The holiday season approaches! Let it be your special time to indulge in accessories with dazzling glamour and sophisticated style. Charmant’s Line Art Opera Collection – inspired by the world of music – suggests an elegant rimless eyepiece – XL2067 (above). The graceful temples feature a wavy filigree pattern in Excellence Titan, and delicate handset Swarovski crystals. Sophistication, comfort and beautiful design. www.charmant.com
Paola Costantini at Pollipo’ celebrates the holiday season with splendid Amethyst accessories, including sunglasses, a jewel clutch, bracelet and ring. The pearly variegated forest green/amethyst blend in the handcrafted sunglasses (style 534 Edition 916) is created from cellulose acetate, with a beautiful sheen. Scal, the Italian handmade jewel clutch, is in genuine Tuscan leather with a Crocodile pattern. Amethyst and rhodium-plated 925 sterling silver are used for the bracelet and cluster ring, and evokes subtle luxury and refinement. www.pollipocchiali.it
Silhouette has just launched stunning, contemporary frames – the Crystal Collections – three designs for women and one for men. Caresse (above) is crafted in 23K gold-plated Titanium, in a sleek, rimless design, featuring a single floating crystal on the temples. An impressive, timeless design. www.silhouette.com
Tiny flecks of gold highlight Singuliere by Lafont Paris. Rich purple acetate is silhouetted on the contemporary frame front, and the stainless steel temples are beautifully etched with a flowing leaf pattern. For further information on Lafont’s smart and diversified optical designs for men and women, visit www.lafont.comJG
Exciting eyewear options include electrifying possibilities in materials, colours and design. Unusual and traditional materials fosters fashion independence, and blended with originality and the unexpected – creates unique designs. ROLF Spectacles – whose luxurious frames are handcrafted in the stunning surroundings of the Austrian Tyrol – specialises in elegant, natural wood designs, and Tigre 205 (above) has just won the V. Award for this frame at the HKTDC exhibition. The smart panto design in walnut burl, from the new Excellence Collection – features two-tone styling, with an elaborate and distinctive finish. State-of-the-art production technologies are the basis for these sophisticated designs, with meticulously executed details. www.rolf-spectacles.com
Surgical steel and iconic Italian textiles in black unite in HAPTER’S model MO2M, which is part of the Icons Collection. Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti – who love and respect mountain challenges – have designed a handsome frame with a dominant bridge, reflecting a retro mountain look – that creates an expressive statement. The frame (above photo) is displayed in the Italian based Studio Hapteria – and is featured on a custom-made unit. This original display piece is fabricated from recovered construction iron, and 18th Century local wood, treated with a secret homemade blend of water colours, sand and oxides. More on HAPTER’S imaginative Icons Collection at www.hapter.it
German designer Daniel Benner enjoys creating frame designs with individuality and uniqueness. The collections are handcrafted in Germany, with artisan precision and quality. The latest from Benner Eyewear includes bold shapes in stainless steel and acetate, in equally striking colours. Edgy style is evident in Cosmo Duo 10 in red and Havana. Benner Eyewear also has distinctive frame designs for woman – so check out www.bennereyeweardesign.comJG
Acetate is a beautiful, flexible material with numerous qualities that can be styled into elegant, unique eyewear. The material is lustrous; the colour potential is astounding; and acetate is so comfortable to wear. This versatile material for eyewear is a favourite for designers – and spectacle wearers. Vera Wang has launched a glamorous, luxurious Capsule Collection that combines bold shapes, graceful symmetry, and meticulous artistic evolution – interpreted by Vera’s inspiration from fine art, sculpture, and architecture. Nomi (above) in back acetate is crafted into a seductive cat-eye shape, and adorned with chunky Swarovski crystals. www.kenmarkoptical.com
The flexibility of acetate highlights intensive colours, so that they are rich and robust. Anna in shocking pink is a striking example – designed by Tim Van Steenbergen for theo, and characterised by a strong, voluminous shape. Contrasting coloured temples ensure additional beauty. www.theo.be
Limited Edition fabric prints in stunning colours and designs feature in the just-released 2015/2016 Summer in Australia Collection by Jono Hennessy. Style 8402 is a stripy melange of elegant acetate colours to highlight summer fashions under Australian sun, and other global balmy ports-of-call. www.jonohennessy.com
Shine from Face à Face Paris features a chic two-tone colour combination in acetate. Marine blue with a dash of lime fluorescent on the temples give this design a special radiance. The exaggerated cat-eye shape merges a touch of vintage with modern styling. www.faceaface-paris.comJG
Independent eyewear design fair Copenhagen Specs announces a growing roster of innovative frame companies attending their Danish event in March 2016. New exhibitors include Vinylize by Tipton, ProDesign, Falvin Eyewear and Etnia Barcelona, alongside annual show attendees from Scandinavia and further afield.
Trade fair director Morten Gammelmark told Eyestylist: “Copenhagen Specs is Scandinavia’s independent eyewear fair, where inspiration and creativity are the key words. With over 135 brands like LINDBERG, Ørgreen, MYKITA, theo, Caroline Abram, Linda Farrow and Tom Ford it is an opportunity to get inspired and see new trends, with focus on the product and a great, friendly atmosphere.”
2016 sees the third edition of the Danish fair, which takes place at the Lokomotivvaerkstedet, an inspiring historic building (formerly used for repairing trains) located close to the city centre.
Gammelmark adds: “The fact that Copenhagen is a mecca for design enthusiasts out there attracts an incredible audience to the show. Our Danish design history with names such as Børge Mogensen, Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner or LINDBERG creates a special context for visitors. Danish design is renowned all over the world for its clean lines and appreciation of high quality materials – tendencies that are also of the essence in contemporary design and international fine eyewear.”
When autumn and winter chill begins to set in, it’s time to think about sunny destinations. Visions of turquoise waters, soft sands and warm temperatures are very alluring. So are sunglasses that lift the spirits, and provide eye protection from harsh sun rays, while bringing resort chic to stylish beach and evening wear. Here are some exciting collections!
Anna-Karin Karlsson draws on British history and her own Swedish heritage with The Queen – Mourning Lace (above) a celebration of both Alexander McQueen and Queen Victoria. The elaborate design exemplifies Karlsson’s reputation as the pacesetter of memorable and fabulous sunglasses. Her Swedish ancestors were hair jewellery artisans who created mourning pieces for Queen Victoria. Cotton cased acetate with a lace print, and the metal moth temple décor are made especially for the Anna-Karin Karlsson collection. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Roland Mouret’s fashion designs are coveted by women for their purity of design, sensuous draping and soft flow, which further compliments his beautiful resort fashions. Mouret’s sunglass collection is exquisitely orchestrated in smooth acetate, including Groucho in black, with refined temple details. More on Roland Mouret at www.rolandmouret.com
Aviator shapes are expressed in numerous variations, and among the most stylish is Zero 10 from Finest Seven in London. The exaggerated silhouette, sleek double bridge, and flattering Zeiss lilac lenses resonates fine, contemporary artisan craftsmanship. www.finestseven.com
Limited Edition en Plein Soleil from Leisure Society includes timeless designs by Shane Baum. The Tilman is a handsome optical frame that features clip-on sun lenses, with hand-enamelled crossbar details. www.leisure-society.com JG
Mondelliani’s printed sunglasses created with textile expert John Robshaw took a trip to India with the designer last month, for a shoot that will launch for the Spring/Summer 16 collections. Robshaw uses Indian patterns, colours and block-printing methods in his collections, which now extend to bedding, fashion and furniture.
The six sunglass models, worn by local men in the photographs, include Kadena in two colourways reflecting the rich textiles typical of Robshaw’s mainline collections…choose from clear amber or amber with an exotic animal print effect.
Robshaw, who studied fine arts at Pratt and traditional block printing in China, has joined forces with Italian sunglass company Mondelliani to create a special edition that perfectly encapsulates the vitality and colour of his vibrant artisan-inspired prints. Fitted with high-quality lenses for 100% UV protection, the frames are available online at www.johnrobshaw.com. Daring and elegant, says the designer. For more details on Mondelliani, visit www.mondelliani.itCN
Zoobug London – the quality specialist children’s eyewear brand – has received two prestigious accolades from Junior Design Awards. A delightfully fun and striking design by Zoobug – SqFarer Polarised Sunglasses – won the Best Travel Product for Children. The award-winning frame in navy and white stripe (above) is specially designed for infants, and fitted with a surgical grade silicon saddle.
Zoobug also won Highly Commended in the Best Accessories Brand Category. Founder, Director and Ophthalmologist Dr. Julie Diem Le noted: “We are honoured to achieve official recognition in not one but two categories.” The Junior Design Awards are part of Juniormagazine.co.uk – the leading family, lifestyle, and parenting website in the UK.
Since Dr. Le created the brand in 2006, Zoobug’s beautifully crafted eyewear for children in safe materials, and gorgeous styles and colours, has won the approval of children and parents. In 2008, Zoobug London was awarded the “Oscar” of the eyewear world – the SILMO D’Or, an international industry citation. Congratulations to Zoobug London from Eyestylist! www.zoobug.comJG
Frames in clear, transparent acetate enhance eyewear optics with inspiration that embrace an element of the 1950’s – and infused with modern engineering guidelines. Both optical and sunglass designs feature distinctive styling and contours, with an aura of quiet elegance. The cat-eye shape from Pollipo’ (above) is crafted in smooth hand polished ultra-transparent crystal, and features tiny rhinestones and metal pins embedded on the frame front. Handmade in Italy, designer Paola Costantini says that No. 557 is perfect for “creative faces!” www.pollipocchiali.it
Christian Mascré at Vue DC beautifully balances retro and crystal in POP. The unique shape is a Limited Edition produced in France, and the blue lenses add glamour to this striking design. The new POP styles are also available with rich colour intensity and a marbling effect. More info at www.vuedc.fr
Desirable crystal eyewear is classically expressed at Lafont Paris with Recit. Vintage echoes are evident, when harmoniously combined with an ultra-thin silhouette, which is particularly prevalent in optical designs. Fine crafting and precise details further enhance Recit in quality crystal acetate. www.lafont.com
Original Penguin has launched The Clifford in two-tone custom acetate, and men will appreciate both the tradition and modern elements in this optical creation – with its uncluttered free-flow design. More details about the new vintage inspired collection by Original Penguin at www.kenmarkoptical.com JG
New from the British luxury label is Zero 11, a clean, minimal aviator shape with striking proportions and fashion-forward lens, designed by Jesse Stephens. Colours are in tune with the high quality aspect of the design. A grey graduated lens matches the sheen of the metal frame itself in this example, while other colour combinations include gold with a graduated brown lens and gold with a baby blue mirrored lens. Attention to form and craft, typical of Stephens’ work, is perfectly illustrated in a design that reinterprets a classic with dramatic aesthetics and a comfortable fit. www.finestseven.comCN
The latest collection by Orgreen in Denmark includes slim, modern shapes for women, particularly suited for smaller faces. Crafted in lightweight titanium, unexpected colours of matt navy blue with vibrant coral outlining the upper and lower frame rim, and the interior, gives this design called Hannah a special style splash. More information at www.orgreenoptics.JG
The successful Musicians collection designed by Oliviero Zanon at Res/Rei has elegant new additions this season. Lustrous Mazzucchelli acetate in model Schubert, with its beautiful substance in tonal blues also features finely crafted temples and textured sides. The contemporary silhouette and distinctive end tips ensure perfect fit. Franz Schubert – who wore glasses – would approve! For history fans, the frames that the composer wore are on display at Schubert Gerburtshaus in Vienna. www.resrei.comJG
At Die Brillenmesse in Stuttgart, Eyestylist experienced the new collection launched earlier this year by Stefan Flatscher and Uwe Pinhammer – FHONE. The designers believe that “fashion inspires and evolves,” and model Bell is a striking example of modern minimalism and classic retro. Quality acetate is silhouetted into a chic little perfect panto shape, featuring sea-tones that resemble a symphony – where a sandy Caribbean beach meets the tropical ocean. For more information on this finely crafted collection, visit www.fhone.comJG
From the Vanguard Collection by Jacques Marie Mage, Hortense is named after the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoleon 1, Queen consort of Holland. Made in Italy, with proportions and a finish that are impeccably thought out, this luxurious wide rectangular design is created in 10mm block black and clear cellulose acetate with custom double laminated and thermoformed temple construction and a superb walnut wood insert. A 6 base mineral glass lens completes the picture of quality and attention to detail. Find out more about the Los Angeles based label at www.jacquesmariemage.comCN
Artfully crafted by independent designers who have a passion for fine materials, gorgeous colours, and technical directives celebrate eyewear. Visit REVIEWS for frame designs of distinction. Meet a Canadian designer, and discover a unique boutique in London. In CITY GUIDES a stunning fashion exhibition is reminiscence with history. It’s all on Eyestylist – beautiful, desirable eyewear and accessories.
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Collaborations have come into a new realm in the last months. Creative independent eyewear designers are uniting with terrific independent fashion partners, and raising the bar beyond the traditional eyewear collabs. One such union? Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson and Le Snob’s co-designers B. Akerlund and Robert Lussier, who have created a cool, covetable cat’s eye, with iconic elegance.
A rather gorgeous exaggerated upswept shape with round lens, the Black Swan sunglasses have flip-down front pieces, a concept that can be traced back to the lorgnettes and make-up glasses of the 1950s/60s. Pictured above: Model Guinevere by Tim Walker for Le Snob. Guinevere wears the new Black Swan shades.
Le Snob, set up by co-designers B. Akerlund, stylist, and Robert Lussier, formerly Creative Director at Vuitton and Dior, presents a street-sharp collection of haute utility, luxury leathers, canvas, eyewear and “gilded” gear, under the concept of “snobbility” – rhyming with mobility and nobility, proposing a superbly original take on innovative luxury. A relatively new entry in fashion, the brand is making a powerful debut in the fashion industry with the addition of big names such as Tim Walker shooting Guinevere Van Seenus in their latest campaign. Le Snob Black Swan sunglasses ($865) and other styles in the collection are available online at http://shop.lesnob.com/shop/le-black-swan CN
Her wardrobe – as well as her life – was the toast and talk of Paris. Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe (1860-1952) was the epitome of elegance, with an exquisite, enviable wardrobe, the focus of a stunning exhibition at Palais Galleria in Paris. She was an avid patron of the arts, promoting and encouraging James Whistler; Auguste Rodin and Gustave Moreau; and the ballet impresario Diaghilev and his Ballet Russes. The Countess was also a supporter of composer Gabriel Fauré, and his Pavane was premiered at a garden party in the Bois de Boulogne that she organised. In addition, she produced and promoted operas including Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and Twilight of the Gods.
Proust immortalised her for posterity as the Duchess of Guermantes in Proust’s novel A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time). The Countess captivated Parisian society with her tireless activities and her glorious wardrobe. She was a fascinating, slender figure in an alluring cloud of tulle, gauze, chiffon and feathers, or in her velvet coats and kimono jackets. The Palais Gallieria displays fifty dresses worn by the Countess, designed by grand couturiers including Fortuny, Worth, Lanvin and Babani.
There are evening and day dresses, coats, accessories, portraits, photographs and films. The exhibition is a marvellous invitation to go “in search of lost fashion”, and to become acquainted with the divine Countess, whose image was inescapably linked with her luxurious wardrobe. La Mode Retrouvée (FashionRegained) Dresses of Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe opens 7th November and continues until 20th March 2016. www.palaisgalliera.paris.frJG
Top image: Photographie de Otto, la comtesse Greffulhe dans une robe de bal, veers 1887 Copyright Otto/Galliera/Roger-Viollet
Mehran Baghaie in Vancouver Canada weaves tradition, art and history into his frame creations. Ideas and inspiration are inexorably linked with his Persian ancestry, and then beautifully balanced with trends of today’s style and technical directions. Baghaie and his wife Anisa are both opticians, and managed several shops in Vancouver, where they have lived since 1984.
However, as Baghaie explains, “I wanted to design something of my own, and my first SILMO was in 1999, and there were only a few independents. Now there are many more people gravitating towards micro brands, and people are looking for brands that cater to independent opticians.
“Materials that are personally fascinating to me include wood – which I started to use in 2004. I’m a real history buff, and I’m very fond of Native Arts, including Homa, a mystic bird from Persia, and a lion from the 17th Century. Also, I love gothic, and vintage cat-eyes have a special place in my heart, and a cat-eye is an uplift for the face.” Baghaie has a unique collection – Pussy Galore – devoted only to sleek cat-eye shapes in ravishing colours. Another favourite Baghaie material is stainless steel. His latest collection in the German crafted material is distinctly angular, with modern, clean design that brings a chic mystique to each style. Colours are contrasted with multi-layering, which results in rich intonations. Baghaie has added a special touch with a message included inside one temple. One phrase is ‘Oneness of Mankind’, and Baghaie reveals:”I was always moved by these words, and I wanted to share them by bringing hope of peace on earth.
“I like to create frames that I can relate to in my collections, which means carving beautiful fashion that recycles itself. My influences change by my surroundings and by world events.” Spectacle Eyeworks is sold throughout Europe, America and Canada. For more information on the collection, visit www.spec-eyeworks.comJG
“It’s lined with up-and-coming design stores,” says Hackney boy Keval, explaining the location of his inspirational glasses store – Specstacular – on Cheshire Street in Shoreditch, East London. “Hala and I opened the shop in May last year, but we’ve planned the business over a much longer period of around 7 years. I was driving across the country to source furniture and increase the vintage collection. I have been collecting vintage frames for around 20 years.” In the centre of the shop is a wooden cabinet featuring unusual eyewear exhibits including an “eye mask” that dates back to Roman times. Lining the walls of the shop are a selection of the frames – different types of vintage design, folding glasses, unusual safety eyewear and visors, and classics of all shapes and sizes. Pictured above: owners Keval and Hala at Specstacular, Shoreditch
The shop was introduced to Eyestylist by Rigards’ Ti Kwa, whose unique horn designs are now available here – aptly it’s the first stockist of the Rigards collection in London, and the only store in the UK that will have the exclusive Rigards x Royal Selangor designs in horn and pewter – coming soon.
Alongside Rigards are several other carefully selected new labels such as Michel Henau and Kuboraum, – Keval says the new ones have to be really interesting – “the wackier the better” – and the selection of incredible vintage designs, which dates back to the 40s, giving the shop its historic appeal. “We have become a destination for eyewear brands and designers; we are involved in all kinds of special TV and film projects including a documentary on the Royal Family and a Hong Kong-Chinese romantic film called ‘Triumph in the Skies”.
“Customising lenses is one of our specialities and this is an area where we seem to have caught the public’s imagination. We are able to play with colours and tints that you wouldn’t normally get, and we can fit them in frames that are not easily found,” explains Keval.
Planning for the future, the duo mention a new 15 piece collection of their own, coming in summer 2016. “I am working on it and I’d like to launch next year. We will start in acetate with a few combination styles. The aim will be to create a collection that fits with our specialism in vintage, with, of course emphasis on artisan quality and precision.” Further details at www.specstacular.londonCN