Pushing boundaries: Silmo Paris 2016

At the heart of the fast-paced, fast-expanding frames market, creative innovation is as strong as ever, with independent designers and makers taking new routes that require experimental techniques, new technology and, at times, several years’ research and development. Silmo Paris is an international platform for inspired new design concepts and this year’s show confirmed that leading directions in eyewear revolve around huge opportunities in high-tech alongside a return to artisan principles and impressively high standards in handcrafting.

The Italian label LGR is one of the Italian leaders in small production artisan-quality eyewear. Founder Luca Gnecchi Ruscone (above right in model Scorpio) incorporates attentive details and finishes, noteworthy not only for their refined aesthetics but also for comfort and fit – the mix of classic and directional statement eyewear provides something for everyone who appreciates good design. Look out for their new “hammered” effect finish in the metal range – “it’s a little gothic,” says Gnecchi Ruscone with a smile. Very delicate metal profiles with high bridges connect each lens gracefully. www.lgrworld.com

Cole in moss by Gotti Switzerland
Cole in moss by Gotti Switzerland

Gotti Switzerland, a brand that specialises in quality, technical precision and beautiful quality materials, launched their first 3d printed collection: Dimension, at the show last weekend. Sven Gotti told Eyestylist he has been working with his team on this line for around three years with the aim of providing the same levels of detail, finish, comfort and fit in the cutting-edge material that they have mastered in acetate, horn and titanium. Further information at www.gotti.ch

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RES/REI’s Oliviero Zanon continues on the artisan path with dedication to design finesse and innovative aesthetic detailing in Mazzucchelli acetate. The new frames with tiny perforated decoration are ingenious and make a wonderful addition to the core collection. www.resrei.com

Vera Wang capsule collection
Vera Wang capsule collection

With metal sunglasses booming in terms of prevalent trends, several directions were quickly identified at the Paris show: very fine profiles, continued attention on the zero base “flat” suns lenses, and all kinds of ideas for double bridges and lens shapes. The Vera Wang collection from Kenmark is a luxury capsule line that embodies these particular details with subtlety and flair. www.verawang.com / www.kenmarkoptical.com

Mondelliani's new Rigadritto collection
Mondelliani’s Rigadritto collection

Named after American actors – including Woody, Quentin, and Scarlet – the sunglasses in the Rigadritto collection are a first delightful step for the Rome-based brand Mondelliani towards an all metal construction. The frames are very light, easy to wear, and minimal in a design that speaks volumes on the face. www.mondelliani.it

Artisan expertise at Rigards
Artisan expertise at Rigards
Budri Eyewear: model Bernini
Budri Eyewear: model Bernini in precious Lapis Lazuli

Finally, collections using natural materials continue to expand with speed. The Silmo show had several highlights: Monoceros frames in buffalo horn, made from a single piece of horn, free from metal and plastic (www.monoceros.cc), Rigards’ buffalo horn creations by Ti Kwa, incorporating brilliant material mixes and exceptional textures, polished surfaces and coordinating colours – (www.rigards.com), and a new luxury eyewear collection in marble from the Italian Marble Inlay experts Budri, designed by Valerio Cometti in collaboration with Gianmarco Budri and a team of craftsmen. The collection has taken two years to come to fruition and includes marble, onyx and semi-precious stones. www.budri.com

Eyestylist looks forward to sharing further highlights, details and observations on the new collections in the months ahead.

Silmo Paris takes place from 6-9th October in 2017. For more details on the Silmo fair visit www.silmoparis.com CN