Fun, stylish, distinctive: The Bocca series from Face à Face Paris is always imaginative and engaging. The latest interpretation is Bocca Walk 2 – in vivid Cherry Red with contrasting colourations on the inner temples. A gold metal nose bridge adds a touch of sparkle.
Nearly six years ago, Pascal Jaulent at Face à Face had a whimsical idea for frame temples expressed in legs – dancing, prancing, and curvy legs with fashionista shoes to complete the concept. Frame connoisseurs loved them instantly – and now the Bocca models are eagerly anticipated for their unique styling – debonair and dazzling. A collector’s treasure! www.faceaface-paris.com JG
Deepak Oberai is the owner of Albert Road Opticians, a beautiful converted Edwardian house in Wilmslow. Eyestylist asked him about the store, which has an original setting and exquisite mix of eyewear collections.
When did you first open and can you tell me about how you had imagined your store initially? Albert Road Opticians is set in a house that has a lot of character. When we first opened, I was aware of the potential but did not maximise this. However after an impromptu climb of Mt Kilimanjaro, I decided I wanted us to be ‘The House of Spectacles’. So I decided to take it back to the original features (fire places, picture rails) and treat people as if they are coming over to your house, with a lovely cup of tea! This was a game changer for us.
You are working with very creative brands like theo from Belgium? How is it going, and is there a greater interest for statement design? What have your experiences been so far? Theo is my personal favourite. Initially when we introduced this at Albert Road Opticians we did not know how to approach the bolder design conversation. However, as with anything, practice makes perfect and we are now known for brighter, bolder designs in our local community. Our clients who have bought this eyewear may have been reluctant initially, but as soon as they get a compliment from a stranger (and this happens), they turn into raving fans. It’s incredible to see such joy on people’s faces.
Tell us about the design of the shop and who worked with you on it. The shop and its unique quirky features lend to the building we are in perfectly. We worked with Sheffield based interior design company 93ft (https://93ft.com) and they really know how to push the boat. The style chosen was reclaimed furniture with a modern twist. The dark colours compliment the handmade cupboards perfectly and the reclaimed flooring brings the design together.
How much do you change your selection of frames – do you stick with old favourites or add newcomers if you find them in the shows? We attend international optical shows regularly to see what is up and coming. When we see something exciting we like to build relationships with that brand and see if they are a good fit for us. Generally we only take one new brand a year if we really like it. However working with innovative brands like Theo or Anne & Valentin, their new collection releases can almost feel like a different brand so that helps keep things fresh.
You have clearly gone out of your way to provide a really special service. Tell us about this and where your priorities lie. Coming to Albert Road is like visiting a good friend. The atmosphere is relaxed; we want people to feel they are in a non-clinical environment. As the building has several rooms, we have renamed the front room, and we call it our ‘Tea Room’. This is where we offer drinks, a bit like a hotel. It the scene for the rest of the show.
Our eye examinations are longer than the average 45 minutes. This allows us to get to know our clients better from a personal perspective. This slow, personal approach means we can highlight opportunities for multiple pair purchases, in the future, where necessary. The eyewear is presented in the ‘Eyewear Gallery’ with a few frames on show, and others hidden in drawers. We like to style people, and this subtle approach of introducing quirky eyewear works very well. Most of all we want our clients to be happy. We always say ‘Our reputation walks around on your face’ and we want this to be spectacular. This friendly relaxed approach has won us many fans.
This January, a second shop – Station Road Optician – has opened in Cheadle Hulme. 18 Albert Road, Wilmslow – plan your visit atwww.wilmslowopticians.co.ukCN
Collectible, chic, and a perfectly charming design piece to wear on the face. Cinematiq is a new collection created by Tipton Eyeworks in Budapest, which brings a completely ingenious twist to eyewear. The temples ‘frame’ 16 or 35 mm ‘vintage’ film, using a special process of lamination that designer Zachary Tipton has spent years perfecting. The very first experiments with the original footage led to an introductory small limited edition collection, which premiered in 2006, and is known for having caught the eye of Elton John.
Today, the new Cinematiq Eyewear collection highlights the original 16 mm footage of two Asian action movies, Shogun’sShadow (1989) and Fists of the Double K (1973). Both films have an abundance of outdoor scenes with natural lighting making them a perfectly visible focal point with the naked eye.
The selected scenes that appear in the eyewear are different for each pair of glasses, increasing the unique aspect of every style. The glasses come with their own ‘movie ticket’ so you can view the curated movies featured in your design, and each frame shape is inspired by characters in iconic films.
Cinematiq is produced by Tipton Eyeworks, makers of Vinylize, artisan producers of eyewear made from vinyl records in Hungary. Stockists of Cinematiq include Special Eyes Optical (Australia), Santa Fe Optical (USA) and Optik Birmingham (USA). For the latest information on the collection visit www.cinematiqeyewear.com / www.vinylize.comCN
Spring is on the horizon – a time of renewal, hope and awareness. For fashion enthusiasts it’s also time to update wardrobes and awaken to the prospect of emerging trends in clothing, accessories, and of course, eyewear! This coming weekend all eyes will be focused on Milan, which includes the unveiling of glamorous, refreshing eyewear. Here are stunning, dynamic designs that warrant inclusion in your spring outlook. Oliver Goldsmith presents The Decades Collection – a beautiful, contemporary rendition of influential styles that symbolise the history of Oliver Goldsmith during the past ninety years. www.olivergoldsmith.com (Top image: 1970 from The Decades Collection)
Buoyant colour is on display at l.a. Eyeworks as the California brand debuts their Spring 2018 collection, which includes Corgi in aluminium and titanium in burnt orange and brown velvet. www.laeyeworks.com
The stunning SPECTRUM collection by Kirk & Kirk features shapes with a touch of retro influence in smashing colours – including Polly – in the British brands statement material – acrylic. www.kirkandkirk.com
Sol Sol Ito photographed their latest campaign in Japan – a city loved by Sol Sol Ito designers Sandra Kaufmann and Monika Fink – with designs in layered acetate in ravishing shapes. www.solsolito.com
If adventure is on your spring/summer wish list, don’t leave home without Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s Tobruk military-inspired design, reminiscent of the Cyrenaican port on Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast. www.lgrworld.com
The sophisticated Philosophers Collection by Oliviero Zanon at Res/Rei presents new styles that include the beautifully transparent Bacone in luminous tones of grey and milky white acetates, with a slender double bridge, and owl-shaped lenses – ideal for Philosophers! www.resrei.com
Part two of FLEYE Copenhagen’s Smorrebrod campaign unfolds with imaginative shapes in colourations and layering that reflects the delicious Danish food culture. Roca is from the distinguished FLEYE Signature Collection. www.fleye.dk
RIGARDS has launched fabulous new creations in Copper, a splendid addition to the variety of unusual materials that RIGARDS incorporate into frames. RG0100CU is inimitably cool in a sleek sunglass silhouette. www.rigards.com
The new WOOW frames are…Wow! A stylishly different interpretation of the Windsor rim in thin metal is highlighted in Watch Out! in vivid colours. www.wooweyewear.comJG
Jono Hennessy is as passionate about Australia as he is about eyewear. His latest collection is influenced by the huge variety of flowers native to Australia, as well as native bush flowers from the desert. Modgraff 8418 is a slim, delicate acetate design with ivory crystals, and the contemporary shape enhances the relaxed elegance. Modgraff 8418 is available in four beautiful colour combinations – featured above. Visit www.jonohennessy.com for additional designs from the newest releases. JG
Annie and Vanessa are the founders of London brand Frame Chain, a fast moving eyewear accessories brand that is pushing all the right buttons in fashion retail and leading optical boutiques, across the world. As the duo get ready to pack their bags for Capsule, Eyestylist asked them to explain their quick path to success.
How did it all start?(Annie:) I have champagne taste and lemonade budgets! I lost about four pairs of glasses in a week and couldn’t afford to replace them. So I bought a cheap chain for my last pair. I would scour Europe looking for chic ones that didn’t look like a shoe lace or turn my neck green. I failed! So I hounded my then flat mate, soon to be business partner and best friend to make some- she was designing jewelry at the time. To shut me up she suggested we do it together, and FRAME CHAIN was born.
Liberty were the first retailer to stock us in 2014, and they continue to. This is incredible validation and we used their nod of approval to grow confidence in our idea. We have awesome stockists around the globe- mainly independent kick-ass optical boutiques with incredible talent for curated store concepts. We have been suprised by the success in Greece. The Middle East can’t get enough of the pearls! We are in Spain, France, Portugal, and even the Maldives and Taiwan.
You are both creative and very entrepreneurial…would you agree? Thank you for that – it’s a huge compliment. We both love to do things – to make things happen, to go on adventures and be useful! Vanessa is much more creative than I am. She can draw, design, build you a wall, design a house and bake incredible cakes! She is always thinking laterally; her approach to life is unique and pure. She has her own business already and thrives on having freedom to make things happen.
My nick name is ‘the whirlwind’- I am so excitable and determined that if you don’t know me it could feel like you are in a whirlwind. When I have my mind set on something, I make it happen. I studied biology, chemistry and maths, but I love to draw and make things with my hands. That 50/50 ‘left brain right brain’ gives me a good foundation for business. Plus we are both from up north and LOVE to talk and meet new people.
We like to think we are two sides of the same coin, two minds, one vision. We ebb and flow in and out of different roles. We are both designing, both selling, both creating. I do more of the spread sheet things and Vanessa does more of the visual and creative things. We do what we need to to make our little dream a reality. There is no formula!
What has been your most “creative” and exciting project so far? We are working on it as as we speak. But we LOVED doing the pop-up with Cutler & Gross.
One of you lives in London, and one of you in Spain. Does this effect the business in a positive way and if so how? It means we have to be focused, organized and efficient. That can only be good. It means we have different sources of inspiration and two home offices – one significantly sunnier than the other.
Can you describe your latest chains in the collection as there were a few new ones at SILMO, and tell us what you feel your direction is in 2018. We always start with the idea of jewelry. Chains that we want to wear – first and foremost – as a necklace or increasingly as earrings. This season, we focused on that a lot, developing it in three ways:
– the pearl range expanded, with new colours and sizes. Pearls are a trend and here to stay and we are having a lot of fun with this. We are playing with the idea of earrings. So styles like ‘loop de loop’ and ‘drop it’ have embellishments perfectly placed to hang like earrings. There is more of this to come for the summer and the the festival season. And now we are really playing with colours. By introducing rhodium and black enamel for our more masculine fans, we have pushed more rose gold and mixed the metals and colours on one chain. Find more details at www.framechain.comCN
Frames with a double-bridge are long time favourites for spectacle wearers – bonafide classics. What is new however, is the diverse double-bridge designs enjoying even more recognition with chic interpretations in a variety of materials, and they are crafted into sleek shapes with double-bridges that make a difference. Götti’s new Perspective designs (above) with sculptural shapes are aesthetically beautiful; minimalist creations in superb quality Sandvik stainless steel, elegantly lightweight, and produced in Götti’s own premises in Switzerland.www.gotti.ch
Miamai Eyewear in Germany has expanded their collection with new designs in stainless steel.The collection is made with exacting German precision, as seen in style 5006-003, which is immaculately streamlined with two-tone colourations for a stylish statement.www.miamai-eyewear.de
Sunglasses with a double-bridge possess a special glamour in stainless steel with a silky rose matte finish and a generous round shape. Manu by Neubau fuses retro and contemporary elements for a luxurious look. www.neubau-eyewear.com
L.a. Eyeworks highlight a flirtatious double-bridge in matt black titanium, crafted in Japan. The purity in Calvino is embellished with a unique take on the double-bridge concept – connecting timeless characteristics with trendy charm. www.laeyeworks.com
The SoHo Collection is the latest frame excitement from Jean-François Rey, with a “double-double-bridge” as the lens shape also sports a “double-bridge” in style SH2005. Made in France in stainless steel, the rich colouration with the brushed finish is a special JF Rey process. www.jfrey.fr
Anna-Karin Karlsson takes an unusual view of the double-bridge with a mini-version on her splendid cat-eye design in metal, with a smooth, pearly finish on the frame front. The Cross is from the sumptuous optical collection by the Swedish designer. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Industrial flair and vintage touches unite in SALT. Optics frame Resin. The intriguing grooved lines are achieved with layering and are customised, resulting in a fresh, clean detail on the Brushed Honey Gold titanium design. www.saltoptics.comJG
A unique exhibition is currently on display at the elegant Philip Mould Gallery on Pall Mall in London, celebrating the collaboration of hat designer Victoria Grant and portrait artist Lorna May Wadsworth. The two artists are inspired by each other: Wadsworth unveils a large-scale portrait of Grant; and Victoria has created a selection of imaginative headwear influenced by Lorna, history and historical costume. An extra special touch are the charming portrait miniatures in the Philip Mould & Co. collection that accent the beret and top hat designs by Victoria. (Top image: Lorna May Wadsworth and Victoria Grant, with the Wadsworth portrait of Victoria. Photo:Barney Cokeliss)
Long before photography existed, portrait miniatures were love tokens – a very personal item – painted by celebrated artists of the era. The miniatures were often worn on the body by both men and women, and used as accessories on coats, dresses and hats. The exhibition seeks to remind viewers that these highly personal and intimate objects, now generally displayed in cabinets or on walls, were often originally intended to be proudly worn. Philip Mould portrait miniature consultant Emma Rutherford, will also be examining the history of the hat jewel, and its portrayal in various historical pictures.
With a royal wedding in the offing for Prince Harry and Megan Markle in May, the great interest after what dress the bride will wear is about hats. Royal etiquette dictates that all women attending an official royal occasion must wear a head covering. Victoria Grant was one of the top milliners for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Among Grant’s many clients are models, fashion luminaries, and superstars. Her hat designs range from luxurious chic to radical avant-garde for couture houses.
The Philip Mould Gallery represents Lorna May Wadsworth, and the award-winning portrait painter’s work runs the spectrum from politicians to priests. She painted former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in five private sittings at her home in 2007, plus David Blunkett during his tenure as Home Secretary, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This unique event celebrates the enduring cross-pollination between portraiture and fashion in anticipation of London Fashion Week. The Milliner at Philip Mould Gallery continues through 18th February. www.philipmould.com JG
Geographically, Norway and Fiji would seem to have nothing in common, yet they are intricately linked with eye care projects. When Kirsten and Lars Iversen started their eyewear company – Karmoie – in 2010, their goal was to create a brand that was also committed to sustainability and social issues. This visionary perspective connected Karmoie to Eyejusters, and now the Norwegian brand donates corrective glasses to people around the world. The project had great appeal to Kirsten and Lars, with the realisation that there are approximately 700 million people who live without the glasses that they truly need. These circumstances can result in poorer education; restricted work; lost opportunities; and an estimated global economic loss of over £200 billion per year. (Top image: Lars and Kirsten Iversen)
The association with Eyejusters has enabled Kirsten and Lars to work on projects in Morocco and Uganda, plus travelling to South Sudan and Fiji to see first hand how the clinics work. They have discovered the experience to be inspirational; invigorating; heart-warming; and emotionally rewarding as well. “We have interesting stories,” related Kirsten, “like when we were on one of the smallest islands in Fiji, and met a woman who had broken her glasses irreparably a few years ago. She hadn’t been able to see an optometrist and get new glasses, so she tried to manage without. To see the emotion on her face when she could see again with glasses was really moving.
“On Cicia in Fiji, we worked with teenagers, and one girl wanted glasses, but didn’t need them. She tried to fool us during the eye test! She was hanging around the compound, so we asked her to help us out as an interpreter. She was smart, kind and graceful, and the patients responded really well to having one of their own be such an active part of the eye care team. We were able to shift her desire for her own pair of glasses, into an interest for eye care and performing vision tests.” Kirsten and Lars noted that in South Sudan and Fiji, the logistics, infrastructure and access are the main challenges. The Eyejusters system is easy to teach, and that has motivated local aid workers to pursue more eye care training.
“To Lars and I, gratitude and giving back go together. Honestly, knowing how blessed you are without wanting to show generosity in return feels shallow. We wanted giving back to be an intrinsic part of our product, rather than dependent on our financial success. We donate one pair of corrective glasses for every pair of Karmoie frames or sunglasses we sell. Creating your own company and starting up can at times, be quite exhausting. The fact that we can feel good about what we do, and how we give back is invaluable when it comes to motivating us to push through when it gets tough.”
Karmoie designs are created in Norway – in an Oslo atelier – inspired by beautiful, crisp, Nordic nature and Scandinavian minimalism. Karmoie was awarded the Butterfly Mark, a prestigious acknowledgement powered by Positive Luxury, for their commitment to protect the planet’s resources. www.karmoie.com JG
Contemporary travel opportunities bring the sunshine much closer during long, grey, cold winters. Vera Wang ensures you are sunshine ready with a striking new collection of Winter Luxe Sun Styles. There are five beautiful sunglass designs, with diversified shapes and lovely colours. Particularly outstanding is Farah in glossy acetate, and especially geared to a holiday mind-set in soft Apricot, with Gradient Peach Mirror Lenses, and a voluminous shape. The intricate temple detailing is a process that is a modern take on an icicle pattern. Small, hand-cut metal pieces are adorned with hand-applied Swarovski crystals for shimmery sparkle. Farah is also available in Black with Grey lenses, and a delicious Mint Green with Gradient Moss lenses. Luxurious, fresh and dramatically chic! www.kenmarkeyewear.comJG
“Sometimes you need to get away from it all to make peace with reality”
Looking beyond. Always. This is Blackfin’s inspirational vision for life and eyewear. Now they take a new path: the search for the self, and looking at the world in new ways with open eyes – in their new campaign – Spiritual Renaissance. Blackfin then expresses these discoveries with unique eyewear creations. To capture a natural backdrop that reflects the inner journey, the Italian brand chose the contrasting topography of Lanzarote – both magnificent and magical – with its ragged cliffs, lava rocks, desert wilderness and rolling ocean waves. (Top image: Brighton – Spiritual Renaissance by Blackfin)
Blackfin embarked on this campaign as a way to look into its company values; with the refusal to reject all that is standardised; striving for excellence; and never accepting conventional definitions. The frame designs – stunningly photographed by Giovanni De Sandre – visually illustrate the raw, rugged beauty of Lanzarote. The natural setting with its prolific extremes is effortlessly and simply transformed into eyewear that is totally streamlined, and unrestricted from all that is superfluous. Crafted from the purest titanium in Blackfin’s studios, the frames are superbly lightweight, yet strong and durable – just one of the attributes of premium, quality titanium. Sunglasses and optical styles demonstrate the versatility of titanium, with dramatic frame shapes that portray quiet luxury and sophistication.
Nicola Del Din,, CEO of Blackfin stated: “In 2018, keeping faith with our pay-off ‘Looking beyond. Always’ we want to look beyond from a more inner, almost spiritual point of view. In recent years, the world has forgotten many essential ethical values, which it is trying to rediscover with considerable difficulty…in some cases, in a completely unnatural way. Blackfin has never lost those values, nor has it ever betrayed them. With the new campaign, we want to emphasise the importance of a general return to the true essence of things.” www.blackfin.euJG
Four hundred years of operatic passion and European history highlight the spectacular exhibition currently on view at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibition – in collaboration with the Royal Opera House – is a splendid, intriguing journey that explores opera on a grand scale. This is the first exhibition staged in the new spacious, subterranean Sainsbury Gallery at the V&A. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics is a musical journey to seven cities, and focuses on seven operatic premiers. It explores how the social, political, artistic and economic factors interact with great moments in opera history, to reveal a story of Europe over hundreds of years.
Never a fan of headphones, this exhibition totally changed my perspective. The sound experience is exquisite – with world-leading performances dynamically changing as the visitor explores cities and objects. The result is an evocative and fully immersive sound performance. The seven cities and premieres in the exhibit include: Venice with Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione de Poppea in 1642, which made its initial appearance during the Carnival season in Venice, and transitioned opera from private court entertainment to the public realm. The opera tour then continues to London and Handel’s Rinaldo in 1771, one of the first Italian language operas performed in London, as the city emerged as a global trade centre.
Mozart’s Le nozze de Figaro premiered in Vienna in 1786, an opera that is much loved to this day. A piano on which Mozart played when visiting Prague is also on display, the first time the instrument has left Prague since the 18th century, to be shown for this exhibition. Verdi and Milan are synonymous, and the composer’s superb Nabucco premiered at La Scala in 1842. Verdi was a master of the chorus; and Va pensierfo (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco) became Italy’s unofficial nathional anthem.
During the reign of Emperor Napoleon 111, opera in Paris had immense status, and in 1861 Wagner’s Tannhâuser premiered and polarised audiences…as only Wagner can. However, Wagner’s vision for the art form proved inspirational for future writers and artists. The beautiful city of Dresden, with its history of artistic expressionism, was the setting for Richard Strauss’s premiere Salome in 1905. The opera was based on the play Salome, written in French by Oscar Wilde. The final opera explored is Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, that opened in St. Petersburg in 1934. It was banned under political censorship in 1936, and Shostakovich never wrote another opera.
Opera: Passion, Power and Politics introduces more than three hundred amazing objects from the V&A collection, along with creative stage sets; manuscripts; costumes; paintings; important international loans; and compelling not-to-be-missed footage of seminal opera performances. The exhibition is marvellous and mesmerising, for opera fans and the non-opera going public alike. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, and sponsored by Sociétié Génerale continues until 25th February 2018. vam.ac.uk/OperaJG
Top image: Eva Gonzalés (1849-83) oil on canvas, c. 1874 Paris Musée d’Orsay, gift of Jean Guérard, 1927 Musée d’Orsay, Paris France/Bridgeman Images