Are you ready for summer? Is summer ready for YOU? Swimsuit? Check! Sun cream? Check! Fabulous sunglasses – absolutely, double checked! Choices abound – and certain to make a striking statement at summer destinations is Kirk & Kirk’s vibrant frame – AMANDA – in Flame acrylic from the Kaleidoscope Collection. The luminosity of the acrylic emphasises the beauty of the shape and design. www.kirkandkirk.com
Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland combines artisan spectacle traditions with the latest high tech elements. Esty is a triumph in contemporary crafting with refined retro shaping. Hand polished acetate in subtle tones of marbled brown hues, and flat green lenses complete this chic accessory for summer holidays. www.gotti.ch
Soda Pop 1 is an exuberant design by Smoke X Mirrors – the exciting young company that crafts their individualistic frames in France. The voluminous acetate round shape glimmers with a pearl finish, and features a distinctive double nose bridge. Visit www.smokexmirrors.com for more exciting sun styles.
Strong, independent and creative women inspire Lucia Pasin’s latest eyewear designs at Lu.Pa Studio. Frieda Kahlo, Iris Apfel, Peggy Guggenheim and Grace Jones “are among my important muses,” says the Italian designer. GRACE is finely sculptured in a unique cat eye shape – one of Lucia’s favourite forms. The colours are gorgeous too. Discover additional Lu.Pa creations at www.lupastudio.it
Chic, lightweight, retro-glamour and beautiful colours tick all the fashion boxes for summer sunglasses at Blackfin. Key West is one of a stunning range of titanium designs, meticulously crafted in Italy. The panto shape and streamline features are sleek and elegant. www.blackfin.euJG
The Airman collection by TAVAT features high performance designs – the result of a special study of pilot’s needs for flying. The advanced technology frames provide amazing protection with Makrolon lenses that are specifically created with Melanin in the lens material – a substance that enhances optical definition. AM008S is a dashing stainless steel design with TAVAT’s signature bayonet temples, and glamorous blue lenses. www.tavat-eyewear.comJG
“Ottica Urbani started to produce eyewear in 1953, with a collection in cellulose acetate by Mazzucchelli 1849, handmade in Cadore,” explains Fosca Urbani, one of three siblings who run the eyewear business today.
“Today we have two shops in Venice – one at the Lido, by the Des Bains Hotel and one just steps away from Piazza San Marco. We are stocking brands like Kuboraum, JF Rey and BOZ as well as our own collection of handmade designs.” The business has a simple yet precise philosophy when it comes to its own line: to bring inspiration from the lively artistic and cultural context of Venice and the city’s magical beauty. The Urbani frames are made from water buffalo horn, wood, stainless steel and high-quality acetate with inserts made of fabric and – incredibly – Venetian glass. “This eyewear,” explains Fosca, “is the result of our creative experimentation; it is designed to “dress” the face, a symbol for a lively, colourful and optimistic personality.”
During our visit to the store, we saw the Pantos style worn by Sir Elton John, frames decorated with small animals, as well us some “limited edition” designs with a special connection to Venice.”Tondo Murano is the classic round dedicated to Le Corbusier inset with unique embedded Murano glass “millefiori” beads produced the famous Ercole Moretti company.”
Model Ice, on the other hand, is a statement design produced by hand with an uneven outer rim that is elegant, expressive and perfectly Venetian in spirit.
For further information about Ottica Urbani or to purchase their Venetian frames online, visit www.otticaurbani.comCN
During a recent preview of the “La Petite Lunette Rouge” LPLR collection, the heptagonal model Edison took my attention, but there are several other shapes in this new researched line from France that will be popular, especially those with the electric mirrored lens hues. The handmade sunglasses by La Petite Lunette Rouge bear a signature double bridge with a very sleek design in two colours (the red is part of the branding) that runs through the collections, both in stainless steel and acetate, trendy zero base flat lenses and ceramic nose pads. Circles, pantos and aviator shapes feature: the Edison has a quirky shape and unique finish (the acetate is highly polished) without being ostentatious and it’s very light, comfortable and stable on the face. Currently available at Marc Le Bihan, Paris and Colette, look out for the tiny red aviator logo. This collection is going to pop up in some cool optical stores very soon. www.lapetitelunetterouge.comCN
Whether you fancy contemporary or exaggerated sunglasses, this summer choices abound for men, women and children. Classical compositions and bold statement designs in varied materials, copious colour selections and wonderful shapes are all on offer. Babies need sun protection too, and the perfect, stylish solution is Super Sunglasses by Zoobug (above). The fun striped handmade acetate design features child-friendly factors with curled temple tips, flex hinges, and 100% UV polarised lenses. The innovative British brand has an extensive range of specialised sunnies for children up to 12 years of age – explore more at www.zoobug.com
Colin Redmond at Niloca in Australia has launched a new collection – Titanium Bigglesworth – that will eventually consist of twenty models. The first series is called Poly Facet and includes shapes with intriguing variations on rectangular, circle and hexagon forms. Teh (misspelling intended!) Fox is to celebrate the charismatic person who is president of Redmond’s sport club and cannot spell! “We decided to embrace the error,” says Redmond, “because it’s a nice analogy – when life isn’t perfect, but we love it anyway. So these glasses aren’t normal, but people love them!” Teh Fox – shown in Ready Red – is available in seven additional radiant colours. www.niloca.com
Free-spirited sunglasses highlight the designs at Parajumpers by Coppe + Sid. Parajumpers specialise in sporty outerwear, and the collaboration with Coppe + Sid unites two companies who are recognised for products with authenticity and style. The sunglass collection in acetate and metal includes Spitfire (above) that is among the finely tuned frames that are crafted in Italy, and feature polarised Base 2 flat lenses. Lightweight yet strong, Spitfire has a smart double bridge and green lenses. www.coppeandsid.itwww.parajumpers.it
TAVAT has a striking new campaign Discover your Destinations-elegant sunglasses with design simplicity, impeccable Italian crafting, and advanced technology. Inspired by the world of luxury travel, the frames incorporate modernity, comfort and ease. The Ex-Cam collection includes Gizmo (on the woman) and Edge 11 worn by the man. Definitely designs for the adventurous spirit in all of us! www.tavat-eyewear.com
American designer Vera Wang prefers pure lines in her iconic fashion designs, and the same principle applies to her chic eyewear. Zyl tortoiseshell and metal join harmoniously in Mierle, with a hint of vintage in this confident, strong shape. Discover more beautiful Vera Wang sunglasses at www.kenmarkoptical.comJG
Parisian brand Face à Face believes that frames should also be fun – designs to fashionably protect the eyes, but with a sense of humour too. The latest WOOW sunglasses reflect that philosophy with acetate designs in gorgeous colours, bold shapes and humorous names, including Super Sweet in luscious tones of purple and pink. An amusing touch is the name on the frame end tips. See more Super WOOW designs at www.wooweyewear.comJG
Summer is a magical season. Soft air, warm sunshine, leisurely days, fragrant flowers, and billowy fashions. Gorgeous sunglasses enhance fine sunny days and personal style, and the latest creations by international artisans offer inspirational variety in designs, colours and materials. Scandinavian excellence, beauty, luxury and technical innovation highlight LINDBERG’S style 8404 (above). The exquisitely crafted sunglasses in two-tone titanium feature slim-line temple details in a finely honed, skilful silhouette. www.lindberg.com
Other ravishing examples include Elkins from SALT. Optics – based in sun-blessed California – that combines pale powder acetate and black sand beta titanium temples, with a sleek titanium brow bar. French optician Emmanuelle Kirsch designed the elegant, luxurious glass case. www.saltoptics.comwww.emmanuellekirsch.com
Unique shapes intrigue eyewear designers, and Bus by French creator Christian Mascré at Vue dc makes a bold impression in finest quality acetate. Fusions of traditional and modern techniques authenticate the individuality of each handcrafted design. www.vuedc.com
Location near the British seaside is an inspiration for sunglasses by Tom Herrington at Rockoptika. Volume and superb shaping in crystal math acetate highlight Reprise. Herrington is a fan of classic eyewear shaping, enhanced with bold, expressive lines. Discover more striking frames by Rockoptika at www.rockoptika.comJG
A favourite retro ‘clubmaster’ shape, in new modern acetate colours paired with classical lens tones such as this retro bottle green. Filip is part of a collection that evokes the true essence of the American designer brand Zac Posen, timelessly stylish and glamorous with a modern sensibility and edge. The eyewear reflects the craftsmanship of handmade frames with a forward design aesthetic featuring custom acetates with rich golds tortoises, and hints of colour throughout. A collection to explore, at www.kenmarkoptical.com / www.zacposen.comCN
Eyewear artisan creators Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi at l.a. Eyeworks, and Blake Kuwahara have created a dynamic capsule collection. The Los Angeles based trio have designed a Limited Edition of eight frames that combine luxury, beautiful design, imaginative shapes, and vibrant colours. “We set out to distil and combine the essence of both of our brands as an adventure in optical alchemy,” says Gheradi.
Handcrafted in Japan, the expressive ophthalmic frames are called “Two Noons” and Two Rays.” Kuwahara noted: “We wanted the frames to exhibit harmony and tension between opposing shapes and ideas, blending the newness of my ‘frame within a frame’ construction techniques, and the history of l.a. Eyeworks’ timeless shapes and colours.”
An antique eyewear collection which includes 62 spectacles from Europe and China through the centuries will go on sale at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia later this month. The earliest example in the historic collection is from circa 1790, whilst the latest spectacles included date from the 1940s. A few items described as “very rare examples”, include opticians’ diagnostic and measuring tools. The collection will be available to view on the Voyager Press stand at Olympia from the 26th to 28th May 2016 and carries a price tag of £4,950.
Described as an unique opportunity to purchase a ready made collection of eyewear of the highest standard, it illustrates the history of spectacles from the late 1700s, through the 1800s and up to the mid-1900s. The collection covers the making of optical lenses and frames and the shifts in trends and mindsets towards eyewear over the centuries.
Highlights include some of the earliest tinted glasses and fold up spectacles, glasses which attached to the ear by a string, 10 pince-nez and a very rare pair of early 19th century surgeon’s magnifying glasses with large square lenses. For more information: www.voyager-press.comCN
Behind with an upgrade for summer? Our eye is on the classic sunglasses with a twist where overtones of iconic designs mix with modern details and luxury materials.
From Australia, AM Eyewear proposes instant beach style. The round statement model Chico has a double bridge, a quintessentially flattering round eye shape and milkwhite (pictured) acetate temples. Custom materials including Japanese titanium, leather and handmade acetate are a feature of their Salt on Skin 2016 Spring/Summer line. www.ameyewear.com
French label Vue DC unites French expertise in artisan production with creative excellence. Model Neo offers effortless elegance with a polished refinement that eyewear aficionados will appreciate. The honey shade is soft on pale complexions and very pretty with the subtle green vintage-feel lens. www.vuedc.com
Shapes are diverse this season – for men and women. Norwegian brand Karmoie has released the fine unisex silhouette – model Star – where the balance of old-school charm, a modern colour palette and a pale lens tint brings an up-to-the-minute finish to the design. Karmoie is a buy one give one company: they donate a pair of eyejusters for every pair of sunglasses sold. www.karmoie.com
For those who are passionate about a classical shape, Super Man 1 by Woow is a lovely modified option – fantastic colour ways give a fresh dynamic style that is attractive and easy to wear. www.wooweyewear.com CN
Refined and beautifully crafted, Claire Goldsmith’s optical collection mirrors the heart of the brand. Elegant shaping in quality materials and desirable colours ensure the frames have a distinctive pedigree. The latest release – Ellis – draws on contemporary lines in a luscious acetate colour duo of Seabed Green and Tortoiseshell. More on the latest optical news from CG at www.clairegoldsmith.comJG
Print designer Lisa King and Zanzan Eyewear have opened a stunning one stop summer shop in London’s Soho today, just in time for the soaring temperatures in the capital. The selection of specialist independent brands includes exclusive brightly coloured swimwear by Lisa King, handmade sunglasses from Zanzan, jewellery by Jiya, and a selection of travel items and vintage books and magazines. A capsule collection by iconic 80s label Bodymap includes beach separates, tees and totes.
Featured accessory labels: Lisa King Swimwear, Zanzan, Bodymap, July Stars, Conservatory Archives, Alighieri, Jiya, Cosmos by Petra Borner
Sunglasses can manifest a unique mystique. They can be contemporary, cool, mysterious, luxurious, elegant, fun – and quite alluring. As you plan your holiday destinations to sunny climes, Eyestylist presents smart selections to wear with stylish splendour, and provide sun protection for your eyes. Cream and white acetate fashioned into a glamorous design – Rêveur – by Matali Crasset (above) for theo triggers thoughts of sand and sea. The bold shape and beautifully classic colouration is certain to make a memorable impression. Discover more of the exciting theo plus Matali Crasset collection at www.theo.be
Tortoiseshell is a perennial, much-loved favourite for sunglasses, and Pollipo’ from Rome has a lovely interpretation. Style 605 is handcrafted in Italy in sandblasted tortoiseshell and Dalmazia grey acetate. Classically streamlined and chic. www.pollipocchiali.it
The latest, fabulous RIGARDS sun frame – RG0077 – derives much of its inspiration from happy childhood memories of manga, monsters and giant robots. Seductively curvy, artistic finesse is evident with the craftsmanship, detailing and smooth bevels. www.rigards.com
Leopard sunglasses created with fabric designed by Aboriginal artists results in a striking design from a special Limited Edition – only 150 pieces – by Jono Hennessy. The frames are constructed using a technique Jono Hennessy developed with Dr. Regina Rossi at Mazzucchelli over thirty years ago. Dynamic and dramatic! www.jonohennessy.comJG
“Boring is over” The three Danish friends who set up an eyewear brand in the late 1990s in the design capital Copenhagen continue to expand their titanium success story with the support of optical retailers worldwide. Henrik Ørgreen, CEO and Founder and Tobias Wandrup, the creative force behind the brand, met us at the busy Ørgreen store in Copenhagen earlier this year for an update on where the Danish independent eyewear business sees itself today. Photo above: Henrik Ørgreen, Tobias Wandrup and Gregers Fastrup.
“We started with sunglasses. I remember meeting Tobias in the park and planning to set up the first ever sunglass brand to come out of Scandinavia. And then we approached Gregers and there it was. Our first product came out in 1999.”
“The eyewear market has become competitive, complex and more serious. It is to our advantage that we entered the market as a new independent brand over 15 years ago – there were only probably around 5 or 10 brands then that were actually emerging. We have our established design, production and logistics, and customer services and that ensures we can just keep moving forward to produce the best titanium designs in the world….” Henrik Ørgreen
By 2001, the brand moved production to Japan, and with that came the interest in titanium. “At that time we were working in acetate, few people know that! We were really focused on good quality. Today, it’s the same. We have an even higher level of quality and detailing, but that has come because we are more experienced. What we also learnt today is that sometimes you do have to compromise to have the best functionality or the best quality – back then there was no compromise – our first frames were described by our Austrian factory at the time as the most complicated they had ever tried to make.”
Asked to describe the proudest moments so far, Henrik refers to an Ørgreen “classic” with open temple featuring two hinges per temple. He says the concept soon became reproduced by other companies, but the impact of being the innovator of this design ensured that they found their place on the map in terms of innovation and new ideas. “The second turning point was when we did sheet titanium in two-tone colour – where we had two different colours on the inside and outside of the frame. This was an inspired concept that came from looking at car details. We found it was exciting to do really strong colours on the inside, making the frame wearable without being overpowering. We worked closely with our Japanese producers on this; they put in a lot of technical know-how to make this work.” Today the two-tone effects remain a part of the brand’s image.
And the direction in 2016? “We are working with around 15 factories in Japan, each one with their own expertise. But we still have the original guy with us who worked on the innovations I’ve mentioned. We are all really proud about that.” Overall the label continues to respect its roots and its open-minded Danish mentality where simplicity of design is one of the essentials.
“Copenhagen is full of interesting people. We get inspired by people from all around the world who come here and this is important to us and a part of what we have created and continue to use as inspiration. It’s our lifestyle.”
Sunglasses have all the attributes of an “it” accessory – style, design and unique details. For this spring and summer the sunglass options are abundant. Luxury and glamour are keynote at Anna-Karin Karlsson. The Swedish designer chooses soft aqua acetate and stones for her dramatic, romantic design – Decadence. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Two-tone styling highlights classy, slim wooden sunglasses by ROLF. Handcrafted in Austria, Zephyr is from the ROLF excellence collection, and features an elaborate, distinctive finish, accentuating the beauty of two woods. www.rolf-spectacles.com
The trending Panto shape captures the imagination of Oliviero Zanon at Res/Rei. Leone – with a chic double bridge – is available in a range of beautiful colourations, including Tortoiseshell and white, and a tri-colour mix of royal blue, turquoise and orchid. www.resrei.com
Luminous Jade green acetate with subtle detailing compliments this lovely sunglass design – Movie 2 – by Face à Face Paris. The voluminous, sculpted shape is a confident sun style statement. www.faceaface.comJG