New for release in Milan this week are four outstanding cutting-edge optical shapes in the B Frame TwoLiner series at pq eyewear; these have caught our attention with their exciting palette of 60s pastel combinations and free-flowing futuristic shapes that derive from the 1960s maxi designs. The construction combines two parts – refined and slim compared to previous designs – connected at the temples using a clip system that does not require screws or metal parts. Known for its technical qualities, lightness, flexibility and unique 3D printed forms, the PQ collection is designed by Ron Arad, industrial designer, artist, architect and design innovator. www.pqeyewear.com CN
Strong, bold shapes feature prominently in eyewear collections, with frames that are powerful – but never overpowering. Frames are crafted into unique, edgy shapes, with key detailing, enabling the wearer to express their individual personality. Kirk & Kirk have added two new shapes to their exceptional Vivarium Collection, plus an enchanting new sterling silver and 9K gold animal pin – an English Springer Spaniel – the affectionate, loyal and gentle natured hunting dog. Huxley (above) in crystal Italian acrylic, is handmade in France, exudes style and is exceptionally lightweight. Kirk & Kirk are exhibiting in Milan, and will present both the Vivarium and The Kaleidoscope Collections. www.kirkandkirk.com
Vidal Erkohen at RVS Eyewear creates dynamic shapes, and Eli in contrasting tones of dark and sunny Havana, with blue lenses is a striking design. Eli is included in The Shining Collection – the first ever Limited Edition by RVS Eyewear. The frames contain laminated acetates to create a custom look, and the designs are the first glossy collection to be produced by RVS – matte eyewear has been their speciality since 2007. Production is limited to one hundred pieces for each colour of each model – custom crafted collector’s items. www.rvseyewear.com
“We love crazy,” says theo, – so bold, intrepid, and innovative is stunningly apparent with this brand. Belgian designer James van Vossel had a “crazy idea”, and his creative imagination resulted in theo+James:Plié.The eye-catcher in this bi-coloured frame is the end piece. Instead of attaching the end piece to the front by welding, the end piece is part of the front piece, cut from the same metal plate. First the end piece is bended to the front, then bended backwards. There are four different designs – Plooi (above) Pli, Piega and Plissado. They all mean “pleat” in Dutch, French, Italian and Portuguese respectively. More fun and imaginative frames by theo at www.theo.be
Textile designer John Robshaw has joined forces with Italian luxury eyewear brand Mondelliani to create vibrant, colourful sunglasses. As a college student, Robshaw spent a year in Rome and absorbed “la dolce vita” with great enthusiasm. So he was delighted to combine his love of textiles, and inspired Roman ingenuity into sunglasses with vitality, spirit, style and lavish colour. Devi in fresh spring green features a sunny print on the interior. See more colourful designs by Mondelliani for John Robshaw at www.mondelliani.it JG
Parisian brand Lafont’s boutique on Boulevard Raspail, a stone’s throw from Bon Marche, is instantly recognisable with its aubergine and dark green decor and artistic seasonal window displays. A 1970s painting of a tiger above the desk – with a glint in his eye – has come from the Lafont family’s private collection, creating a surprising focal point in the spacious modern interior where eyewear is displayed on elegant shelves.
Our most recent visit to the family-owned Parisian brand took in two Lafont addresses – 17 Boulevard Raspail, a large space with a high ceiling, chic and contemporary, and fitting for the area frequented by Parisian professionals, lawyers and politicians; and the historic “epi-centre” of the brand in Rue Vignon, charming and historic, more museum than boutique, dating back to 1923 (further details at https://www.eyestylist.com/2011/09/lafont-eyewear-paris-france-2/)
“My mother and father began to experiment with colour in eyewear as early as the 1970s,” explains Matthieu Lafont who meets me at Rue Vignon. “They were spraying the frames to apply colour at that time, and then they began to introduce fabric into the designs. They were really experimental for those times.”
Today the shops highlight the brand’s entire collections – classics such as Jupiter (above) set side by side with new designs, desirable re-editions, a gorgeous classical horn collection, and precious authentic vintage tortoise frames. Bespoke is also an important highlight at retail. “We see demand for bespoke frames in the stores, and this is an area that is increasingly relevant, it’s a part of our expertise,” explains Matthieu.
With four shops in Paris and one in Normandy, as well as optical stockists worldwide – some feature bespoke Lafont “corners” with similar colours and details as the Parisian stores themselves – the label shows no signs of slowing down in terms of creative drive and accomplished trendsetting designs and decorative applications. Part of the beauty of the collection remains its unique identity – and the expression of that through each design. “For our 2016 collection presentation at Mido,” explains Matthieu,” Thomas, artistic director, has worked on new colour combinations in acetate, metal or acetate with fabric. We will also present a new set of retro inspired products combining carbon fibre fronts and beta-titanium temples. A lot of work has been dedicated to the shapes, with new offers in terms of sizing and proportions.” For more information about Lafont Paris and the Parisian stores visit www.lafont.com. Photography credit: Eyestylist.com CN
British Vogue Magazine – the arbiter of cutting-edge fashion – celebrates its 100th anniversary this year with a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Beauty and portrait photography are featured with over two hundred and eighty remarkable images from The Condé Nast archive.
Since 1916, British Vogue has continuously been at the forefront of communicating the latest in bon vivant style and elegance, as well as narrating the lively arts and society. Vintage prints from the early twentieth century, photos from renowned fashion shoots, and unpublished works are brought together for an exhilarating retrospective of this iconic magazine.
The twentieth-century shaped the fashion landscape with amazing photographers – including Lee Miller, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn and Snowdon. Their works are included, along with celebrated photographers Mario Testino, Tim Walker, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts and David Bailey. Through the decades, British Vogue reported on the upcoming and creative talents of the time – that defined the century’s progression in fashion, style and social trends. From Henri Matisse to Francis Bacon; Lucian Freud; Marlene Dietrich; Lady Diana Cooper to Lady Diana Spencer; Fred Astaire to David Beckham; and fashion luminaries Christian Dior, Saint Laurent, and Alexander MeQueen, are just a few treasured experiences.
Vogue 100: A Century of Style is a memorable, imaginative journey through ten decades of exceptional photography capturing fashion, people and places with artistic style. Vogue 100: A Century of Style is at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 11 February – 22 May 2016 sponsored by Leon Max www.npg.org.uk JG
Top image: Kirsi Pyrhonen in Mongolia by Tim Walker, 2001 Copyright Tim Walker
Three exclusive new models from Volte Face Paris, the French brand by Fabienne Coudray-Meisel, express a detailed exploration of materials, namely acetate and metal, with work on texture, relief and colour. The simple shapes are easy-to-wear: in model Gotta, the colours selected define the shape of the brow, a lighter shade set behind the darker tone. Exhibiting at the Milan fair later this week, the Volte Face collection is made in France and Japan and is now widely available in over 15 countries worldwide. Find full details at www.volteface.com CN