theo+Tim Van Steenbergen: Pictures at an Exhibition

Numerous and varied inspirations influence designers, and for Tim Van Steenbergen (above) his muses include music, opera and ballet. He has created costumes for Richard Wagner’s The Ring; La Scala in Milan; and the Staatsoper in Berlin, and now the Ballet Viaanderen. His latest foray is a personal interpretation of Limited Edition sunglasses based on the ballet masterpiece of Maurice Ravel –Pictures at an Exhibition. The composition is by Modest Mussorgsky, in an orchestration by Ravel, and is part of a triple bill performed by Ballet Viaanderen in Belgium.

Van Steenbergen shared with Eyestylist some of the background events for the Limited Edition glasses. “The idea was one big creative process,” said Van Steenbergen,”as when I started this project with Ballet Viaanderen, I wasn’t thinking about creating new frames. However, I discussed this with some colleagues, and realised the stage is dominated by five golden frames, and the story of a world in front of and behind the frames: to watch while being watched.

theo+Tim Van Steenbergen Limited Edition in black & gold - Pictures at an Exhibition
theo+Tim Van Steenbergen Limited Edition in black & gold – Pictures at an Exhibition

“That reminded me of frames. People are looking at you through the frame, and you look back at them. And just at that moment, theo asked me about creating a special Limited Edition! The main thing about the frames is ‘being watched.’¨ That’s why I chose the golden aspect – and it also refers to the golden frames onstage, which the dancers move through. With the golden mirrored lenses people look at you; but you don’t show them everything.”

The dance idiom in the ballet is tranquil and fluid, and translated into eyewear – this means bold forms in black, highlighted with golden edges in 24-carat gold. The reflective gold lenses are a reference to the interaction with the artist – or in this instance – the wearer. Six elegant models are available, wrapped in a cleaning cloth with a pattern from the costumes designed by Van Steenbergen for Pictures at an Exhibition, and stylishly packaged in a protective hard case. JG


Congratulations! Götti wins German Design Award 2017

Streamlined, cutting edge design and innovative functionality are essential to eyewear by Sven Götti (above). The internationally recognised Swiss brand has been named winner of the renowned German Design Award 2017 in the Lifestyle and Fashion category for the elegant sunglass design – Tamal. The frame is among the Spin & Stow 360° collection, that features patented rotating temples, enabling the frames to fold flat, so the glasses can be carried easily.

TAMAL - winner of the German Design Award 2017 for "Lifestyle and Fashion."
TAMAL – winner of the German Design Award 2017 for “Lifestyle and Fashion.”

The German Design Award has been recognising extraordinary design for over sixty years. Only projects that uniquely represent international design innovations and pioneering creativity are given this revered and respected tribute. The prize will be awarded in February 2017 at a gala event in Frankfurt. Congratulations Sven and the Götti team from Eyestylist! JG


Stuttgart shines! – Die Brillenmesse

Opticians from Stuttgart and surrounding regions visited the recent Die Brillenmesse event, and eagerly viewed the diverse, independent eyewear collections on display. Creativity, individuality, and sleek design captivated enthusiastic visitors attending the show. Co-organiser Nathanael Wenger commented: “The Hall of Legends at Motorworld was again a perfect location for the 4th edition of Die Brillenmesse in Stuttgart. About sixty brands presented the autumn news. The spectrum from Adrian Marwitz to Zen Barcelona was enormous, and reflected many styles and new concepts.

“We were pleased with the show in Stuttgart this year; over 140 shops visited the event in two days – a few less than last year. The good weather during the weekend, and the closure of one important highway were reasons why fewer opticians visited. Nevertheless, the format of this small and elegant show is very well established in the south of Germany.”


Patrik Jakobsen and Rainer Pawollek present the new Orgreen collection at Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart
Patrik Jakobsen and Rainer Pawollek present the new Orgreen collection at Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart

From the fashion perspective, co-organiser Dirk Geissmann added: “Fine rimmed metal frames are more and more visible in several collections. Andy Wolf even launched a rimless line! 3D frames in combination with a face scanner are the next big thing. You Mawo from Munich seems to be ahead in the race. Frames crafted in natural materials are still hot, especially if they are fine rimmed like Feb 31st. The Italian brand offers the lightest wood frames with 2mm thickness. Kaleos is a new fresh brand from Barcelona.

Silmo d'Or nominee Von Arkel from Switzerland display their elegant frames
Silmo d’Or nominee Von Arkel from Switzerland display their elegant frames

Geissmann continued: “A new addition to Die Brillenmesse this year was the Think Tank Seminars that brought impact – and visitors – to the show. With Think Tank we want to discuss relevant issues for our market. This includes digital change, new technologies, the process of designing glasses, and more. There are many changes in our industry, and it is important that independent opticians are ready for the future. We had more visitors for the new platform in Zurich – and we will make sure that German opticians hear about Think Tank.”

New chic designs by Martin & Martin in Germany
New chic designs by Martin & Martin in Germany

Wenger concluded: “The dates for 2017 are now established. The next stop for us is Cologne on 6-7 May 2017. We are really looking forward to this show. It will be the third time in the Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany, and we think we will have a breakthrough. Zurich is 15-16 October 2017, and Stuttgart on 28-29 October 2017. We moved both shows back because of the late date of SILMO next year. For us it is crucial that brands can show the autumn news.” JG

Top image left to right: Co-organiser Nathanael Wenger; designer Stefan Flegl Wood & Cotton; designer Adrian Marwitz Adrian Marwitz Eyewear; designer Didier Voirol Metal Art Concept; co-organiser Dirk Geissmann

Photos: All images for Eyestylist by Bruno Kickner – all rights reserved

Jen by Vue dc

Jen, from the French artisan label Vue dc, is one of the prettiest shapes I have seen for women this season. Not only does it represent a modern take on beautiful classic eyewear by proposing a very feminine version of a multi-sided shape, it also comes in an elegant colour palette, flattering (the red is soft and translucent) but not flashy. For Vue dc fans, this frame will represent an ideal balance of gorgeous artisan design and ease of wear with the narrow acetate frame. The hint of a glamorous gothic mood in the collection is also quite irresistible. All Vue dc frames are designed by Chris Mascré and handmade exclusively in France. CN

Waimea + Bryce by theo

The wonders of nature are frequently inspiration for eyewear designers. Theo tapped into amazing global nature reserves, and the result is the striking ‘Rock Formations’ collection. The distinctive jagged edge on the frames is reference to the rock formations. Another unique detail is that only the upper edge of the serrations is given a contrasting colour. Crafted in pure titanium with a multitude of handcrafting,  there are five different models…featured here are Waimea – influenced by Waimea Canyon State Park, in Kauai Hawaii (forefront), and Bryce, inspired by Bryce National Park in Utah, in America. Theo’s devotion to detail extends to the end tips that also have a slightly jagged edge, and forms an integral part of each design. JG

Designer sunglasses at neubau eyewear

Iconic shapes, a beautiful finish and well-defined details which appeal to a young generation – neubau eyewear presents its first sunglasses collection where the benefits of the iconic archival inspiration of its Austrian “mothership” brand Silhouette comes into its own. The collection proposes five individual designs, inspired by contemporary art, fashion and music, and reflecting the current zeitgeist in a refreshing and trendy way.

Diana by neubau eyewear
Diana by neubau eyewear

Their exceptionally high quality styling and comfortable wear makes these frames ideally suited to urban everyday needs. Technical competence meets an acute sense of aesthetics, with interesting architectural details (above, the Diana has a small eye-catching “indent” on either side of the frame front) as one special highlight of the collection. Each frame is coloured by hand, making every single pair of sunglasses a very individual companion.

Heinz by neubau
Heinz by neubau eyewear

Available in stores and online from the end of October. / CN

Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart

October sets into motion the holiday spirit with Canadian Thanksgiving, Columbus Day and Halloween. For eyewear fans, it’s time to experience and celebrate fine eyewear at Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart. With its wonderful location – Motor World – where classic car enthusiasts can view spectacular vintage cars, Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart also offers visitors the opportunity to discover unique eyewear in this spacious venue. From Adrian Marwitz to Zen Barcelona, independent designers will present their latest collections. The stellar lineup of exhibitors (see the complete list at highlights charismatic frames for both optical and sun wear.

Ic! berlin has a striking capsule collection of plotic and plotic-hybrid sunglasses in a smart “weekend blue.” Mountains and blue skies inspired Glacier (above) in 3D-printed design. Sunglasses that provide an outdoor style statement – and protection.

Vannes by Lafont Paris
Vannes by Lafont Paris

Round shapes have particular cache this season with new interpretations that are chic and alluring. Among Lafont’s new sunglass designs is Vannes, with a richly textured finish on the frame front.

Andy Wolf in Austria launches a new metal collection
Andy Wolf in Austria launches a new metal collection

Andy Wolf, the Austrian brand, will present their latest innovations in metal eyewear. The frames are handcrafted in a special factory in the Jura region of France. More on Andy Wolf’s new collection at

Bügel by Wood and Cotton
Bügel by Wood and Cotton

A father and son business has launched in Germany, with Gerhard and Stefan Flegl creating their own label. Wood and Cotton features natural materials, skilfully crafted in the Stuttgart region. Bügel highlights a contemporary shape combined with high tech elements, that includes a splice technique between the wood temple and the acetate end piece. Discover more at

Note the dates! Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart 15-16 October at Motor World JG


Swiss Success!

An enthusiastic, welcoming reception highlighted the recent Hall of Frames 2016 Zurich exhibition. International independent designers, captivating eyewear creations, and a new venue – Stage One Event and Convention Centre Zurich – resulted in a spacious and successful environment to view beautifully created eyewear.

Co-organiser Nathanael Wenger commented: “The Hall of Frames 2016 edition was a huge success for us as organisers. We changed the location and had more space for exhibitors, visitors and sponsors. Over sixty exhibitors participated, and approximately one hundred and sixty shops visited the show during both days. Sunday was very busy; Monday a little quieter.

Götti Switzerland - luxurious 3D frames
Götti Switzerland – luxurious 3D frames by Sven Götti

“We created a new platform called Hall of Frames-Think Tank. We invited eyewear experts to give a short speech. Themes were digital change, frame production, and the potential of 3D technology. The interest was high, and maybe one of the reasons why we had a record turnout of opticians. We are convinced that the seminars will become increasingly popular in the future.

Swiss newcomer: Ringsum by Christine Haussener
Swiss newcomer: Ringsum by Christine Haussener

“We had a nice presentation of Swiss brands at the show – three of them were absolute Newcomers. Baselli is a very elegant Swiss-made collection; Ringsum is a small acetate collection by Christine Haussener, a jewellery designer; and Einstoffen is a cool wood collection, whose origins are in fashion.

Blackfin: Fine Titanium crafted in Italy
Blackfin: Fine Titanium crafted in Italy

“The new location in the north of Zurich fits perfectly with the new concept of Hall of Frames, and there is even more space in which to grow.” Dates for the 2017 Hall of Frames Zurich will be announced shortly. More info at

Top photo left to right: Nathanael Wenger, co-organiser; Christine Haussener, designer Ringsum; Steffen Keil, co-organiser; Dirk Geissmann, co-oganiser; Sven Götti, designer Götti Switzerland; Eric Balzan, designer Hapter. Photo: Gilles Stüssi All Rights Reserved  JG

NVSBLE by Vinylize

As customers continue to crave something different, Vinylize is on the money with their latest release: a clear vinyl collection using vinyl in its purest form. When used for a frame, the effect of the material is a more subtle look than black, with a groove texture that is still evident but slightly less heavy. The six designs in the Limited Edition have been given thinner rims and sculpted temples, explained designer Zachary Tipton in an interview with Eyestylist, who also points out the gold hot foil stamp which was used instead of silver to accentuate the sand crystal hue. A sandblasted wire core brings texture to the temples.  Made in a workshop in Budapest, Vinylize frames have all the charm of a contemporary European hand-finished product, as well as being completely unique – “no two Vinylize are ever alike”. Just 480 NVSBLE frames will be available this autumn! CN