Italian craftsmanship is long revered in fine accessories…often viewed as an art form. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone (above photo) – the creative force behind L.G.R – combines the tradition of superb workmanship with his deep love of and passion for Italy and Africa. These elements ensure eyewear with artistic flair, purity of line, and subtle elegance.
The latest collection of stunning eyewear designs for men and women includes expressive eyewear shapes with timeless chic.
The finest quality hand-polished materials in acetate and metals are transformed into sunglass and optical designs that are equally comfortable for city and country pursuits.
The enduring beauty of tortoiseshell and the interplay of subtle interpretations in neutral tones gives the frames distinctive finesse.
L.G.R eyewear designs are sold internationally in style savvy opticians and boutiques. The frames are also available in the smart, sophisticated, L.G.R boutique on Corso Garibaldi in Milan. Explore and experience the individualistic eyewear artistry of L.G.R at www.lgrworld.comJG
Eyewear from across the globe will find its way to London in January for 100% Optical, the UK’s premier optical event (for trade), now in its sixth year. The event is a showcase for new and established eyewear collections, as well as the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology – and takes place at ExCel exhibition centre in East London. The fast expanding independent eyewear design collections are represented each year by a selection of highly regarded companies including Andy Wolf, Tavat Eyewear, Silhouette and Francis Klein. Above: Tavat Eyewear returns to 100% in 2019: their collection continues to expand with striking designs in premium materials and a much praised and innovative ‘sandwich frame design’ called “SoupCan”. www.tavat-eyewear.com
FACE A FACE will bring chic colour to the London fair and new 2019 sunglasses with an audacious character in their interpretation of light and colour.
“Our new collection is all about exploring colours and the dynamic movement created by sculpting with light,” explains Pascal Jaulent, Head of Design at FACE A FACE. “Playful transparencies highlight the contrasts between being and not being, challenging the viewer and creating optical illusions.” www.faceaface-paris.com
Newcomers to the London event will include Lafont Paris, a label which has long been appreciated in the UK for its quality, elegance and design excellence. For those unfamiliar with Lafont, this Paris based company has an exciting history, originating in the 1920s. Their expertise continues to evolve with extraordinary creativity under the direction of brothers Matthieu and Thomas Lafont. www.lafont.com
Another notable addition to the London fair for January – and a must-see – is the Swiss label Von Arkel. Currently Von Arkel’s innovations and extraordinary design precision in the luxury eyewear segment is propelling the business quickly into new markets and the most exclusive optician’s stores, internationally. Their secret ingredient is there successful “marriage of eyewear manufacturing and Swiss watchmaking inspired hinges.” Find out more at www.vonarkel.com
Swiss label Gotti is a regular exhibitor in London, successful across the country for its appeal both technologically and in terms of its unique comfortable materials and design competence. As well as gorgeous titanium collections, they also highlight achievements in 3D printed eyewear, as one of few labels that has mastered a sophistication in the 3D printing process and combination designs using Polyamide and other materials – the resulting designs are impressive and a delight to wear. More information at www.gotti.ch.
100% takes place at London’s ExCel from 12th to 14th January 2019. The event has announced the launch of “Eyewear Week” from 7th to 13th January to further raise the profile of eyewear as a fashion accessory. To find out more visit https://www.100percentoptical.com/ CN
FLEYE Copenhagen has been awarded the prestigious German Design Award for Excellent Product Design in the Category Lifestyle and Fashion for ‘Fox’ – stylish sunglasses in beta-titanium and acetate.The sleek design is handcrafted with three layers, combining solid and transparent hard density cellulose acetate with beta-titanium. Lightness, flexibility and durability add to the character of the design, with its individualistic attitude. Environmental – as well as fashion considerations – are incorporated into Fox, as the sunglasses are constructed using non-toxic materials with hypoallergenic qualities, and AR coated lenses. Discover more from the Scandinavian label at www.fleye.dkJG
Alicia Hartman opened Eye Q in 2011 at the luxury location Limegrove Lifestyle Center on Barbados platinum west coast, a shopping hot spot featuring luxury fashion stores – Vuitton, Burberry and Ralph Lauren. Despite a worldwide recession at the time, the shop quickly became the leading independent optical boutique on the island. In 2018, the owner launched her own independent sunglasses label, PFB (Peoples from Barbados) dedicated to the Bajan community and its unique all-embracing lifestyle, filled with warmth, colour and natural style.
“Many people thought I was crazy to take on a project of this scale with no experience in retail, marketing and management,” explains Alicia Hartman with a smile. But with the support of her husband Sam and family she achieved what she set out to do, “with passion and love”.
Alicia set out to offer personalized stylist consultations offering the best eye care with a stylistic approach and a laid back yet professional atmosphere. “Initially we brought the world to Barbados through a combination of designer and independent brands,” she explains. “From day one, I preferred independent brands, but I did incorporate some of the well known designer brands as crowd pleasers.”
Over the years she gained the trust of clients and was able to focus on creative independent brands. With this came Peoples from Barbados in 2017, Alicia’s own collection of sunglasses. “The shop has a real purpose beyond eyewear and I’m excited. It’s as if we’re taking Barbados, the people and the culture to the world through a truly unique colorful understated and glamorous collection!”
The store itself offers a clean minimal space designed to showcase the frames – with Caribbean flair, and a personal playlist of music that reflects the owner’s love for travel and other cultures. “Initially there were wall decals of different people in glasses. We referred to them as the #eyeqpeoplez with a “z”. In Barbados “my peoples or my people” is a connecting phrase, to make someone feel a part of something special. The idea was always to have a personalized stylistic approach bringing people together in Barbados, regardless of there class or colour – and with one thing in common: “great taste in glasses and the desire to be unique and stand out from the crowd”.
Today a few things have changed. “To liven up the minimal space there are life size black and white portraits of beautiful Bajan faces in PFB eyewear by local photographer Adrian Richards. We wanted to showcase the real Barbados – not just the “postcard images”.”
This season, the collections in the store include independent brands from different cities around the world. “On an island, it’s important to do that! The demographic here ranges from aristocrats to fishermen to artists and celebrities.”
When I select designs I have a specific client in mind. I must offer glamour (Linda Farrow / UK), colour (theo /Belgium) , and technological sophistication (Mykita / Germany). With the Peoples from Barbados collection, we can also offer our own distinctive DNA ‘with Bajan Soul’. “I have aspirations for PFB, to make my Bajan people proud of who they are. I plan to promote Bajan artists and local talent and to encourage them to think independently – to live their dreams!”
From the 16th Century through to the mid-19th Century, portrait miniatures were symbols of love and devotion. People eagerly wore them as pendants around their necks, or imbedded in bracelets – and even worn as ornamental brooches. Napoleon never left home without his portrait miniature of Josephine; Marie-Antoinette’s first glimpse of the future Louis XVI was a portrait miniature of the Dauphin – a flattering portrayal as a svelte young man, and not the stout boy he really was; and in Verdi’s La Traviata, as Violetta dies of tuberculosis, she gives Alfredo her young lover, a miniature with her image to remember their doomed affair. Nowadays discerning collectors seek these diminutive pedigree keepsakes. Connoisseur Thierry Jaegy – Jaegy-Theoleyre Gallery – shares his expertise, love and enthusiasm for Portrait Miniatures.(Above image: Portrait of a Lady by François Dumont which is in the Tansey Foundation Collection in Celle, Germany. Photo courtesy of Thierry Jaegy with kind permission of the Tansey Foundation)
How did you become inspired and excited about Portrait Miniatures? TJ: I discovered portrait miniatures when I was twenty years old in a “brocante” (antique show) in the small village of Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It was a miniature signed by Carteaux P.D.R (peintre du Roi – painter to the king), lost and forgotten on a dusty shelf. I was fascinated by the life in this very small portrait. The sitter seems to be waiting for me for many centuries, protected under this small fragile glass, ignored by everyone. How did this piece of art come from Versailles to be here, in the countryside, abandoned? In fact, the art of portrait miniatures is totally forgotten by French people; it’s different in England. I have great pleasure to participate with this art: to discover, reveal them, and share them. Laurent and I became passionate collectors during the past twenty years, and we made this passion our life ten years ago by starting the very first web gallery dedicated exclusively to this Art: The Gallery jaegy-theoleyre.fr
What Portrait Miniaturists do you believe are the most significant from the 18th and 19th Centuries? It is very difficult to choose when there were so many great artists everywhere in Europe. Difficult but not too much…as one of them touches my heart above all: this artist is Francois Dumont (Top image). Even if he is not regular in the quality of portraits, he made (but he painted so many that I pardon him), he created real masterpieces with an inimitable look that Dumont gives to his sitters eyes. A seduction, a dialogue between the portraiture and the portraitist, with a particular charm that touches me so much. In French, we have an expression about this way to look with seduction in the eyes: to have a “oeil de velours” (velvet eyes). Dumont was the only one to give his models this “oeil de velours” – an additional feeling of happiness.
Twenty-five years ago, there were International sales of Portrait Miniatures. Now there are virtually none. What has happened to the market? The age of collectors has changed: their buying habits changed too. The sales you talk about were only two times per year. Nowadays, nobody wants to wait so long for pleasure. With the Internet, collectors how have the possibility to access what they like immediately, when they want, night and day. This is the role of web galleries like e-commerce in general.
Are SnapChat and Instagram the 21st Century version of Portrait Miniatures? I don’t think so. Instagram, Snapchat…this is instantaneously forgotten as soon as it is published…it’s so far from the art of Portrait Miniatures. In our modern life, what has replaced Portrait Miniatures – for me – is our smartphones! We keep our pictures inside it, the small portraits of the ones we love, keep them in our pockets, to see them as soon as we need to – and this is exactly the role that Portrait Miniatures had.
Could you please give a brief profile of the Portrait Miniature collector? In my opinion, the time when collecting portrait miniatures was reserved for a small select group of millionaires is finished. Now it appears that collectors are younger, curious and connected…Most often rich, but not exclusively. If the last generation bought star artists like Hall, Sicardy, Smart and Isabey…the new generation discovered that we can find true little masterpieces in unsigned portrait miniatures, or in pieces signed by less famous artists. But there are also investors who discovered this precious art; easy to preserve and to travel with, whose rating grows. www.jaegy-theoleyre.frJG
Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross are to join forces as eyewear partners, with a first collection launch planned for March 2019. The British eyewear brand will utilise its traditional production expertise that spans almost 50 years to create Paul Smith eyewear and sunglasses with a luxurious finesse in the metal and acetate materials and subtle design details that will tie in with the fashion designer’s colours and tailoring. Marie Wilkinson, long serving Design Director for the London eyewear brand will oversee the creation and development of the frames in collaboration with Smith’s design experts.
In a statement, Paul Smith explained: “I’ve always had enormous admiration for Cutler and Gross. Before we sadly lost him, Tony Gross was a personal friend of mine. The attention to detail and expertise that Tony practiced is still absolutely central to the work the company are doing today. I’m delighted to be collaborating with Cutler and Gross and look forward to an exciting and creative future.”
The frames, which will feature high quality Dalloz sun lenses, will be on show to retailers at Mido Milan – the Italian trade fair – in February. They will then be available from Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross outlets and a selection of premium stores and opticians globally. For more details about Cutler and Gross visit www.cutlerandgross.comCN
LINDBERG Precious embellishes winter festivities with the opulence and beauty of their handcrafted eyewear. The award-winning Danish label – who just received the German Design Award for 2019 in the Lifestyle and Fashion Category – celebrates this wonderful season with frame designs in 18 carat gold with splendid diamond highlights.(Above image: 18 carat solid rose gold with a 0.33 carat baguette cut pink diamond, and a 0.38 carat baguette cut purplish pink diamond)
The frames exude masterful engineering with silhouettes that are exquisitely shaped to the contours of the face. Pink is fashion’s energetic and spirited colour of the season, and LINDBERG extols its virtues with the highest quality diamonds in alluring pink – as well as exclusive options in black, and raw uncut, clear diamond accents.
With minimalist construction, the frames are featherweight, yet durable, and each frame is individually crafted. The distinguished collection includes designs for men and women.
Treat yourself this holiday season, and just as importantly – your eyes – to the dramatic brilliance of a LINDBERG Precious design – a gift that truly keeps on giving – with its timeless, sophisticated beauty. www.lindberg.comJG
Plein Les Mirettes’ Christophe Morcamp combines the creative eye of a couture designer with an astute focus on comfort and ease of wear in a frame design. The stunning new acetate model Re Belle 14 by this exotic little French label offers a wearable statement shape, gently cut into on either side of the front to add to its vibrant character. The colour palette has an unusual vertical fade effect, playing with chic tones “side by side” for a result that is both surprising technically and flattering when worn.
Plein Les Mirettes produces its women’s eyewear designs in a highly regarded traditional spectacle-making factory in Normandy, northern France. The elegant materials come from Mazzucchelli, the Italian leader in acetate production. Find the latest designs at www.plein-les-mirettes.frCN
Norwegian independent eyewear duo, Kirsten and Lars Iversen have worked on their timeless Karmoie designs with a hand-polishing technique that produces a unique matt finish on the exclusive acetate designs. Model Totem offers an example of how the artisan polishing work gives an exquisitely subtle look to the eco-friendly M49 material, which immediately stands apart from ordinary mass-produced acetates, both in the delicate texture and coloration.
Karmoie frames are understated, modern classics. “We aim to create a truly beautiful, lasting piece for you to cherish and wear with pride,” say the founders, who continue their collaboration with Positive Luxury, the website which highlights ethical fashion brands and their commitment towards “positive actions” and sustainability. Find the full sun and optical collection by the Norwegian label and find out about this unique label at www.karmoie.comCN
Simplicity is sublime and nobly emulates in the streamlined eyewear designs by Von Arkel in Switzerland. Complex engineering by master craftsmen combined with traditional spectacle making techniques, ensure that Von Arkel frames accentuate innovation; lightness; unparalleled flexibility; and comfort.
Switzerland excels in watchmaking, and certain elements unique to that industry are also reflected in Von Arkel designs – such as chamfers (cut-aways to make a symmetrical sloping edge) and the intricate, meticulous polishing – so respected and renowned for Swiss watches. These characteristics are beautifully expressed in Calibre 4 Outline designs.
Buffalo horn has long been considered amongst the most regal of eyewear materials; used in spectacle making for centuries. However, Von Arkel has a modern, environmentally-aware take on Buffalo horn – using only horn from domesticated Indian buffalos that have passed away. Warm, rich tones of Buffalo horn united with Von Arkel’s intricate, precise crafting results in a luxurious design that will be appreciated – and enjoyed – by the discerning wearer.
Superb gemstones opulently accent frames that are exquisitely crafted with unprecedented quality and distinction. Shimmering diamonds sparkle on a Calibre 8 Steelmaster design that embraces the apex of sophisticated gracefulness.
The Calibre 9 Entourage collection includes sleek silhouettes with enticing details: no rivets, no soldering or setting – and no screws. The Calibre 9 has a complex, hidden mechanism featuring a friction-controlled movement – a hinge that is durable, and a frame exceptionally comfortable to wear. Discover more of the illustrious and exquisite spirit of Von Arkel Switzerland at www.vonarkel.comJG
Annette Esto, Head of Design at FLEYE Copenhagen, warmly shares her perspectives with Eyestylist, and highlights her design concepts that transcend eyewear itself…and into the beautiful FLEYE Headquarters and her homes.
What qualities and character of Danish design history – with its simplicity and subtle details – have been the most important influence for your eyewear creations and home interiors? “Danish design is renowned for its clean lines, functionality and timeless approach. I like when classics come with a twist: a bright colour or an edgy detail, despite the clean simple lines of the Danish aesthetics. This is highly reflected in my home, where for example, I have a classic Scandinavian ‘smedker’ kitchen – I combined the traditional wood work with a bright, modern orange colour. Also, in FLEYE’s eyewear design we mix classic simplicity with a twist, where tradition meets the modern in innovative ways.” (Top image: Annette Esto with art by Inka Sigel)
Enriched cultural concepts ostensibly filter into your eyewear designs – like the Smorrebrod. What other perceptions filter into your home decor, as well as frames, such as travel or other artistic inspirations? “I love artworks – especially abstract art and abstract paintings that play with powerful colours, sharp contrasts, and different materials. My favourite painting is the one I have in our entry – an oil painting by Inka Sigel where different materials are sewn through the canvas. I have always been creative beyond what has become my profession, and personally I love to make flower creations and bouquets. For FLEYE AW18 eyewear, we have actually found inspiration in Flora Danica – an iconic collection of botanical illustrations from the 18th century. Taking a fresh look at the subject, we created our own floral portraits using flowers, trees, and shrubs often seen in Danish gardens. In order to set the right mood for an Autumn & Winter campaign, we decided to freeze flowers in ice blocks, leading to rich and dense colours, as well as the structures and shapes of our newest eyewear.”
You have a great interest in architecture. How has this inspired and cultivated interior creations in your home? “My home is a balance of traditional and modern furniture. In the dining room, I have a nice classic dining table where I have mixed Eames chairs in all kinds of different colours to give it a more personal and contemporary – yet timeless look. The same goes for the FLEYE office building, which is an old architect-designed manor house from the beginning of the 18th century. The building is protected and preserved in an old-fashioned style with high ceilings, but I have combined it with modern furniture in contemporary colours to give it a personal twist.”
Please tell us a brief history of the FLEYE offices and the intriguing building where frames are designed blending “urban impulses with classic simplicity.” “The FLEYE office is a historically beautiful manor house – Barfredshoj – built in 1800 by a German architect Peter Hetsch. Barfredshoj’s architecturally unique rooms and idyllic location form the setting for FLEYE’s creativity and inspiration. To me it is very important to be surrounded by nature and to have a wide and beautiful view – this is reflected in both the eyewear design, at the FLEYE office, and in my home.”
What designers most influence you in today’s constantly changing, dynamic and tech-savvy environment? “Issey Miyake – because he is timeless and classic. I can wear a ten-year-old piece from Issey Miyake at a fair and still receive compliments. His clothes are designed in amazing shapes and structures, and he mixes clean lines with patterns or fun colours. It is also very functional at fairs because the clothes don’t crease or wrinkle.”
In the future, what is a design project that you would most like to create and pursue? “I will continue to work within this nice path, which my team and I have worked so hard to get to, where we keep on surprising and challenging ourselves positively as well as our customers. The next project will be to transfer this beautiful flower concept into a Spring/Summer setting for our SS19 eyewear.” www.fleye.dkJG
Luca Gnecchi Ruscone has launched a fabulous collection of innovative eyewear that combines his love of history and tradition, with his remarkable flair for contemporary design. One frame that particularly caught our “eye” – is the charming Orchid Superleggero – a beguiling cat-eye design handcrafted in Italy, with an acetate front, and sides in ultra-light metal alloy. Explore more diverse and beautiful L.G.R designs from the new collection at www.lgrworld.comJG
The rise of the eyewear chain continues as our love affair with decorative details, chunky gold jewellery and semi-precious stones moves forward into the new season. The UK’s no. one company in this department – Frame Chain – has come over all glam for 2019 – proposing a wide selection of new designs as the finishing touch for any outfit – for women, and yes, men too. Above: Classic pearls are a feature of the new season collection at Frame Chain.
With the launch of their new campaign, designers Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney demonstrate the complete versatility of the chains, which are equally as beautiful worn as a necklace (top image) or suspended from the frame itself (see above). We also love the bling effect of two or three worn together!
All the designs come with two sets of attachments in black and white, to coordinate with your chosen eyewear, and feature a small statement Frame Chain logo plaque. More styles can be found at www.framechain.co.uk as well as Selfridges, Matches and Liberty of London. CN
Campaign Credits: Photography by Alastair Strong / Stylist Ailsa Jane Miller/ MUA Anna Gibson / Creative WE ARE DISCO/ Models Nejilka & Paige Saffron.
The passion to create original and imaginative eyewear creatively flows in the Goldsmith genetic code. The family-run business – now under the leadership of dynamic Claire Goldsmith – is embracing new horizons for the nearly century-old British company. Claire comments on the creation of her own innovative collection – Claire Goldsmith Optical.
Please tell us how you perceived and envisioned the concept that developed and evolved into CG Optical? “CG evolved through an inner ambition to pursue something for myself. Initially all the OG designs we made were replicas of styles held in our archive. They were relics brought back to life in beautiful new colour ways and modern acetates. We’ve since developed the collection to include new original designs, but at the conception of the relaunch there wasn’t a platform for me to create new styles. I was dubious about doing so under the Oliver Goldsmith name. It was so iconic and historically treasured. I wanted something of my own to create, and so the natural evolution was to launch my own brand.” (Above image:Claire Goldsmith)
Was your inspiration or motivation influenced by fashion trends; art or architecture; travel; or other appealing circumstances? “My initial inspiration certainly came from my heritage and the incredible brand my great grandfathers had created and the legacy they left behind. OG was at its peak during the 1960’s and 70’s – and these decades continue to be enormously influential to me: from fashion, car design, architecture…there is something so cool about that period of time that I am forever drawn to the fantasy of the era – the celebrity, the clothes, the apposition of both frivolity and attention to detail – in detail. But CG is a new brand, and much as I enjoy looking to the past for inspiration, it is today’s customer we are dressing, and as a Londoner (myself) and as a London brand, I am lucky to be continually inspired by the city, and the people who live within it.”
What are your favourite materials and colours in which to create a collection? “OG is an acetate brand, and so it’s very much what I know best. It’s a material I understand, and I love the joy of creating new materials through laminates or changing the thickness of a frame to reveal the richness of its colour. For me, acetate is part of our identity, whether we are talking OG or CG. I adore super light stainless steel frames; I think they are beautiful, but you can’t be every brand to every person and it’s exhausting trying to be. I dabble with metals and combination frames, but my core material will always be acetate – other brands already do metals or wood or vinyl so well – I’ll stick to what I know and do best!”
What is the demographic profile of the CG Optical wearer? “I don’t really think demographics exist in the same way they once did. The CG customer is varied, simply because of the incredible cities and stores around the world where we are represented. Our frames are contemporary classics, and our customers tend to revere the values of the brand rather than because they fit into a particular demographic. We’ve dressed the eyes of so many different people, and so many age groups, and I love that.”
What shapes and colours do customers most desire this season? “When I purchase something I want it to last more than a season, and I like to think my customers buy into CG as a lifestyle rather than a seasonal piece. Personal style is so – well – personal – and if my frames can help someone express themselves or become an integral part of their image, then that makes me happy. I truly don’t design to fit into trends. Of course, I’m conscious of what fashion is dictating, but what someone wears on their face doesn’t always correlate with what they wear on their body. There are some amazing brands producing incredibly modern and fashion forward eyewear who dictate micro trends within the eyewear industry, but the colours and shapes we produce at CG focus more on longevity.”
You love to create and have an enterprising spirit. Are there possible creative design thoughts or ideas being cultivated? “Definitely! We are living in such an entrepreneurial era, with the internet and social media providing a platform for almost anyone to launch a brand or concept. I find this both incredibly inspiring and at times, overwhelming, but I do like the idea of being able to be creative in other industries: to dabble or delve into different projects as I see fit. For now, CG an OG keep me more than busy, but who knows, perhaps that enterprising spirit will need exercising at some point!” www.clairegoldsmith.comJG
If bright pink’s your colour, then Finest Seven, one of the most luxurious brands in independent eyewear, is where you need to head as soon as possible. This glorious shocking pink frame says luxury like no other : the very narrow acetate rim is combined with a slim metal bridge and slick golden temples and a timeless triangular shape that is neither too oversized or too mini.
Finest Seven frames are made from a surgical stainless steel wire – super light, comfy and highly durable. The sun lenses offer 100% UV 400 protection and are available in a wide range of specially curated colours. The Zero 12 design with acetate is a brand new version of this unique sunglass design – also available in a minimal stainless steel only version paired with brightly colored lens tints of graduated lilac, graduated blue or dark pink mirror. Find more designs and shop direct at www.finestseven.comCN
“Since 2012, we have held Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart at Motorworld in Boblingen,” said organiser Nathanaël Wenger, “and this year we decided to change the venue to the centre of Stuttgart, where we found a beautiful, historical building – Haus der Wirtschaft. (Top image:Lars Malmsten Vasuma Eyewear and Nathanaël Wenger)
“Quality, independent labels were present – including among others – Blackfin; Orgreen; Von Arkel; Vasuma; Nirvan Javan; Didier Voirol; Götti; Coblens; and neubau. However, we were disappointed with the number of opticians that visited during the two days – which was below our projected expectations. Perhaps the rivalry of superb weather; Stuttgart’s Octobefest; shops open on Sunday; and Stuttgart’s challenging traffic contributed to fewer shops visiting.
“It has always been our goal to bring independent designer brands and opticians together. We have so enjoyed our years of involvement with Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart, but have now decided not to continue for 2019, and will focus on Hall of Frames Zurich for next year. We look forward to seeing you in Switzerland!” www.hallofframes.chJG
Chromatic harmonies highlight the latest design at Volte Face, with a frame that is graciously slim, sleek and modern. Different acetates in beautiful colours are used in Kloe, and designed with graphical effects. The luminosity of the acetate provides a soft transparency. The Volte Face Collection is dedicated to women – and their “Parisian Chic” – with frame silhouettes that are subtle, elegant, timeless, and with an air of discreet luxury. View more of this rich and diverse collection at www.volteface.comJG
Jubilee festivities resonate – as Kirk & Kirk salutes the 100th anniversary of the renowned British brand, with a stunning new range of beautiful designs in exquisite colours – The Centena Collection. Jason and Karen Kirk – the guiding force bringing the label and its optical history into the next century – commented: “The Centena Collection is important to Kirk & Kirk, as it is an embodiment of the celebration of the Kirk family’s one hundred year history in optics. (Top image: Dennisin in Crystal; Sarah in Walnut; Esme in Crimson; Cecil in Tiger; Sidney in Corn from The Centena Collection)
“Ever since Sidney and Percy Kirk converted a sewing machine into a lens cutter back in 1919, the Kirk family has innovated eyewear, offering technical or stylistic approaches that are designed to excite and inspire. The Centena Collection mirrors this enthusiasm with its use of acrylic, an unconventional, avant-garde material that is featherweight – and incredibly comfortable to wear. We have used 10mm acrylic for this collection which has been such fun to work with. Each frame is like an individual sculpture featuring beautiful angles to exploit the glasslike properties of the material.”
Acrylic is not only lightweight – it is strong and durable. The colours are luxurious – Iris, Tiger, Corn, Crystal, Crimson, Walnut, Sage and Royal. Designs are bold and strong manifesting the confident colours that re-enforce Jason and Karen Kirk’s philosophy that fine eyewear is made to be experienced – and enjoyed. Visit www.kirkandkirk.com for more CENTENA details – and other optical and sunglass designs. JG
Animal-inspired prints are popping up in clothing and accessories this winter, and the trend is set to “roar” into spring 2019, with recent fashion collections featuring a variety of spotted designs. L.a. Eyeworks presents a sleek eyewear variation with Fun Zone in colourful hot spots.The sculpted silhouette with its edgy details demonstrates l.a. Eyeworks wonderfully rebel, individualistic approach to eyewear – and their signature style with unique colourations. The latest optical collection from the California brand features an intriguing melange of acetates, aluminium, titanium and HD acetate. Discover more at www.laeyeworks.comJG
Celebrations accompanied the 10th anniversary edition of Hall of Frames Zurich, which took place in “Papiersaal” in Sihlcity in the centre of town. Organiser Nathanaël Wenger noted: “Forty-four exhibitors presented their autumn designs over two floors with the urban style of the former paper mill relating well with the design claim of Hall of Frames. Almost all Swiss Eyewear brands were present, including Newcomers Baselli; Fussungswerk; Specs Lab and Nirvan Javan, and interior designer Martha Arenas. Others are well established like Götti; Didier Voirol; Einstoffen and Von Arkel.(above image left to right) Marco and Rico Rihm Specs Lab Zurich; Martha Arenas Interior Designer; Nathanaël Wenger HOF Zurich organiser; Joan Grady Co-Founder Eyestylist.com; Sven Götti Götti Switzerland; Birgitte Falvin Falvin Eyewear
“It’s great that the designers use Hall of Frames to show their work together with other well-known international eyewear designers.” Among others participating included: Any Di from Germany; Rolf Spectacles, Andy Wolf and neubau from Austria; Falvin and Orgreen from Scandinavia; Vasuma from Sweden; Blackfin in Italy; Vinylise from Budapest, and Face à Face in France.
The occasion was highlighted with a celebration dinner on the Sunday evening, organised by Nath Wenger with superb food, in the atmospheric restaurant “Rüsterei” in the Papiersaal venue. “Approximately fifty opticians and exhibitors shared and enjoyed a pleasant evening together,” said Nath, “with a relaxed atmosphere, and exhibitors and visitors felt very comfortable in the location.”
With the positive feedback, the show will again be held in Papiersaal for the 2019 event. Note the dates now – 22nd and 23rd September 2019 – one week before Silmo Paris.
In the meantime, Eyestylist will keep you up to date on events and exhibitors for next year’s Hall of Frames Zurich at Papiersaal. www.hallofframes.ch JG Photos exclusively for Hall of Frames Zurich by Robert Gose All Rights Reserved
Tavat Eyewear have launched their most iconic SoupCan yet, handcrafted in a limited edition of just 100 pieces, with a luxury 18K gold plating. The Pantos design is a special edition of their clever SoupCan concept, inspired by classic 1930s American goggles with an innovative one-of-a-kind sandwich design.
Features include a new and remarkable “Anti-Rotation” rimlock closing with watch-crown mechanism. Each frame undergoes over 100 production steps and can take up to 7 months to produce; with just 100 pieces launched with the gold finish, the style is already quickly selling out – since launching in Las Vegas and Paris last month.
The frame also has the brand’s signature vintage-green melanin lenses with a rich champagne tint applied, offering the ultimate eye protection without compromising style.
Tavat Eyewear produces its frames exclusively in Northern Italy to the highest artisan standards. The new 18K gold frame comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity. Discover more styles by this exclusive independent eyewear brand atwww.tavat-eyewear.com.
Tell us if you are wearing this style: Tag @eyestylistmagazine on Instagram. CN
Eyewear colour has realised new heights and horizons this season with boldness, creativity and the surprisingly unexpected. Whether you favour serene and subdued, or bright and energetic colourations – the vast selection of eyewear hues affords endless possibilities for spectacle wearers. Res/Rei celebrates colour (above) with unique combinations in custom-crafted acetates, all handmade in Italy. Ortensia is the latest addition to the Res/Rei collection of stunning optical and sunglass designs. www.resrei.com
Exclusive colour tint lenses by Carl Zeiss take centre stage at Anna-Karin Karlsson with her glamorous Full Moon sunglasses, inspired by the colour of the sky where Anna-Karin lives in the Stockholm Archipelago. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Nowadays, Graffiti is everywhere – so why not eyewear? Theo has the solution with The Graffiti Collection designed by Serge Bracké that implements fabulous colourations that automatically stimulates the ultimate street cred. www.theo.be
Finest Seven brings spirited colour to their plated surgical stainless steel sun specs – Zero 14 – with a striking inner acetate rim in bright orange. Voluminous in shape, the frames are superbly lightweight. Visit www.finestseven.com for more sleek designs.
Soft shades of pink with a hint of rose feature in eyewear with Sandbridge by Blackfin – suggesting a delicate yet dramatic, expressive style. The unique titanium frame structure with its sophisticated colouration is totally handcrafted by Italian artisans. www.blackfin.euJG
The New York eyewear scene continues to see a healthy surge in creativity and directional trends. This month sees the launch of yet another newcomer called SpiltMilk Eyewear, set up with the creative input from the NYC based designer Vidal Erkohen (RVS Eyewear). Made in Japan, with focus on quality standards and innovative design concepts with a global inspiration, the collection is proposing some experimental ideas “to represent the conjunction between fashion and culture” and builds from a high-energy colour palette – on point for SS19.
In the mix for the launching collections of sunnies are designs that combine two shapes in one (Bali), a super round shape with inner rim connected with an open wire mesh (Bora Bora), a detailed aviator statement piece (Maldives) and a narrow elongated trendy wire form that is slightly upswept – in chic combos such as lime with scarlet and pastel pink with black (Phi Phi).
The new brand has been under development since 2017, and is owned by Saif Ghobash (London) and Judge Khanna (NYC) – a New York based accessories designer. Spilt Milk launches its first sunglasses collection at the end of October and goes online shortly at www.spiltmilkeyewear.com. CN
Mondelliani’s colourful readers will be a breath of fresh air for any one who has tried to find reading glasses that offer a distinctive look and lively colour. The designs are inspired by the shapes of the “roller coaster”, and in keeping with Mondelliani’s passion for beautiful colour and original tonal combos, the frames comes in some gorgeous two-tone colorways as well as cool camo colours or distinctive black and white.
All the models in the line include high quality lenses (5 strengths available) or high quality sun lenses, and the aim is to offer a comfortable and wearable – slightly cheeky – design – at a sensible and practical price point. Mondelliani is a Rome-based eyewear brand with several collections of sunglasses and eyewear styles inspired by creative and unusual themes – including wine, birds and fish. For more information on their Ottovolante readers, visit http://mondelliani.it/ottovolante-2/?lang=en CN
The award winning Austrian label – Rolf Spectacles – excels in moving beyond barriers to create new possibilities and horizons. When the company launched, Tyrol woods were crafted into superb quality frames. Then there were unique designs in stone, and luxurious buffalo horn frames. For their latest eyewear adventure, Rolf has launched a Titanium collection with fresh innovations.
The Titanium Skyline Collection includes sixteen designs for prescription glasses, and six sun styles. Technical engineering is evident with intricate detailing, so finely optimised, and the frames are amazingly slim and light. The glasses are made with only three major components, so therefore, highly flexible, as well as sturdy. Finishes are smooth and sleek, or beautifully textured.
Rolf stated: “Our mission is to follow our vision, to create new things never seen before, and to set new trends while remaining true to our roots.” For more information on the distinctive Titanium Skyline Collection – visit www.rolf-spectacles.com JG
Internet brands are booming, and in sports-oriented sunwear there is now a confusing mass of online only brands selling direct to the consumer, with just a handful working that little bit extra to offer a balance of affordability, functionality, and, importantly, attentive customer service.
In the sports/leisure segment, Sungod Custom Optics – a start-up based in the UK and Verbier, Switzerland, has launched a customisable sunglasses collection – with a team of hard-core sports personalities endorsing the designs on Instagram including Stephanie Ede (duathlete/cyclist), Max Rowe (freestyle windsurfer) and Tom Bishop (triathlete).
The process of purchasing the product itself is different, quite fun, for the novelty, and super fast. You choose a shape (all quite standard), select the colours of the front, temples, lenses and logo icon – according to your personal preference – and then buy. The order – once processed, is with you within a couple of days (in my case 48 hours – the frames are assembled in the UK) and offers a Lifetime Guarantee promising that all breakages will be repaired – or fully replaced – free of charge. My first order included the Custom SIERRAS and the Custom Classics – both standard shapes, in one size, but just working ok for my smallish face shape and my son’s, who is 15. (Above: Custom SIERRAS).
UV protection is the key feature, and beyond that the sunglasses perform as a hard-wearing option for sports and outdoor activities at a realistic price (from £65.00) – this is of course significantly lower than equivalent all-round sport styles by Ray-Ban and Oakley.
For technical content, the 4KO Lenses are made from a 2mm Polycarbonate Core and you select from 5 lens tints that offer enhanced contrast and optimised clarity – the tint we selected in “smoke” was comfortable in bright conditions. Polarised versions are also available and judging by the number of water sports enthusiasts featured on the Instagram page, the lenses are adaptable and suitable for water sports.
The frame itself is made from the company’s Adventureproof Frame Material – this is a memory polymer – designed for durability, protection and high flexibility. It’s as good as any standard sports sunglasses material coming from China and it feels light and modern and pleasant to the touch. The colours are classic and easy-to-wear and a popular look for youngsters and the teen and 20+ market.
Sungod Custom Optics produces sports-oriented sunglasses and sports goggles. They have also launched a special signature series of models in collaboration with Pro Team Athletes including Hannah Whiteley and we expect to see more exciting projects from their young entrepreneurial team. For more details visit www.sungod.coCN
Creative highlights from this year’s Paris eyewear event
There’s one thing we are always in search of at the international eyewear event, SILMO: and that’s innovation with a clearly defined creative or technical achievement in the construction, design or overall concept. This year the stands were loaded with forward-thinking design work and original collections, for the most part, with a strong infusion of interesting colour, exquisite tonal and material combinations, and increasingly daring shapes – which sat alongside very minimal pared back collections where the focus is clearly on lightness and comfort.
Key shapes included elongated cateyes and new 90s-inspired ovals, but the shape story is not confined to these statement looks and we found many geometric forms, octagonal or hexagonal shapes, and a strong trend for complex shapes or constructions that require accomplished design tricks with layering, cutting and colour. Above: a new collection by FACE A FACE with imagery which explores the phenomenon of Synaesthesia. The frames play with contrasts of colour and materials, taking inspiration from the world of fine art.www.faceaface-paris.com
Ørgreen’s state-of-the-art Quantum collection saw the addition of the first Sun styles – a brilliant collection of 5 unisex, male and female designs, with futuristic cases fitted uniquely with the specific form of two of the statement styles.
Pictured above, 3.11 is one of the statement pieces among the designs: an oversize sun style for women which takes strong visual inspiration from the classics of the 1970s – a key theme at SILMO. The low bridge contrasts with large rectangular tinted lenses recall acetate frames from a bygone era, while the titanium and polyamide material add an urban and modern touch. 3.11 is available in three refreshing colours contrasting frame and lenses – from Black/Gun with an amber hue lens to Red Wine / Gold with a light grey and bronze tinted lens. www.orgreenoptics.com
Exceptional handcrafting in precious materials is always a highlight at the fair. From the Netherlands, Alexanian has a devoted following of customers who look for craftsmanship and luxury refinement in rimless and full rim designs created to perfection in solid gold, and in many cases studded boldly with jewels, on frame and even nose pads. The frame with a sculptural detail on the rim above in their new collection is inspired by watches and comes in white gold and 18kt gold. www.alexanian.nl
French eyewear creativity is well represented across the fair, and a handful of young designers are following the traditional spectacle making techniques making use of classic materials and features. The classical style was beautifully conveyed at Meg Eyewear, a label that produces frames in Oyonnax. The designs, specifically for women, offer high quality and sophisticated elegance in ‘sober’ iconic colour tones. www.megeyewear.com
Designers have also paid much attention to the effect of layering rims in different colours or materials on the front of the frame, to play with light and structure. A super example is the Theodore by SALT. Optics, where the round titanium rim features a delicate crystal inner rim in acetate. www.saltoptics.com
Also in our highlights this year is Portrait Eyewear, run by a young delightful brother and sister team, based in Milan, with a genuine passion for art and eyewear. There new Glitch concept is based on the glitch-art movement most often related to video art and photography. The frame surface reproduces the digital and analog interference with an unexpectedly glamorous effect on the face. Find out more at www.portraiteyewear.com
ALERT! Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart will be held at Haus der Wirtschaft (above image) at Willi-Gleicher-Strasse 19, 70174 Stuttgart, commencing Saturday 13th October from 11h00 to 18h00; and Sunday 14th October from 10h00 to 16h00. www.hausderswirtschaft.de
The 2018 edition of Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart takes place in a uniquely historical building with royal connections – and warmly welcomes guests seeking energised state-of-the-art eyewear. Located in the centre of Stuttgart, Haus der Wirtschaft was built at the end of the 19th century as an exhibition centre and museum, and was opened by King Karl I in June 1896. The elegant structure was fortunate to survive the bombing of WW2, and has been updated with caring diligence – and great awareness of its long history. Independent eyewear artisans will introduce their latest collections that include superlative designs in beautiful materials, enhanced with – and highlighting – cutting-edge technology, with original colourations.
The ingenious engineering in Von Arkel’s Calibre 4 Outline designs is a masterpiece of fine detail and the resplendent polishing on the frames is borrowed from the meticulous craftsmanship of watchmaking. www.vonarkel.com
In the Blackfin autumn collection stylistic innovation reigns with sleek cat-eye shaping in titanium and beta-titanium in Sunnyside – blending design sophistication and interplays of technology. www.blackfin.eu
Andy Wolf, the Austrian label, will be in Stuttgart to show their minimalist White Heat design collection that incorporates a divergence of materials and balanced proportions. www.andy-wolf.com
Handmade in Germany, Matze Marpe will present contemporary optical designs in acetate and stainless steel. www.matzemarpe.de
RESERVE THESE DATES for Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart – and the stunning venue – Haus der Wirtschaft – 13th and 14th October – for artisan eyewear from participating – and passionate – independent labels. www.diebrillenmesse.deJG