!”
Asked to explain the stand-out qualities of his collection, made in the Jura, in France, Chris says: “Our selection of acetates with specific thicknesses allows us to explore 3-d volumes. This gives both the Vue dc and Chris M collections their particular identity and style. We are dedicated to uncompromising quality and the very best artisan production. The Vue dc Swarovski collection – for example – is quite apart in its quality and aesthetics, and is typical of our dedication to making things with real skill and precise craftsmanship. Over time, we have created several Vue dc timeless designs…Kis, Rok, Tao, Art and Eva.”
With so many changes in the eyewear industry itself, Chris firmly upholds his dedication to tradition and authentic handmade frames.
“We have chosen the creative route in eyewear, which means we are all about traditional quality. In the years ahead, we plan to continue to enhance our French “savoir-faire”; it is fabulous to be working with people who express the same creative spirit. I would say that our love for producing frames with a real passion and dedication to the product as an art form or design object continues to be the main driving force for both our labels.”
Vue dc will present five new designs in the eyewear fairs ahead including Silmo in September, and shows in Las Vegas and and New York (Capsule). The new Chris M sunglasses collection will also be launched with five Chris M optical designs. Find more information at www.vuedc.frCN
1st August 2015Christian Dior revolutionized fashion history in 1947, when he presented his first haute couture collection. In a post-war era, where many countries were still on rations and rebuilding, Dior marked the start of a dramatic era and the triumph of femininity with his “New Look” and legendary silhouette. The Bar suit, with its black full skirt, and wasp waist ecru jacket, became both the manifesto and the icon. Marion Cotillard (above) wearing the Bar suit 2012 features in the museum poster.
Dior’s childhood home – Villa les Rhumbs, in Granville, Normandy – with its beautiful garden and seaside location was an inspiration for him. The villa is now a museum and hosts the exhibition Dior, The New Look Revolution, which include photographs and archives, and reveals the complexity of the silhouette’s architecture. To celebrate the occasion, Laurence Benaïm has written a book Dior, The NewLook Revolution, published by Rizzoli. It’s nearly seventy years since Dior introduced his “New Look” – however, his amazingly engineered silhouette, with its timeless feminine shape, is spot on trend in the latest Dior collection – a 21st Century interpretation of a legacy. The exhibition continues through 1st November 2015. www.musee-dior-granville.com JG
Photo of Marion Cotillard by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
Woodlands, brown soil, trees, rocks and sand are inspiration for eyewear designs, and the end result is frames in desirable earth tones. Generous shaping in Abry (above) by Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland, is slightly angular, and combines trends and tradition in this eye-catching frame. Handcrafted in smooth acetate, the design is strong, handsome and nature-friendly. www.gotti.ch
Designer Paola Costantini at Pollipo’ lives near the sea and says of her new design style 604: “I wanted to include a neutral tone, and found CIPRIA was really perfect for my collection. The special feature is the ‘satin’ matt finishing which makes it so soft in terms of colour appearance on the face, and beautiful on every skin colour, smooth and comfortable to touch. The artisanal technique used to obtain this opaque is by a sandblasted finish. The beach and sand around me are related to this story.” The elegant, distinctive case is Terra-Beige Tuscan leather. www.pollipocchiali.it
Round and retro styling feature in a striking unisex design – Spencer – by Kirk & Kirk. The frames are produced in France in superb quality Italian acrylic, extremely light, and ultra-comfortable to wear. The tree-bark brown frame is accented with a decorative animal on the temples, in nine-caret gold, handmade in England by artisan jewellers. www.kirkandkirk.comJG
Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi, co-founders and co-designers of l.a.Eyeworks, share with Eyestylist the history of their legendary eyewear boutique.
“We opened our store on Melrose Avenue in 1979 because we wanted to change the conversation about eyewear. Having worked as opticians for several years with many of the best craftspeople and boutiques in southern California, we had grown restless and dissatisfied with the ‘sea of sameness’ we observed in the optical scene. Conspicuous logos, drop temples, enormous lenses, bland colours, narrow gender definitions, and optical shops themselves with heavy wooden furniture and potted plants – we wanted nothing to do with that kind of vocabulary or clichéd expectation. We were suffocating and we sensed that others were too. It was time to clean it all up; go back to the archetypes, re-imagine them, and open the face to new ideas.
“The context of our store was critical to the evolution of l.a. Eyeworks. Instead of frame boards or armoires, we created a gallery setting where glasses were presented unadorned, in repetition, and in every possible colour. Giving generous light and air to the frames made people graphically present in the space, and it allowed the glasses to be seen as objects of design. This was a new retailing concept for optical at that time. It was our way of giving people a gentle nudge to reawaken their sensibilities.
“Equally important was Melrose Avenue itself, which catapulted in a few short years from a relatively barren retail frontier to being the heart of music and visual culture in Los Angeles. Hardcore punks, artists, new wave darlings, fledging actors, clothing designers, filmmakers, and characters of every sort were all mingling in the atmosphere of our store. It’s hard to describe the dynamic in any other way than to say the store was vibrating. Add to that the stunning diversity of faces we were seeing! Everything was ripe for reinvention and we celebrated that moment by giving people room to rethink the paradigms. Our first eyewear designs, our window concepts, our ongoing projects with artists, our advertising campaign and our tag line, ‘A face is like a work of art. It deserves a great frame’ were all born from that milieu and its incredible energy.
“In addition to our own designs for eyewear, we also envisioned our store as a platform to showcase emerging international designers and brands. This began very early, around 1980 on a trip to Paris, where we were awestruck to come upon the creations of Alain Mikli. We carried his complete collection home in our suitcases to make its debut in the United States. And there have been many ‘firsts’ like this with other kindred spirits through the years. In our store today, you will find Kirk & Kirk, Rapp Optical, Jeremy Tarian, Kuboraum, Lucas de Staël , Alaine Bekaert, Hoet Couture, Blake Kuwahara, and Mykita, among others.
“In many ways, the store itself has changed remarkably little since its inception. The footprint is the same and we love to brag about our Pirelli rubber floor that has stood up to 35 years of traffic. We continue to make provocative slogans and puns for our windows to talk to the world outside the shop (‘the original Twitter feed’ as we like to call it). There’s our giant clock, the original sales radius built by Gai’s father, the gorgeous furnishings by architect Josh Schweitzer, the Diane Arbus photo of a naked woman in sunglasses – these things are in the grain now, and they continue to resonate for us and our clientele. Nor have we wavered from our original mission: that glasses are imaginative, intimate vehicles that can give an individual permission to express themselves more fully. We have, and have had, other retail spaces, but the mothership on Melrose Avenue remains the heart of l.a. Eyeworks.” www.laeyeworks.comJG