Contemporary Art in New York

An intriguing exhibition – featuring a group of Contemporary Artists –  opens Friday 1st April in New York City in trendy TriBeCa. Painting, sculpture, and installations will feature in the event, with contributions by individualistic, international artists. The cultural diversity of the participants brings fresh, original perspective to each presentation. The event is held in collaboration with shhhim ( which encourages and supports artists in promoting their work. Mixed-media artist and sculptor Constance Chabieres has been involved with art programmes for UNICEF in Asia and Africa. Her work is inspired by nature, colour, light, street style and people on the streets. Movement and rhythm highlight her creations, including the bronze sculpture above.

BORDERLESS by Sara Badr Schmidt
BORDERLESS by Sara Badr Schmidt

Swedish/Lebanese Sara Badr Schmidt is presenting a work that she began ten years ago and continues “as a work in progress”, says the Paris-based artist. The concept is to show the limits of borders, but also the enrichment that different cultures compound. Borderless – the title of the installation project – are photos printed on canvas and mounted on light boxes, with some enhanced by a sound track.

Painting by Lebanese/Jordanian artist Rafik Majzoub
Painting by Lebanese/Jordanian artist Rafik Majzoub

Among other artists exhibiting are Jerry Atkins, Sami Basbous, Rafik Majzoub and Brett Wallace. The exhibition continues through 18th April at 481 Washington Street, New York City 10013. Tel: +1 917 621 63 89. JG

Spectacles en Fourrures

Rule-breaking continues to add flavour across the catwalks; some say the appeal of the obscure and the fantastical is very much a part of a new mood of individualism. Popping out of this new wave, the ‘Spectacles en Fourrures’ are a study in unusual pairings, produced in a collaboration between Soho Bespoke and couture fur house, Corbin Paris – – and inspired by surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim’s Dejeuner en Fourrure (MoMA NYC) and Picasso’s love of all things fur trimmed.

Handmade in England, the design is available as a bespoke piece to order via Soho Bespoke’s Charlie Ingham, in a choice of exclusive materials including black Orylag. Ingham, who gave Eyestylist a preview of the new design at the Century Club last week, is the founder of London’s exclusive made-to-measure eyewear service – – producing handmade rare acetate and buffalo horn designs using traditional spectacle-making techniques.

For more information and to view the Soho Bespoke film about their British artisan production, visit CN

Sunny Seasonal Sunglasses

Creative liberty, technical expertise, beautiful materials and luscious colours feature prodigiously in eyewear collections. Shapes vary from moderate to voluminous – further enhancing  sunglasses. Blackfin’s S/S collection features clean, sculpted silhouettes, as seen in the above photo. The man wears Blackfin’s Weston BF760 in titanium with gold-mirrored lenses. Panto shaping highlights the women’s frames – Waterhouse BF743. The all-Italian production ensures the finest quality. Discover more from Blackfin at

Soda Pop by Smoke x Mirrors
Soda Pop by Smoke x Mirrors

Brilliant, bouncy and bold – Smoke x Mirrors unites layered acetates and stainless steel with a fun sunglass collection – Soda Pop. Vibrant colours and chic neutrals – such as the black and white sunglasses above – bring an alluring dimension to summer fashions. Additional details about Soda Pop at

DAN by Götti Switzerland
DAN by Götti Switzerland

Panto shaping – an eyewear highlight for Spring/Summer is elegantly expressed by Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland. Dan (above) delicately combines retro and modern contemporary styling in ultra-light titanium with flat lenses – sleek, stunning and streamlined. See all the Götti collection news at

TAFT by SALT. Optics
TAFT by SALT. Optics

California based eyewear brand SALT. has been shortlisted from the Opticians Award 2016 for TAFT (above) as Best Frame of the Year. Handcrafted in Japan, the double-bridge brings additional distinction  to a design with flair, beauty and harmony.

Eva by Vue dc
Eva by Vue dc

Originality and savoir-faire comprise designs by Christian Mascré and Yolande de Clerq. Retro vibrations, extraordinary production – all crafted in France – bring glamour and excellence to the frames. The frame front in Eva in vanilla acetate (above) is artfully shaped and looks fabulous on the face…also available in other great colours. JG

Fakoshima x Manish Arora

Clashing colour, bindu motifs and rotating lenses…thanks to a sizzling new collaboration between Russian eyewear brand Fakoshima and fashion designer Manish Arora, exotic details are flourishing for 2016. The limited edition launched this month includes five individual styles, inspired by the mood and themes of Arora’s clothing collection, playing with shapes referencing the classic round, aviator and iconic cat eye, in deliberately experimental yet masterful designs.

Drawing on diverse inspiration, including African culture, masks and cowboy ornaments, the result is a giddying mix of colourful frames with gold inlays, eye catching lens hues and truly dramatic forms.

Cat eye with “bindu” symbol
Aviator with rotating lens
Aviator with rotating lens
A round shape with snake eye slit to enhance the mask effect
Round shape with snake eye slit: enhancing the mask effect

Established in 2012, Fakoshima has achieved notoriety in the world of fashion and eyewear with its conceptual designs created with new technologies and traditional handcrafting. / CN

Smoke x Mirrors SM142

A series of statement sunnies by the US label Smoke x Mirrors plays with acetate and clever combinations of colour and shape for instant impact and fashion-led flair. The Sodapop collection includes five quirky shapes: model SM142 layers a circle over a modified softened triangle in silky acetate with an old-world 50s infused pattern similar to mother-of-pearl. Colour combinations offer a welcome solution for the transition into the warmer Spring days: as well as a pretty grey/white pairing (above), find exclusive tortoise with a bright pop of yellow and super soft pale pink with white. For full details visit CN

Especially for children

Contemporary shapes, appealing colours, materials with beauty and safety features keynote new designs for youngsters. Frames for children require precise construction in order to comfortably fit little faces, as well as be fashionable – important for today’s super-aware young set. British brand Zoobug has launched exciting, colourful new optical styles. ZB1020 in Navy (above) is rubber flex and the shape is ultra-flattering for young girls. The frame is also available in pretty pastels of Pink and Mint. Zoobug photo by Wanda Kujacz

Julija by LINDBERG
Julija by LINDBERG

Very grown up and sophisticated is LINDBERG’S titanium frame for children, which is hypoallergenic, lightweight, flexible and strong. Delicate cat-eye shaping in Julija (above) brings contemporary glamour to children’s eyewear.

TAC by Lafont Paris
TAC by Lafont Paris

Tortoiseshell is a favourite adult frame colour – and for children as well. Lafont Paris – with their speciality range of children’s frames – includes TAC (above) a smart tortoiseshell acetate design with contrasting sides in apple green. Detailed attention to fit is one of the many advantages of the frames.

Ghent by Red Kids Eyewear
Ghent by Red Kids Eyewear

Brilliant blue acetate is a striking colour for Ghent (above) from the lovely collection of kid’s frames by Red Kids Eyewear. The Netherlands brand has created a new hinge system that is easy to replace if youngsters are too rambunctious in the playground! Visit for more designs.

OMAN by JF Rey
OMAN by JF Rey

For children and young teenagers, OMAN (above) by JF Rey is equipped with the Just Adjust Concept – exclusive to the French company. The colourful round shape in glossy acetate is innovative, stylish, and looks super on young faces. JG



8381 by Jono Hennessy

The stunning beauty of Australian Botanical plants and flowers is the theme for the lovely new Limited Edition collection by Jono Hennessy. Flattering angularly sculpted shapes and expressive colours in acetate and metal influence the frames, as seen in style 8381 (above) in lush Lechenaultia Blue. Other gorgeous colours include Sturt Desert Pea and Outback Ochre. For more details on this special collection visit JG

Family optics in Munich

Hans Schneider and his daughter Sina gave us a warm welcome in Munich, on a cold snowy evening during the annual eyewear event Opti. Their family-run store, located close to the universities and prestigious art galleries opened at this very same address in October 1970, and, as Hans and his daughter explained, the whole interior, as it was then, has been preserved. “We have only needed to renovate the floor,” explained Sina. “My father had the interior furnished by an “optical” furniture specialist from Hanover (a rarity at that time!), according to his own taste and design brief.”

During the first two years’ of business, Scheider recalled that he sold Zeiss lenses, opera glasses and Rodenstock lenses and spectacles. It wasn’t until 1972 that he added some of the up-and-coming Italian eyewear labels; and as things began to change and the choice in collections grew, Schneider took a selection of fine eyewear designs including the German labels Cazal and Jil Sander – at that time sold directly by the design house itself – and, by the early 80s, Alain Mikli from France.

Brillen Schneider, Munich
Brillen Schneider, Munich
Client trying on frames at a Brillen Schneider open evening
Open evening for guests, Brillen Schneider

“Today, with the vast number of collections available, we are still seeking out the innovators and designers that show excellence, quality and detailing. We have selected items that my father and I both identify as individual and of good quality…we are working with brands like Lindberg, Oliver Peoples, PQ and Eyevan from Japan,” says Sina. “I love some of the more underground styles by Activist in Brooklyn. My father has an incredible appreciation of all things that are well made, using traditional techniques, but he is also known for recommending the very individual frames produced with a modern, more daring aesthetic. He has a real eye for which frame will suit a customer, young or old, and true expertise when it comes to finding something different. He’s inspirational.”

Brillen Schneider, Amalienstr. 33/32, 80799 Munich, Germany CN

Glasses Place / M. Scoop

From Japan, a new design piece called the Glasses Place by M. Scoop (above) caught our eye at Maison & Objet Paris – earlier this Spring.  Made from natural wood such as maple or cherry, with a sophisticated artisan finish, the design – which has a sturdy base and gently tapered top over which the spectacles are placed,  makes an ideal match for high-quality spectacles that deserve to be well looked after. A second product, 70G, with a square shape and smooth lining, has also just been released by the company, produced in a similar choice of natural wood finishes.

70g Case by M.SCOOP
70g Case by M.Scoop

M.Scoop creates a range of specialised storage products for small items and accessories such as glasses, mobile phones, pens and watches, making it easier to look after precious things safely at home, and to remember where they are! Find our more at CN

Iris in Paris

Iris Apfel – at the amazing age of ninety-four, is clearly a style icon with international influence and respect – a feat few women can claim. The New York resident – whose trademark is voluminous eyewear and extravagant attire –  has dazzled the fashion establishment with Iris in Paris at Le Bon Marché – the ultra chic “grand magasin” on the Left Bank. The fashion muse (pictured above with Selima) is portrayed in videos; an in-store exhibition inspired by her fashion exuberance; and fabulous, stylistic window scenes created by illustrator Eric Giriat.

The illustrations show Iris dressed in her inimitable, uniquely individualistic style attending the opera; on a bateau mouche; visiting a park; and enjoying a café. The fashion legend is also known for her quotes – that flow with words of wisdom from this nonagenarian – and include: “Fashion you can buy, but style you possess;” and “having fun is the best revenge.”

Uniquely Iris - sunglasses created by Selima Optique
Uniquely Iris – sunglasses created by Selima Optique

For the Iris celebration, Selima Optique has created oversized sunglasses – the Iris signature – for Le Bon Marché, in collaboration with Iris Apfel. Iris in Paris continues at Le Bon Marché through 16 April. JG

Die Brillenmesse Cologne

Passionate eyewear advocates Nathanaël Wenger and Dirk Geissmann host the second edition of Die Brillenmesse in the Rhine city on the 23rd-24th April. Approximately seventy international independent brands will showcase their collections at Dock One – an historical location built in 1851 with surroundings that offer classic industrial architecture.

Participants include Danish label Orgreen, who will present their finely crafted optical and sunglass collections, and British brand Claire Goldsmith, with innovative optical designs for men and women. In the stunning photo above – from the Hall of Frames 2016 campaign – the male model wears Claire Goldsmith Burton, and the woman Sommelier by Orgreen.

Mauritania by L.G.R. Rome
Mauritania by L.G.R. Rome

Dashing Italian style include frames by L.G.R from Rome. The latest collection by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone features Mauritania, a chic panto design in bold tortoiseshell acetate.

Lover 7 by Adrian Marwitz
Lover 7 by Adrian Marwitz

Loving Strangers is the theme for the refined Titanium collection by Adrian Marwitz. Lover 7 in loving bordeaux is gracefully sculpted in a modern classic silhouette.

Tradition by Lafont Paris
Tradition by Lafont Paris

Blue and its many variations is a favourite eyewear colour. Lafont Paris has released a new design – Tradition – in subtle blue tortoise acetate, with fine detailing and a special-fit nosepiece – distinctive and comfortable to wear.

Die Brillenmesse Köln is a wonderful opportunity to visit and leisurely experience and enjoy independent labels with beautifully crafted eyewear. Mark you calendars now! 23rd and 24th April at Dock One in Cologne. More information at JG




Eyewear Pioneer – Annette Hoffman

With her exceptional ‘eye’ for fashion and eyewear, in nineteen seventy-five, Annette Hoffman opened her boutique in the picturesque area of Montmartre in Paris. At that time, the concept of independent eyewear labels was relatively unknown, and Mme Hoffman was one of the first to support budding designers. Forty years on, independent brands have brought innovation, beauty and amazing designs to eyewear, and Les Créateurs d’Opta continues with their presentation of international independent eyewear creators.

Caroline Abram at Createurs d'Opta 40th Anniversary celebration
Caroline Abram at Createurs d’Opta 40th Anniversary celebration

Celebrations were held recently, and the dynamic Mme Hoffman has taken a step back from the business, and Erik Sudre (both seen above) is now CEO and Opta partner. Sudre commented: “The party was very happy and full of emotion. The theo team attended, including Wim Somers; Pascal Jaulent from Face à Face; Susanne Klemm and Etienne Fredriks from Suzy Glam; and Caroline Abram among others were also with us.”

Etienne Fredriks, Susanne Klemm, Elien Weytjens, Belgium trainee at Les Créateurs d'Opta, Celia Kemedji Opta optician
Etienne Fredriks, Susanne Klemm, Elien Weytjens, Belgium trainee at Les Créateurs d’Opta, Celia Kemedji Opta optician at the anniversary celebrations

Time – and success – has certainly validated Annette Hoffman’s concept for individualist eyewear that continues to grow and flourish, and the charming boutique remains an oasis for the best in independent brands. JG



Travels to Copenhagen

The 3rd edition of the Scandinavian trade event, Copenhagen Specs, organised by Morten Gammelmark, took place last weekend in the Lokomotivvaerkstedet on the outskirts of the Danish capital. A strong attendance from local and international exhibitors ensured a buzzing atmosphere and plenty of inspiration for buyers travelling to the show; we met Scandinavian opticians as well as British and Dutch optical retailers, who had made the trip to enjoy a weekend away in the design capital.

Hapter at Copenhagen Specs
Hapter from Italy, at Copenhagen Specs

Exhibiting for the first time in Denmark, Italian artisan label Hapter reported an “intense show” and a very warm welcome. The brand showed its new TXTL001 and RBBR001 designs which offer unique textured finishes exploring references to the mountains with interesting textiles and rubber materials worked into the frames.

Jackie by Salt Optics
Jackie by Salt Optics, US

We were impressed to see US brand SALT Optics in Copenhagen, exhibiting their extensive new line, with fine metal and acetate styles featured. Jackie is one of the models in the Spring/Summer collection – the legendary eyewear shape has been given a slight makeover, resulting in a very refined and soft, feminine, rectangular lens shape.

Lax by Dick Moby
Lax by Dick Moby, Netherlands

Sustainable brand Dick Moby from the Netherlands showed their M49 bio-acetate 100% biodegradable frames which feature CR39 lenses by Zeiss.

Falvin Eyewear
Falvin Eyewear featured diamond studded designs

Danish newcomer Falvin Eyewear was one of several Scandinavian representatives at the fair. The label is achieving rapid international recognition for its modern titanium frames, designed by jewellery designer Birgitte Falvin, and meticulously handcrafted in Japan.

Lindberg at Poul Stig Briller, Copenhagen
Lindberg at Poul Stig Briller, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen

The trip to Copenhagen also allowed us time to visit some of the city’s leading optical stores including the Orgreen flagship store – www.ø – and Optiker Poul Stig Briller in Frederiksberg and at Østergade 24 –

For more information about Copenhagen Specs, visit CN

Silver speaks

A new exhibition opened at the V&A this week entitled Silver Speaks: Idea to Object. Curated by Corinne Julius, it celebrates the exceptional level of creativity and skill in British silversmithing. Presenting new works by 18 members of the Contemporary British Silversmiths (CBS), the objective is to offer visitors a snapshot of the craft in Britain today encompassing designs which show a variety of techniques and applications, from the traditional to the cutting edge. Above: Two Bowls – Hand raised and fabricated in Sterling Silver by Juliette Bigley – “Two bowls represents two contrasting interpretations of the archetypal bowl form playing particularly with ideas of inside and outside and the space that lies between these two opposites.”

Silver Speaks: Idea to Object takes place until 31st January 2017, in the Silver Galleries, V&A, London. Silver Speaks: Idea to Object is part of an 11-month programme of events organised by CBS. Further information at and CN


Blue Noon by Lunettes Kollektion

Spotted at the Milan show: a favourite style at Berlin’s Lunettes Kollektion – Tabula Rasa – which comes in a new capsule collection focusing on engraved temples and etched lenses. Unique and mysterious, the decorative effects add a splash of street energy to a classic style, fitted with charming pale tinted lenses, on point but not over flashy. Subtle yet visible to the onlooker, the lens engravings are based on signs, arrows and geometries influenced by the architectural shapes of Marrakesh, and appear on all colour choices, from a warm pale yellow through to a copper effect mirror. Lunettes Kollektion is a small Berlin based label, known for its high-profile designer collaborations, that has allowed it to achieve a strong following in fashion circles in Germany and further afield. CN

Eyewear Canine Companions – Nelson

Continuing our Eyewear Canine Companion series, today we meet Nelson, the beloved companion of Alessandro De Lorenzo at Boudoir Boutique in Venice, Italy.

How did you and Nelson meet? “He was born in a dog pound where his mother was rescued, so Nelson has never been mistreated. He is a Spanish Greyhound and was four months old. This breed is called Galgo in Spain, and the dogs are used for the rabbit hunt there. When the hunting season is over, most of the dogs are abandoned or killed – about 50,000 to 65,00 per year. Nelson is very well behaved; he likes bigger and smaller dogs, as well as cats and children. He’s really not a hunter. He loves to run – especially with other dogs, but he has inherited – from me – some laziness, and he loves to sleep most of the day.

Nelson - His Royal Highness
Nelson – His Royal Highness

What are Nelson’s duties in your boutique? “Well..he is in charge of the red sofa. If he’s left alone for more than five minutes, he starts testing the products – for example – eye drops, or tastes some of the frames. He greets clients and he makes sure nobody’s carrying weapons in their bags. Some people come by the shop just for him, and every day, at least a dozen tourists take pictures of him from the window.”

Is it dinner time yet?
Is it dinner time yet?

Does Nelson travel with you? “Most of the time we walk – that is the purpose of living in Venice! We go on the vaporetto (water bus) only if we have to go to the Lido, where the beach is. Otherwise we take the tram or the regular bus to go to the Venice mainland, and he’s OK with that. When I visit my parents in Cadore – the eyewear district – I use my car. He hates cars and he knows exactly what they are. When we go jogging and we run near parked cars, he wants to make a big arch around them.”

Does Nelson go to restaurants and cafés with you? “I am able to take Nelson with me; most places know us and the restaurant owners allow him to enter. Nelson’s lovely…but…food is way too attractive for him, so it’s hard to teach him proper table behaviour. Maybe when he’s a bit older…now I leave him home if I have to go out for dinner.”

Nelson's favourite frames
Nelson’s favourite frames

“I would like to add that people consider rescue dogs, instead of professional breeders. There are associations that rescue greyhounds in Ireland, the United States and in Spain. In every country you can find pure breed dogs – and mixed ones, and cats – looking for adoption. They’ll be grateful to you.” JG



Spring Awakenings

Brilliant buds, blooms and blossoms enthusiastically await the arrival of Spring – and its palette of colours. Ideally this is also the time to refresh, enhance and colourise your personal accessories wardrobe. A great place to start is with eyewear that combines originality, fashion flair and savoir-faire. Spectacle Eyeworks in Vancouver, Canada features striking new designs in the Pussy Galore Collection. Volume and tri-colouration bring glamour to Roya – with its focused attention to detail, temple accents, and feline curves. More eyewear news from Spectacle Eyeworks at

Tatiana by Lafont Paris
Tatiana by Lafont Paris

Lafont Paris unveiled a lovely optical collection in Milan that spotlights favourite spring colours. Among the highlights is a contemporary classic design in Navy Blue with a perky red trim on the frame front. Lafont has captured with Tatiana the trend for rounded, soft shapes that are extremely flattering on the face.

Charmant - ZT19827
Charmant – ZT19827

Cutting edge technology, smart design, and innovative materials feature in the Charmant Z collection for men. The frames are very lightweight, with distinctive detailing, and clarity of line. Charmant ZT19827 exudes refined understatement.

Masahiro Maruyama - Style 0022
Masahiro Maruyama – Style 0022

Japanese designer Masahiro Maruyama creates frames that are fresh, articulate, and an intriguing mix of straight and round forms. The distinct design of style 0022 reflects striking colour and ingenuity. JG



Carrara frame by Morà Eyewear

The boom in exploring new materials brings lots of innovative proposals to eyewear, some fabulous, well researched and carefully developed. Among a pack of start-ups at the Milan fair last weekend, one Italian company, Morà, showed marble frames, lined with carbon fibre, to create an artisan product that requires complex high-tech processing and painstaking hand-finishing. The collection has been achieved thanks to expertise at Officine Polimata, Italian specialists in the field of precision engineering using numerical control technology. The frames undergo 35 industrial processing steps and 78 hand-finishing steps  – quite incredible really – and some designs include titanium and semi precious stones for a unique custom finish. Available from September 2016, the look and feel of these designs varies tremendously depending on the natural colour, striated patterns and texture of the marble or stone (above, an example of a frame in Carrara marble) from which they are created, and the decorative titanium inserts, finished in subtle tones of gold, palladium or gunmetal. CN

Icons and Innovators in Copenhagen

The Copenhagen fair this weekend promises a hand-picked selection of some of the best eyewear to hit 2016 from Scandinavia, Europe and the USA, exhibiting in the Lokomotivvaerksted, a historic venue with an industrial ambiance. looks forward to visiting the fair for the first time.

One of several French companies taking part in the show, Jean-François Rey will show Line 1985 (pictured above, style Officer 6565), a limited edition of glasses and sunglasses, which reference iconic models launched in 1985 via original drawings. Current manufacturing processes and materials bring a new interpretation, combining quality, comfort and lightness. Produced in a limited edition of 500 pieces per style, the models are released with an anniversary book featuring archive photographs of Joëlle and Jean-François Rey.

Caroline Abram
Model Penelope, in blue/gold by Caroline Abram

From Paris, young designer Caroline Abram will show her latest vibrant eyewear designs in a collection that embraces bold colour, glam shapes and luxurious material

Ysabel by Orgreen Optics

Locals Orgreen Optics will attend with their extensive new collection for 2016 and several exciting statement highlights including the XY and YX sunglasses. Their range of slick, flattering titanium shapes such as the Ysabel (above) provide an excellent balance of everday style with the classic quality and superior lightness of premium titanium.

Karmoie campaign 2016

From Norway, young couple Kristen and Lars Iversen travel to Copenhagen with their 2016 campaign and a collection of modern classics combining Scandinavian aesthetics and details from industrial design, always with a fresh twist such as unique understated wood look temple details. Find out more about Karmoie at

Copenhagen Specs takes place from 5th-6th March 2016. For more information, registration and a full list of the eyewear exhibitors, visit CN