Jacqueline de Ribes

Tall, elegant and aristocratic, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (born 1929) is recognised as one of the celebrated fashion personas of the 20th Century. Her statuesque silhouette was a designer’s dream; and style was in her genes – as a child de Ribes loved to play “dress up”…and carried this radiant imagination into adulthood.

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design,1983
Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design,1983

The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is staging an exhibition of designs from the  Countess’s opulent personal wardrobe, including dresses that she created for her own company from 1982-1995. She was consistently on The Best Dressed List and respected for her originality and superb style and manner.

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1985
Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1985

A multi-faceted woman, de Ribes was also a theatrical impresario, a TV producer, and she helped organise Museum and Charity events. Nature conservation and environmental protection were also among her pioneering projects. The exhibition also includes videos, photos and personal effects. Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style is a fascinating glimpse into the life and boundless style of a truly elegant woman. Continues until 21st February 2016. www.metmuseum.org JG

Photos: Top image: Jacqueline de Ribes 1955 by Richard Avedon The Richard Avedon Foundation Middle image: Photograph by Victor Skrebneski, Skrebneski Photograph 1983 Bottom image: Photography by David Lees, David Lees/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images 

Contemporary Classics

Eyewear with classical shaping remains a perennial favourite – and new variations bring further enhancement. Rectangular and panto silhouettes are highlighted with colour, and innovative finishes. Canadian  based designer Mehran Baghaie at Spectacle Eyeworks has launched a commanding men’s frame – Daniel (above) – in stainless steel with a textured finish – an ideal example of uniting tradition and trend. www.spec-eyeworks.com

Carmen's Birthday by l.a. Eyeworks
Carmen’s Birthday by l.a. Eyeworks

L.a. Eyeworks is always ready to party – and the California brand believes that your face deserves a celebration. So let the festivities and fiesta being with Carmen’s Birthday in colourful Jimmy Tortoise Scrapple with custom hand-painted scrolls on the brow – in Brick Red. The frame is acetate with metal brow accents. More eyewear party-pieces at www.laeyeworks.com

Cosmo 16 by Daniel Benner for Benner Eyewear
Cosmo 16 by Daniel Benner for Benner Eyewear

A design destined to be appreciated by both men and women; Daniel Benner’s Cosmo 16 is a sleek panto shape in stainless steel, in striking colours of Turquoise brown fade. See more of Benner’s new frames at www.benner-eyewear.com

The Marvin by Original Penguin
The Marvin by Original Penguin

Retro touches enhance The Marvin by Original Penguin – with a voluminous acetate shape and swoop detailing on the bridge.  The colours are gorgeous – including French Vanilla (shown) Tortoiseshell, Blue, Black and Green. For more info on new designs by Original Penguin – visit www.kenmarkoptical.com JG

100% London: tomorrow’s trends

The show season is now in full swing. London will welcome optical companies and designers from far and wide at the third edition of 100% Optical, held at ExCel. Designers are preparing new collections for the seasons ahead, with focus on innovation, new technology, technical processes, colour and design. Trend highlights will include hot new colours – we’ll be expecting more interior design inspired metallics, and a rise in light, delicate pastel tones. The delightful coral featured in the Kaleidoscope Collection by Kirk & Kirk is a good example of this direction – www.kirkandkirk.com. A soft focus, summed up by new caramels,nude tones and cappuccino hues, offers a fresh colour story that we can expect to be a lasting one, with its chic, ultra-flattering look for natural skin tones.

Pantos by Tavat
Exclusive preview: SoupCan Acetate by Tavat

With our eye on the new arrivals and up-and-coming talent, 100% Optical promises a good line-up of international newcomers this year, including brands like Smoke x Mirrors, Fakoshima and Tavat Eyewear, who have a new lightweight acetate version of their eye-catching SoupCan design launching at the show – www.tavat-eyewear.com.

Super Ego1 by Woow
Super Ego1 by Woow Eyewear

Trends in colour combinations will be a key topic, brightening up classic shapes or avant garde silhouettes with a dash of something unexpected. Labels like Woow Eyewear from Paris – a 2-year old design brand by Architectures (Face à Face), show the fun opportunities of multicoloured eyewear geared to a young generation who increasingly expect fashion-driven trends and idiosyncratic details, here in the form of little messages or words written at the end of the temples or on the lining of each design. www.wooweyewear.com

Carter Bond 9181
Carter Bond 9181

From even further afield, Australia’s Jono Hennessy, now widely available in leading optical boutiques in the UK, will show bright combinations of wood-look with punchy blocked colour (Carter Bond) and textile embellished eyewear (Jono Hennessy) that sum up a widespread desire among the independents to shake up the classic looks with striking colours and beautifully attentive finishing. www.jonohennessy.com / www.carterbond.com

100% Optical is a trade fair for the optical sector. The exhibition takes place from 6th to 8th February 2016 at London’s ExCel. www.100percentoptical.com CN

CC2A by Cabrio Eyewear

From Hoet in Belgium, Cabrio’s CC2A has a striking fine mesh detail on the top of the front – personalised in luxurious gold or silver. The Cabrio collection’s CC line was launched in 2015, developed in a collaboration between designer Bieke Hoet and Materialise, the Belgian specialists in 3D printing. For this latest collection, Materialise employs a special 3-maticSTL software which can apply the advanced textures to the sides of the designs. In keeping with the philosophy behind the existing 3D-printed Cabrio collection, the new CC models, of which CC2A is a fine example, combine performance, comfort, and aesthetics for eyewear that is classic in its elegant design and cutting-edge in its production. The luxury feel of these 3D styles is impressive. www.cabrio-eyewear.eu CN

Wilde Store, Colombia

The Barcelona brand Wilde Sunglasses announces a new showroom in Medellin, Colombia, following the success of its independent label in the Catalan city of Barcelona. The new retail space is similar to its bijoux boutique on Calle Avinyo, behind Placa Reial and the Ramblas. The retro-modern design of the collection, inspired by earlier decades, has established the artisan label as one of Barcelona’ s most popular home-grown independent sunglass labels, and it is becoming increasingly sought after outside Spain.

Wilde Showroom
Wilde in Colombia

Designed by the Wilde team, the space in Medellin becomes the first international outlet for the brand showing the entire collection for the first time in Colombia. www.wildewebstore.com CN

First impressions from Munich

Opti has impressed with a very wide selection of specialist eyewear labels and busy stands and aisles for an optimistic start to the year. The short journey to Munich from other parts of Europe remains a big draw for many optical retailers who see the post-Xmas show as an ideal way to kick off their new year buying; visitors we met had also travelled from the USA, Japan and the Middle East.

Independent designers attended in force. Leading trends (and there are many we will look at in the months ahead) included a progression in high-tech and 3d design, and continued developments in sustainable production and eco materials. Colours were bold but there is also a sign of more natural, gentle tones appearing again, combined in sensitive, understated ways, as well as some colour schemes linked to the design world: copper is one that popped up several times when we were talking about autumn/winter 16/17.

Among the young exhibitors were a number of Scandinavian designers, including E&E Glasses, Monkey Glasses, Falvin Eyewear and the independent label Karmoie, a Norwegian brand who have specialised in frames created in Mazzucchelli’s quality sustainable M49 material. Designers Kirsten and Lars Iversen launched their 2016 campaign at the fair – pictured above – and showed a collection that is about simple, flattering aesthetics inspired by the nostalgic elegance of vintage styles. www.karmoie.com

Mimosa by RES/REI
Mimosa by RES/REI

RES/REI from Italy illustrates the continued attention to detail and hand-finishing in quality acetate. A close look at new models including Mimosa (above) exhibited the brand’s genuine dedication to artisan design, originality and clever colouration  – very pretty marbling and elegant combinations were beautifully represented by the label. www.resrei.com

ic! berlin
ic! berlin x David Tomaszewski

Collaborations continue to be an important area for creative exchanges. One example: ic! berlin is working with David Tomaszewski, the fashion designer based in Berlin, and their latest design together, Grazyna has all the makings of an elegant designer icon. Selecting acetate for the first time, Tomaszewski worked closely with the ic! berlin design team to bring his signature architectural and graphical structures into a multifaceted three-dimensional frame. His inspiration – the eclectic colour world of the 1960s and 70s – lead him to caramel and havanna, accents which compliment the rich autumn tones and intense colour gradients found in the upcoming David Tomaszewski Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. www.ic-berlin.de

Recycled frame by Paper Style
Recycling trends:  Paper Style

Wood and paper products continue to arrive in the market. For recycled eyewear, Paper Style shows a refreshingly serious approach to fit and comfort alongside interesting aesthetics – including smart, textured surfaces – and collaborations with creatives from other fields such as Truus Brands in the “Artists by Paper Style” series. www.paper-style.it

Opti 2017 will return next year from 28th to 30th January 2017. More information is available at www.opi.de CN

The Shining by RVS Hand Made Eyewear

RVS takes a new direction for 2016 with The Shining, their first ever glossy collection since launching in 2007. All the Limited Edition frames in the new collection showcase laminated acetates with a custom look and unique colours and patterns.

Handmade with focus on originality and personality, the collection includes Annette, a dramatic, asymmetrical design, pictured in confetti and black with a delicate purple fade lens. Tthe styles are limited to a production of just 100 pieces for each colour and bear the usual traits of an RVS frame such as high-quality “0” base anti glare, scratch resistant lenses and signature handpainted red hinge screws.

The Shining collection is launching exclusively via the RVS web store and will be available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus from February. The collection will be stocked subsequently in selected eyewear boutiques worldwide through 2016.  More details available at www.rvseyewear.com CN

8322 by Jono Hennessy

Claude Monet’s beautiful, lush gardens are the inspiration for a vivacious design by Jono Hennessy. The modern classic shape is blooming with Monet colours – reminiscent of his gorgeous gardens and a glorious summer day. Quality acetate embellishes the tonal radiance of the colours. More news about the latest designs from the Australian brand at www.jonohennessy.com JG

Countdown to Opti-Munich

A premier eyewear event of 2016 opens on Friday in Munich, and visitors from across the globe, will be heading to Germany. Presentations include quality, innovative eyewear designs from international creators. Silhouette showcases their collections, including the featherweight Titan Accent designs (above). Sophisticated, slim and refined, the frames are culminations of years of research by the Austrian brand. www.silhouette.com

Lover No. 6 in Loving Blue by Adrian Martwitz
Lover No. 6 in Loving Blue by Adrian Martwitz

Adrian Marwitz launches his beautiful Loving Strangers in Munich. “We all need dreams,” says the German designer, “that”s the thinking behind Loving Strangers.” Lover No 6 in exquisite Loving Blue is handcrafted in Adrian’s favourite material – Titanium. www.adrianmartitz.com

Burton by Claire Goldsmith
Burton by Claire Goldsmith

Experience, skilled workmanship and beautiful materials highlight the Claire Goldsmith Optical Collection. A new design will preview in Munich – the superbly crafted Burton, which is available in wonderful colours including Tortoise Green (featured) Indigo, Matte Dark Tortoiseshell, Tortoise blue and Matte Black. Visit www.olivergoldsmith.com to see more luxurious frames from this distinguished British brand. www.olivergoldsmith.com

Firenze by Coppe & Sid
Firenze by Coppe & Sid

Timeless design, Italian artisan elements, and quality materials inhabit the frames at Eye Design Club. Coppe & Sid also have a propensity for history, and Italian Bridges are the inspiration for frames they will show in Munich. Firenze in acetate and metal is available in colourations reflecting the warm, sunny spirit os Italy.www.eyedesignclub.com

OPTI-Munich: Exceptional Eyewear

Enthusiasm and anticipation mounts as the 2016 edition of OPTI-Munich opens on Friday this week. The impact of eyewear and its global perspective is evident with thirty-seven countries participating. Choice and creativity will feature abundantly! ROLF, who produces artisan eyewear in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps, sets the pace with Flaminia 202 (above) from the “excellence collection.” Beautiful, natural woods – eucalyptus and silver oak – ensure a distinctive frame for women with feminine contours and sophistication. www.rolf-spectacles.com

Tamal by Sven Götti Götti Switzerland
Tamal by Sven Götti Götti Switzerland

Retro and modern concepts elegantly unite in Sven Götti’s Tamal ultra-light sunglasses. The authentic round panto shape is orchestrated in Titanium, with half-mirrored lenses – cool and chic! Tamal also features the patented SPIN & STOW technology developed by Götti Switzerland, enabling the frames to be folded and stowed away with a simple twist. www.gotti.ch

Togo by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone L.G.R.
Togo by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone L.G.R.

Togo – by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone at L.G.R. – merges past and present, with an intriguing design in metal and acetate. Handcrafted in Italy, the sunglasses have contemporary, flat zero-base tempered mineral lenses, and – the trend to note – a perfectly round shape. Available in luxurious colours of Matt Black with gold mirror lenses (shown) Silver/Black, and Havana with Green Vintage lenses. www.lgrworld.com

Optical D055 by Eric Balzan HAPTER
Optical D055 by Eric Balzan HAPTER

Retro, round and combining the past with haute-technology enriches eyewear design. Eric Balzan at HAPTER launches a new model at OPTI-Munich – Optical D055  – with a sleek panto-shape and lightweight nylor construction. Italian fabric in beautiful colourations from the prestigious Cerruti 1881 Mills feature on the top bar and temples. Classic and modern! www.hapter.it

SUPER by British Brand Zoobug
SUPER by British Brand Zoobug

Fun, colourful, and coveted shapes in striking colours is the fashion news from Zoobug for SS 2016. Kid’s needs and eye care are the primary consideration at Zoobug, and Super (above) features fine quality, polarised lenses with 100% UV protection. Find Zoobug and the trendy collection for children (optical and sunglasses) at OPTI-Munich at REM – stand C1.229 www.zoobug.com OPTI-Munich 15-17 January Fairground Messe Müchen www.opti.de JG

New Year – new looks

A New Year is a great time for fresh starts and fabulous new eyewear. Creative artisans ensure that beautiful, elegant and amazing frames bring style and originality to the forefront of eyewear. LINDBERG takes a daring approach to sunglasses with an avant-garde design with floating lenses – entirely unique and a speciality in the brand’s solar collection. Style 8403 showcases LINDBERG’s high performance, cut-out frame with exceptional quality and fine, customised craftsmanship. Apparent, Iconic luxury. The Danish brand will be exhibiting at OPTI-Munich 15-17 January. www.lindberg.com

Lady Bird Crystal Butterfly by Anna-Karin Karlsson
Lady Bird Crystal Butterfly by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Anna-Karin Karlsson launches the New Year with glamorous sunglasses and delicate handmade butterflies that are dipped in 24 Carat gold. The Swedish creator sculpts fine acetate into Lady Bird’s graceful curves, with the end tips also dipped in 24 Carat gold. Find more luxuruious frames from AKK at www.annakarinkarlsson.com

Hudson - Eyewear Individuality by Roland Mouret
Hudson – Eyewear Individuality by Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret brings a confident, masterstroke of design to Hudson – sunglasses with a sleek aviator shape – and a Tortoiseshell flat brow bar. The individuality of the design reflects the French designers’s approach to his stylish women’s wear collection. www.rolandmouret.com JG

Red Optical kids eyewear

Bas and Mirjam van Hensbergen – brother and sister – are the inspiring design duo behind the children’s collection Red Optical. “We work together, and we are good friends,” exclaims Mirjam. The Netherlands based team has been making fun, safe and fine quality designs for youngsters since 2008. “Red Optical Kids Eyewear was created because Bas and I sensed a lack of fashionable eyewear for kids at that time,” says Mirjam, “and we started designing and producing children’s frames purely by making what we like to see on kid’s faces.”

Norwich by Red Optical Kids Eyewear
Norwich by Red Optical Kids Eyewear

Bas adds: “Number One rule when designing frames in general is that fitting and measurements must be perfect. Next to that, we pay a lot of attention to the designs and colours for kids, and the quality of the materials. We use Mazzuchelli acetate in our frames. When you design children’s eyewear, you also have to remember kids can be rough, and will handle the frame with less care. So some designs are not that suitable for kids, like a nylor or rimless frame.”

Grown up colourations for youngsters in Maine by Red Optical
Grown up colourations for youngsters in Maine by Red Optical

Another important aspect of children’s eyewear is fashion and colour. “Nowadays, eyewear for kids is fashionable, and it is easier for parents to get their child to wear frames,” says Mirjam, “and children tend to go for bright, happy colours, like red, blue and pink. We also have basic colours in our collection – black, grey, Havana and Tortoiseshell. There is a tendency for those more mature colours, and we hear from opticians that parents like the ‘mature’ colours the most. Red Optical Kids Eyewear is sold globally, and we are delighted to have a very good and steady international business.” www.redoptical.com JG



Round returns

The round silhouette stays in the eyewear headlines for 2016. Whether minimal in metal or chic in acetate, new designs reference old ones with inventive details and alluring colour tones and combinations. Pollipò from Rome, in true Italian style, brings a chic form into an up-to-date context with a pretty pastel colour that’s stylish for Spring. www.pollipocchiali.it

PM 0005S from Pomellato Eyewear
PM 0005S from Pomellato Eyewear / Kering

Produced by Kering, the PM 0005S from jewellery label Pomellato, has a graceful modified round shape that pays its respects to vintage designs. A super shiny gold detail where the temple meets the front adds a new element of refinement to a shape and colour palette that is evocative of the 60s when the Pomellato label was first created by Pino Rabolini. www.kering.com

Blanca by ic! berlin
Blanca by ic! berlin

Blanca from the Berlin label ic! berlin expresses a new direction for high-quality metal sunglasses oozing with glamour and fashion finesse. The very very fine double bridge – with slim top bar – and the flat surfaces (frame and lenses) are a key look for the S/S season, here combined with an intensely bright lens hue – our favourite colour combination is this subtle silvery grey with sky blue graduated sun lenses. www.ic-berlin.de CN

Presenting in Germany

Germany’s Opti Munich show is fast approaching, a stage for international eyewear, creative designers, and emerging labels. Among the additions to the show this year, Opti will introduce !HOT, a dedicated area (located within Hall C1) highlighting hand-selected design talent and a new selection of labels that compliment the showcase of designs exhibited in the established YES! area (Hall C4). The fair attracts a large number of leading independent eyewear companies from Europe, Asia and the USA.

Orgreen Optics, the designer eyewear company from Copenhagen, returns to the show with their high quality titanium frames, and a campaign that pays tribute to late 70s and early 80s New Wave bands, featuring Nikolaj Hübbe (Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet) and Maja Krag (Unique Models) – pictured above. www.orgreenoptics.com

Zero 10 in lilac by Finest Seven
Zero 10 in lilac by Finest Seven

British luxury designers Finest Seven, led by Jesse Stevens, are to exhibit with their new metal collection for the first time – exquisitely light and elegant, with very narrow proportions and oversized lenses, the frames offer a superb balance of design quality and attentive finishing. www.finestseven.com

Alium k2 by Face a Face
Alium K2 by Face a Face

Face à Face continue their exciting work in aluminium, with a new series where comfort and style go hand in hand. Alium K, featuring two shapes, each in five colour combinations with be on show at the Fairground Messe Munchen,  alongside their new Alium sunglasses for men. www.faceaface-paris.com

New version of the Soupcan by Tavat
New version of the Soupcan by Tavat Eyewear

Tavat Eyewear confirm they will present new models under their ³SoupCan² Collection and ³All Acetate² versions for optical frames with clip on options. Also showing are newly released shapes in the metal/acetate SoupCan sunglasses range, with the striking “sandwich” frame construction (pictured above) – www.tavat-eyewear.com

Genie by Lafont
Genie by Lafont Paris

New editions from established French label Lafont Paris include the magical Genie, a reedition of the well-known ‘Jean Lafont’ 1980s classic with curved key hole bridge.  www.lafont.com

Opti Munich takes place from 15th to 17th January 2016 at Fairground Messe Munchen, www.opti.de. The event showcases some of the most famous eyewear labels alongside new and emerging international designers. CN


Samba by Lafont Paris

Creative director of the Paris brand, Thomas Lafont has caught our imagination with the adorable Samba sunglasses, a design enhanced with hair clips in the shape of bows, clipped into each temple (and removable, as required). Lafont continues to feature authentic Liberty prints embedded in acetate frames and the Samba’s statement bow shaped clips make a feature of the iconic floral fabric in several of the colourways available, perfectly coordinated with the laminated tri colour fronts. Launched at Silmo Paris 2015, expect to see the beautiful Samba hitting store shelves shortly. For more information about Lafont Paris, visit www.lafont.com CN